The Mountain Bike Life

Author: Jeff Quihuis-Bell

The days are short, and your daily window to ride is growing shorter. A night ride may be the only option to get you out on the trails. If you are like me, the thought of trudging through the darkness, aided by light, cool fall air surrounding your swift direction is enough to get you through the week, but you may run into a problem when shopping for the necessary luminary aids- they can be incredibly pricey. This was definitely…

As I understand it, this is the end of the season for you riders that observe seasons. As I also understand it, some of you like to escape the snow from time to time. Actually, I am absolutely sure of this since our streets are packed with slow moving death machines camouflaged as town cars, operated by the elderly snow birds of the north. But don’t let them scare you, Phoenix is a great place to ride in the winter…

The air cools. A welcome breeze to my salty arms, singed from the sweltering heat of summer. My body aches from the painstaking standstill of cubicle quandaries. The sun exits view, tucked behind the rock formations beyond the trailhead. My eyes fight to adjust, the sun bright but fading, I shake off the mental deconstruction of senseless traffic, a catalyst to a pounding cranium and I climb atop my bicycle. For every pedal stroke, every breath, my headache lessens. My…

Mountain biking is an interesting sport, a unique sport, and a multi-dimensional hobby. With a great deal of mechanical strategy, physical training, mental fortitude, and technique it is easy to get caught up in these intricacies, allowing them to consume you. Add some sunglasses, a set of ear buds, a heavily trafficked trail and it is easy to forget we are in nature, we are on a journey, and we are creating an experience. Without focus and attention to our…

I have been avidly mountain biking for some time now, it’s a passion to say the least. And as some of you may have noticed, while riding bicycles out in the mountains we tend to get some time to think. I can’t say that I am normal by any accord but I have noted a few anomalies. These quandaries have plagued my brain for what seems to be dozens of hours while aboard the bicycle. They are oddities amongst our…

Countless pedal strokes, sweat dripping from every crevice of my body, a pain from each and every muscle, and a back pack full of warm water. Rocks trudging under my tires as I spin through the grit on my way to the top of the mountain… For what? One measly run down the mountain, not good enough or at least I think this to myself as I pedal up. If only I could go to one of those bike parks…

Phoenix; a dusty rock jungle of heat plus the unwanted insertion of humidity have demonized our local trails. Monsoons brought out the worst in the Phoenix heat. I found myself migrating north on a weekly basis, more than ever in search of new trails, new excitement, and cooler weather. I have found it in several spots, and many more circled on the map. With a few friends joining in the adventure I have come across a dangerous conundrum. Is shuttling…

It’s easy to get caught up in a lifestyle mountain bike excess. A life of adding and removing items from your cart, a constant shopping experience of media, and the internal debates of which new carbon whip will be best down the road. The media and the marketing burdening you down with a have or have not attitude. Riders on the side of the trails turn into price tags, their bikes judged and their dedication questioned based on their equipment…

With over 20 years in between rides, an extra rig, and gorgeous northern Arizona weather, it wasn’t particularly hard to convince my dad to get out on the trails. His last bike was a fully rigid, steel, V brake disaster. So an all mountain, full suspension, disc brake trail defeater felt like a complete game changer to him, as it should. We made our way to the Thumb Butte Trail Head and started our journey with a parking lot briefing…

It’s a strange thing, the drive that keeps us out on the trails. A sickening financial commitment, sacrifice of time, and constant punishment to our bodies. Things like driving across the country just to sleep in our cars and ride “sick” trails seem logical, the sound of a significant other asking if you are really watching a mountain bike video at dinner again or even the “You spent how much on a bicycle” conversation with a friend. Somehow this madness…

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