Saturday, August 9, 2014

Do What You Love

Riding Bauline, Newfoundland, 1999
I love a lot of things. My wife, my kids, my music, and my many passions. One of those has been with me as long as I can remember.

That is biking. I still remember one of my first bikes. It was a yellow bike that was branded the Mark II. Pretty sweet and I am sure my parents felt they hit the jackpot when they came across that bike. Boy I loved that hard plastic wheeled bike. Not even inflated tires. It was a tank and had traction about as good as you'd think for hard plasticly (very hard rubber) tires.

Of the many forms of biking, Mountain biking holds a big place in my heart, for things I love.

It's something that sits unloved sometimes. Gathering dust in the garage, tires deflating, oil drying out, forgetting the thrill of the trail.

Then a call or text comes, "Want to go biking?" Hell yes I do!

I get out the gear, I prep the bike, and I go.

The other night I went for a ride.

It was great to get on the trail and hurtle downhill at speeds my Mom would disapprove of and my kids would watch in disbelieve.

Nothing quite beats the sensation of throwing that bike around underneath you as your legs and arms pump it over roots, rocks, around ruts, and then throw the bike (and you) into a turn.

As we speed down a section of trail with beautifully hard packed corners, I saw a rise coming in the middle of the S as the turn I was dipped into, leaning over to the right, was going to transition into a fast left hand turn before switching back to the right. Stupidity came over me and I said, I bet I can jump that rise right into that left turn and swoop through this set of curves.

I write this like I had time to think this out. There was no time, my brain thought it, and I pulled up. The bike and I flew into the air.

Was this a good idea I started to think. But before I could finish the thought, the bike and my body knew what to do. Lean back to the left like I was entering that turn on the ground instead of in the air like I was.

Thump! The tires hit. My legs and arms bent. And my ass and rear wheel threw my bike and I into the turn and we both flew through it beautifully.

We had done something stupid again and both made it through.

Mountain biking is freeing. It frees the mind and the spirit.

Mountain biking is exhilarating. Am I going to fast? Will I make this turn? Phew! Did it.

Mountain biking is pounding. It makes the blood flow and the muscles ache as you drive to go faster and climb the hill back up.

Mountain biking rejuvenates my youth as I slip back into my gear and get to pretend to be a Scout Trooper on his speeder bike, whizzing through the forests of Endor.

What do you love?

Go do it.

Remember why you love it.

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