Last week I was talking to a coworker who said she wished she liked exercise as much as I do. But it is not about exercise. That word barely makes it into my conscious thought. It is about waking up to the sun rising over the mountains, weekends spent in the woods with friends, and all the people I have met at races and events. It is about road trips and visiting new places, new trails, and meeting new people. It is about stopping for milkshakes because you are so hungry you know you can’t drive home without one.
It is about finding you limits and then crushing them. It is about making it to remote mountain top locations that you would never see otherwise. It is about that story about the bear or the snake or the lion that you will tell for years.
The more fit you get and the more skills you learn, the more fun it gets. You can ride up and back down more mountains in one day, ride over bigger rocks and longer rock gardens. You can ride more obstacles. You are on your bike more and walking, crashing, and dabbing less. Your flow is not interrupted, and you can stay in it longer as you fly through the trees. You can stay out for hours, or days, further extending the time spent in that completely magic place where you float over rocks and roots and carve corners. The trails are just asking you to ride them one more time. One more time and maybe you will clear that section, or go a little faster, or find that chicken of the woods.
You sit at work, toiling away until you can head out on the next adventure. Your arms and legs remember that feeling of trail perfection. Even if it was one quick moment, you long to have it back, to make it last longer. And so it goes, and you tumble into complete mountain bike addiction.