The Mountain Bike Life

“Where have you been riding over the last month?”

That’s what I’ve been continually asking my friends recently.

Here’s what you’ve been telling me.

You are showing me that Mountain Bikers have amazing lives!

Two Mountain Bikers in a Boat
“Pedal and Paddle” by Tom Stone

1. Santa Marta, Columbia. (Daniel Rangel Aguilar)

“Santa Marta” by Daniel Rangel Aguilar

Every Sunday, Daniel and his friends pick a route to ride and explore.  Today they decided to visit a farm called “Tequendama” in Córdoba, Colombia.  He writes…

…Toribio River is one of the most beautiful water falls from this side of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has crystal waters , each with a natural pool where you can swim or just watch the water fall as the breeze caresses your skin in a constant and never ending rainbow.

Then back to a house where a family dedicated to cultivating Colombia coffee , the best coffee in the world, offered us a delicious lunch , prepared with creole chicken , roasted plantains , orange juice , coconut rice and lots of love .

The ride sounds amazing, Daniel, and the food sounds like perfect fuel for hungry Mountain Bikers!

2. Black Canyon, Arizona USA (Dan Schroedl)

 

Dan and Dash on the BCT, by Sara Schroedl

Dan Schroedl loves getting out with his family, and their dog (Dash) on the Black Canyon Trail in Arizona.  He writes…

The Black Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail that starts in North Phoenix near Anthem, AZ and goes something like 50 or 60 miles to Meyer, AZ.  

This particular ride starts out at the Emery Henderson trailhead and is mostly single track for the first couple of miles then it turns into a smooth jeep road for a mile or so, and then gets back to the single track.  A fast rolling single track with a few kinda steep sections that will keep you on your guard.  In general the BCT is one of our favorite trails; it’s about 15 minutes from where we live in North Phoenix. 

Hey Dan, Dash looks as happy as you!  I suspect mountain bikers have the happiest dogs.

3. Cascade Hut, Snowy Mountains, Australia (Dave Hoswell) 

 

“Kids in the High Country” by Dave Hoswell

Dave took his family to “The High Country” in Australia’s Snowy Mounains.  In the Aussie summer with temperatures around 35C (95F),  this was a tough ride for adults – but Dave’s 11 year old  daughter, Lucy nailed it:

We were nearing the end of a 32km(20mi) ride with 3300ft of climbing, all of it above 5000ft elevation. Little did we know it but this trail would involve a further 1 hours toil with about 50% being hike-a-bike. I thought this would break both my kids but they remained cheerful and enjoyed the experience for what it was. I was so proud of them for finishing a ride that would have been challenging for a lot of adults.

Lucy had already had an “off” and torn her knicks, grazing her leg, so I thought the kids would have an absolute meltdown but they were completely pumped as we manhandled (girlhandled?) our bikes over boulders and between tree boughs.

Whilst by no means the largest or hardest ride that I have ever done, needless to say, I am very proud of how both my kids handled themselves on this tough ride.

It looks like the Hoswells breed ’em tough, Dave.  No wonder I find it hard keeping up with you on rides!

4. Herefordshire, UK (Ian Beddis) 

 

“My Winter Rides” by Ian Beddis

Ian Beddis has set himself several challenges for 2014 which demand fitness, so he  needs more training. He doesn’t seem to mind muddy English winters, so he’s busy training indoors AND outdoors at the moment:

The UK is being battered by heavy winds, rain and low temperatures (a natural phenomenon I like to call ‘Winter’). It’s very muddy and flooded.  However, I appreciate the increase in fitness and skills  I’ve gained from our soggy mud covered  rides.

I also have a turbo trainer.  I can vouch for the brutality of a turbo workout if you’re prepared to sweat and suffer in equal measure.  It’s great for pre dawn, pre kids rides when riding miles on the road isn’t possible.  I enjoy it for the simple fact that I’m turning legs and grimacing when others are huddled down under duvets.

So, I’m getting a buzz from riding indoors and outdoors at present.. I mean, it’s just good to be riding at the end of the day, right?

Absolutely!  Best of luck with your upcoming races, Ian.

5. “Pedal and Paddle”, Queenslamd, Australia 

Two Mountain Bikers in a Boat
“Pedal and Paddle” by Tom Stone

My friend Eric has been itching to enhance our cross-country rides by bringing along an inflatable dinghy.

A couple of riding buddies watched on from their paddle-boards to make sure we didn’t sink as we successfully paddled our boat and both our bikes across a couple of short stretches of water.

We didn’t get wet, and survived to tell the tale.

Now that we’ve proven the concept, I think we’re ready to try a few more “Pedal and Paddle” rides!

 

How about you?

 

Have you ridden some place interesting recently?  If you’d like to share it with us, please email us a photo, a short description of your adventure, and an optional link or track log.

Send your photos to: neil@themountainbikelife.com

Winter Riding in the Prairies
Why I Uninstalled Strava

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