The Mountain Bike Life

When the trail gets ugly, chunky, techy, rocky, rooty, slippery, nasty, muddy, sketchy, whatever you want to call it, there are two types of mountain bikers in that moment; those who commit, and those who don’t. You know the feeling and most likely have been on both sides of commitment. Committing is the difference between success and failure, the difference between a doodle and art. Here we will dive into what it takes to commit to a line and how we can ensure we are on the right side of the decisive moment to do or don’t.

Your commitment can be broken down into three stages. Some stages will be quicker and more important than others depending on the rider, but I assure you, they will happen.

Gnarly. Stay low, left and avoid the chunk.

Section 1. Planning
There it is, the one rock garden. The one switch back with a confetti of roots. You know, the one that keeps you up at night. The one that holds a small percentage of your knee skin, donated over a series of visits. You think, well I could just bank it high and float over the side. Ah, definitely! Why didn’t I think of this earlier? Then the next ride you approach the  feature and end up barely scraping through or walking it. Why? Fear, you had a plan, but you didn’t commit, which brings me to section number two.

Well, I had a plan, but now I prefer to just survive.

Section 2. Forget the planning
At one point or another you have to just eye down the feature, utter a brief superlative curse word, and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Your courage neglects your intelligence and instead of thinking your way to success your body takes over. Which of course leads to our final stage of commitment.

Here we go…

Section 3. Hold on and pin it
We know this one well. Some may argue that they skim over the first two and head right for this stage. These are usually our more experienced or bold riders, regardless at some point there is no thought, no fear, just raw strength and hootspa!

I get it. Sometimes these stages can get you into trouble and suddenly you end up with the rubber side in the air, but it is who we are. We are mountain bikers. We are the crazy ones, pushing ourselves and our machines beyond the limits and without commitment. Just think, without committing to new and challenging terrain, we are just hikers with more stuff to carry.

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