But how is all that affected when you suffer injury and are unable to ride for six months?
|Dianas Bath - D'Aguilar National Park, Qld|
|Hidden Vale Adventure Park - Grandchester, Qld|
Some of my happiest times have been while spending a long day with friends on our bikes. There's something magical about following a trail to see where it goes, or looking at a map and wondering what it would be like to try and ride from point "A" to point "B" only to discover some hidden gem of a place that you didn't even know existed.
The cool thing about a Mountain Bike is that it lets you go a long way through relatively rough country - further than you'd ever get on foot and to places you'd never get in a car. It's an explorers dream come true. It opens up the world to you. On a full day ride you cover an amazing variety of country.
One happy faced rider I met on the trails once described it as "hiking on two wheels".
|Lake Samsonvale, Qld|
These questions have forced me to think about what it is that I really love about Mountain Biking. The answers are useful whether you're able to ride or you're not, whether you're a beginner with a short range, or a hardend cross-country explorer who can ride all day:
|"The Pinnacle" Lookout, Border Ranges National Park, NSW|
Mountain Biking allows me to explore. But regardless of my injury and skill level I can still explore - it just takes a bit more imagination. Last weekend I drove with one of my kids to the site of one of the toughest rides I've ever done: in the Border Ranges of Eastern Australia. I only knew about this place because I'd experienced its magic first-hand on my bike. This time I drove to one or two of the more stunning spots, and explored them slowly on foot.
I've been doing that sort of thing since my injury - visiting places I'd normally ride - and slowly walking through them on my crutches. I can't go as far, but the places that once brought me joy still do - and that's always good for recovery.
|Borgan Road, near Lake Borumba, Qld|
They did a lot of hard riding, and we joked that it was the toughest ride I'd NEVER done :)
Even though I can't visit some of those places at the moment, I'm still able to plan the rides and support the riders. Afterwards we swapped photos and I was able to write-up an amazing day.
|Joyners Ridge Road, D'Aguilar National Park, Qld|
In 1889, Australian Poet and Journalist A.B. "Banjo" Patterson wrote "Clancy of the Overflow" in which he laments the stresses of urban life and longs for the "vision splendid" of the country as personified in the shearer and stockman, Clancy.
While they rode horses, and not mountain bikes in those days, I think Banjo Patterson sums up for me what it's all about.
Here's my rendition of his poem:
Are you facing some challenges that affect what you're able to do on the bike?
How do you overcome those challenges?