Chasing that perfect ride
If you have even been mountain biking for more than a week, you know what I am about to talk about. It’s the number one reason I get on the bike every chance I get…that perfect ride.
You hear golfers talk about that perfect shot that keeps them coming back for more abuse every time they hit the links. That one great shot lives in memories and stories only to be shadowed by the next great shot that the player longs for.
That perfect ride for mountain bikers will do the same thing. You will climb 7 miles feeling the worst you ever have in an attempt to get stronger for the perfect ride.
What is the perfect ride for me?
- I never get tired…no matter how hard I push. It is what I like to call “one of those Superman days.” Your legs just seem to never give up. For some reason your entire body is just in sync and you feel like you could ride at your 100% pace for a week straight.
- The traction is perfect. No washouts, no mud (if I can help it). Normally this happens a day after rain in GA, but NC trails tend to have a lot of this. Your tires just seem to be velcro’ed to the ground and nothing could go wrong.
- The bike just feels flawless. The suspension is dialed, there is no creaking, I am incredibly comfortable…it is just me and the bike out in the mountains doing what we do best together.
- The weather – the sun is out with a slight breeze, just cold enough that I don’t sweat too much but just warm enough that I am in shorts and a short sleeve jersey. It just seems to be one of those perfect clear days with just a couple of white fluffy clouds in the sky to break up the sun’s rays.
- The trail – Big ups for big downs. NC riding at it’s best. Climb for what seems like forever to just blast down for the rest of the day.
- On the downhills, I just get in a zone. It’s almost like blinders on a race horse or like a pitcher in baseball throwing the perfect game. You don’t even realize anyone else is out there…it seems like you know no limits when it comes to speed…every line is just hit perfectly for some odd reason and you don’t know why. Basically, everything just seems to click.
- And last but not least…I left everything on the trail. There wasn’t one section that I would have ridden differently. Complete satisfaction with the ride.
Now…it is very rare that all of these elements come together, but when they do…it is the perfect ride. At every trail head you can hear stories about these rides and they seem to grow over the years until that next perfect ride comes along to replace the last.
The perfect ride is different for everyone, and that is one of the things that is so great about mountain biking. You can make the perfect ride whatever you want it to be, and sometimes you don’t even know what it is until you have experienced it for yourself. For some people it is during a race and for others it might be a trip out with the family. For me, it’s when I can’t seem to do any wrong on the bike on killer North Carolina single track. The last time I had a perfect ride was a day out at Bent Creek in Asheville, NC. I got done with a customer early and hit the trails to do my favorite loop…everything was perfect.
Share your comments below on what your perfect ride is…
When does passion turn into obsession?
I posted this question on MTBR.com’s Passion forum over the weekend and it has some great responses so far.
I started thinking this morning about how much during the day I actually think about mountain biking….
Turns out it is A LOT!
So at what point does passion turn into obsession??
When I’m not riding…I am at work posting to forums, posting to my blog, contemplating the next parts purchase, etc.
At least the other half thinks it’s ok because at least my obsession/addiction keeps me in shape and healthy!
Now we are all aware that I already know I am in full out obsession mode and have been for some time. I don’t see it ever changing either, so if there is a cure…I won’t take it.
Here are some of the responses we have seen so far…
When you start hiding your purchases:-) I have a brand new $1,600 bike and still ended up buying a few hundred dollars worth of parts and accessories, maybe if I had not bought the bike in the winter I would have just ridden it instead of perusing the Internet for better parts. It’s probably because there is “gear” involved. I get the same obsessions with hiking, photography and now MTB. If you just get out and do it, and stay away from the Internet you’ll be fine.
A very good thread topic… The almighty question
Well I think it is Obsession when your life becomes unmanageable from your cycling passion…
Then I say, well it is a good obsession, health wise very good, the networks and friends made is great etc etc, far better than going down the pub, gettign pissed up and smacking your partner….
It is relevant too, many of those that dont share a passion for all things cycling would presume most if not all of us on here are obsession material…
RSutton, e stoked to tha max that your partner loves that you have this passion that keeps you fit and healthy, that indeed is a very very good place to be….
I think though in all seriousness, if you own 8 bikes, you are gone, it is obsession and you need help, thank goodness I have 7 bikes….
When you have entire rooms in your house or apartment dedicated to your bikes or bike stuff
When you have a long list of cycling related websites bookmarked on your web browerser
When the time shown for when “you last visited:_ _ _” is never more than a few hours
When instead of buying new clothes for work, you’re more concerned with getting more bike wear
When you sit at work and all you do is visualize what like you’ll take on your favorite singletrack
When you pass a car/truck/SUV with a bike on a rack, and you don’t look at the driver but you see what bike they are carrying…
… these are examples of when you know this has become an obsesion. One that I hope we never find a cure for.
When you have more parts and bikes than your LBS.
When you do not need to run to the shop for parts years out.
You own some frames with single or double digit serial #s.
You need to reorganize the garage to fit another bike box, never mind a full up bike.
You own a frame originally built in 2000 with less than a season on it.
You start separating your parts box by type and vintage.
You visit Frostbike and know more than the manufacture / distributor their expert does.
Replacement value on your collection of bikes is greater than all other possessions (not including the house)
You can compose or add to the list already growing here.
You really do not want the wife to see this thread.
Top ten signs of mountain bike obsession…
10. Your bike/s are worth more than your car.
9. You have more than one chainring looking scar on the back of your legs.
8. While driving or just walking around, you constantly hear voices inside your head saying: “there’s a sweet line”.
7. You have more bike product stickers on your tool box than you have tools.
6. While driving, you can spot make & model of any bike on other cars from at least a 100 yards away.
5. While driving, you speed up to see what brand bike it is on that car/s in front of you.
4. While driving, you slow down if you see good lumber being thrown away.
3. You never disclose the actual dollar figures you spend on bikes with your better half.
2. You often use the phrase “droppin’ in” for many other things besides biking.
1. after a bad crash, bleeding from the shoulder / leg and elbow the first words out of your mouth are “is my bike alright”
I think this is a valid question, but I’m totally obsessed with building these days. Last night, for instance, I had dreams of a new trail we’re building and can NOT get a few of the new berms out of my brain.
So what are your thoughts? Share some below in the comments…