I was thinking about this while I was out on the trails today. I was thinking about why I ride. A few of the reasons I came up with are listed below.
If you ride I’d like to hear why you ride too. If you don’t ride, but are thinking about it see my offer at the end of this blog post.
Friends and Camaraderie
One observation that’s easy to make is that not the skill or the speed that makes the rides fun. True, speed and lack of skill can make for a painful ride, but I know it’s fun when everyone is smiling both at the beginning AND at the end of the ride.
I grew up in Southern California and was fortunate to have great trails right outside my door. I have the same thing here in Seattle.
There are so many options to choose from – it’s just nice to get outside and enjoy what the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer. I do like getting out by myself sometimes and lately with our dog Ellie, but every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday night we get out with a group of people. Sometimes I organize these rides and others times they are setup by my Local Bike Shop – Pacific Bicycle. They are always fun.
Explore New Worlds & Getting Lost
While it’s true we ride the same trails a lot – Tolt, Tokul, The Beav, and in the Summer we add Ranger Creek, Sun Top, Palisades, Mt. St. Helens, Lewis Creek, and a few others. We are fortunate to have great trails so close by here in the Pacific Northwest.
For our annual Mt. St. Helens ride it’s always a new adventure - with 30+ miles and 8 to 10 hours of riding and a trail that changes a little every year. Sometimes it’s just fun going out and getting (a little) lost while exploring new worlds.
My Dog Likes It
I may not do everything my dog likes, but bike ride / runs are one thing she really loves. I think she likes getting out on rides for the same reasons I do: Camaraderie, Getting Outdoors, and Getting Lost. She gets to meet new people, run around with new dogs, and explore places she’s never been. Her favorite thing to do is to jump into every pond and creek she can find.
Specialized Trail Crew
This isn’t one of the reasons I ride, but it would have been a nice side benefit. I heard about this in December purely by accident. I was actually looking for Specialized’s Customer Service contact information for a defect in my riding shoes. I came across something called the Specialized Trail Crew and based on what they seemed to be looking for --- bloggers and tweeters that ride, organize rides, and that would be a good brand ambassador I thought I’d be a perfect fit. After checking into it I found out I’d missed the window to enter. Too bad. It would have been fun.
It’s NOT about the Bike!
As Lance Armstrong said in his book with the same name it’s really not about the bike. I started mountain biking in the 1980’s. I bought a Mongoose John Tomac model. It was a great bike for it’s day – no suspension, Cro-Moly frame, and 21 speeds. I super-sized that bike to a Klein Pinnacle in 1988 upon which I took 2nd place in the 1988 Mammoth Mountain Kamikaze Downhill --- this bike had no suspension either. I still have it and ride it. You can see these bikes here.
I have friends that ride $300-500 bikes and they are incredibly strong riders. So, while I do agree with Lance in that it’s not about the bike it’s always a pleasure to ride a high end bike to remind us why we pay so much for them. I currently ride a Cannondale Prophet. It’s a sweet ride.
Open Offer to You
If you are interested in riding let me know. I’ve made this offer before and YES a few people have taken me up on it. If you live in the Seattle area or are visiting and want to get out for a Mountain Bike ride – ping me. I ride every chance I get – rain, sun, or snow. Who’s Next?
That’s why I ride. Why do you ride?