10 life lessons we've learned from mountain biking
Mountain biking is deeper than it might seem
On a Friday afternoon you can most likely find us secretively checking the weather and dreaming of our weekend riding. Frankly there's nothing we like doing more than hooning around the woods in search of prime dirt and good craic, but can mountain biking ever be deeper than this?
Don't worry, this isn't going to be a load of vague nonsense better suited to motivational posters, instead here are 10 real life lessons we've learnt while shredding on our bikes.
Mountain biking becomes a whole lot easier when you pull your finger out and "just do it". All of a sudden your wheels will hook up in the turns, soar over the jumps and leave you wondering what you were worried about in the first place.
Even the nicest trails have dog shit on them
You've just linked together a bank of berms smoother than Barry White singing Santana and skidded to a stop at the fireroad.
"Best trail ever!" you say.
"What's that smell?" says your buddy.
Yep, the brown bane of mountain bikers has struck you again and you're going to have to find a stick to peel it off before you start gagging. Even the most perfect trails can be spoiled by the inconsiderate behaviour of others. We're sure there's a metaphor for life in this somewhere...
Love ain't cheap
The unfortunate truth is that no matter how much love we put into our bikes they always seem to find a way to cost us more money. Whether that's new components, repairs or even just fuel to get us to the trails, we're constantly forking out to stay shredding. It's always worth it after a ride though, I mean, we definitely won't regret buying these titanium bolts, right? Right!?
Friends make everything better
Don't get us wrong, we like riding solo. Sometimes there's nothing better than heading out on your own on a proper two-wheeled adventure. But if we're honest the best rides we have are the ones spent mucking about in our local woods with our riding buddies.
The added banter just makes everything seem more fun and the post-ride stories traded in the pub are always worth the trip alone.
Injuries hurt less than quitting
Crashing hurts, sure, but pain is always temporary, shame is permanent. If you roll up to that lip and never conquer it, it will haunt your dreams for the rest of time - not to mention the nauseating feeling of watching all your friends hitting it with ease.
Don't see falling off as a bad thing, it's just part of the learning process, besides scars always look cool.
never be afriad of seeking fresh tracks
It's always tempting to ride the same local loop over and over again - you've got all the lines diallled in and you can switch your brain off and flow the whole way down. But there's far more gold available in the hills if you know where to look.
Next time you see a cheeky deer track in the woods, check it out. It may be neglected and overgrown, but the dirt will be prime and a few runs later you may just have found your new favourite track.
Don't take it too seriously
It's very easy to get caught up in the world of Strava, spandex and being "enduro specific", but that's never been the Dirt way and it never will be. Mountain biking started as a bunch of riders messing about on two wheels and that's the way it should stay (although we're glad the mullets have gone).
Trees are very sturdy
Try not to hit them.
See also: rocks, the ground and cows.
What goes around, comes around
As mountain bikers we're all one big community and we should all look out for each other. Next time you see someone with a mechanical pull over and and offer them a hand. You can guarantee if you were in their position you would want the same in return.
There's nothing as awesome as mountain biking
Definitely the most important lesson of all.