How am I supposed to write about riding mountain bikes when I’ve hardly been riding? I don’t like to complain or anything, but my seat time on dirt has been sorely lacking this summer.
Last year, I wrote about health issues limiting my dirt mileage. I also talked about how difficult it was to come to the realization that I wasn’t 28 years old, or even 38 anymore.
This year, although I’m still not 28, my lack of miles has more to do with life choices and career demands. For the first time since its inception, I did not help in any capacity with the Breck 100, even though I love the event.
This has had me thinking.
As much effort as I’ve put into trail access issues, hundreds and hundreds of hours building and maintaining trails, it’s always just been riding a bike. There are many fabulous benefits to riding mountain bikes, from fitness to immersing yourself in the most sublime moments of raw nature, but for me, at least, is it a “lifestyle?”
I read a fair amount of mountain bike literature and Internet content. There is always a lot of word count devoted to “passion” for the sport and the “mountain bike lifestyle.” Over the years I’ve enjoyed a lot of outdoor sports, some with more staying power than other: white water kayaking and canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, trail running (very short lived — I suck at running) backpacking and, of course, cycling both on and off pavement.
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Of all those activities, mountain biking has by far had the most staying power. I took up the sport in 1985 (I was even younger than 28!) and have devoted huge amounts of time and a ridiculous amount of money to it. From devoting a serious…
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