11.14.2008

Two Wheeled Therapy

One of the best aspects of riding bikes for me is the peace and quiet, the chance to be out in nature with your thoughts, your bike and maybe a pal or two and some dogs. The other day I got a chance to go for a good ride in Nisene Marks State Park. It is a gorgeous park with excellent trails through the redwoods. The air is clean and pure and feels like magic.

There are also many miles of top notch riding trails. Some of which are singletrack paths along the sides of steep hills with dropoffs of a hundred feet or more. I'd call the place breathtaking but with all that fresh new oxygen around it seems almost hard to lose one's breath.

Unless it has been a couple of weeks since I've gotten some saddle time and my legs burn up early on and my lungs weren't used to having to work so hard. But even so, it always feels like I recover more quickly and can get back on the trail faster than if I were riding somewhere else without such heavy tree cover.

Mountain biking is a great combination of things for me. Its a chance to get out in nature, a chance to get some exercise and burn off some frustration and its a chance to think in ways that aren't really possible without the effort. Does that make sense? You know how sometimes you're able to figure something out even when you're not really thinking about it? A light goes on, the answer is clear. Biking is like that for me. The world becomes a simpler place, there is your front wheel, there are the pedals, there are your feet and away you go.

Reducing the distractions can quiet down the competing voices and thoughts in my head so that a certain level of clarity bubbles up from below. What might have been vexing before is clear and simple and it can become much easier to work through a charged issue (yes, I recognize that this is a vague term but I don't really care to elaborate).

Everyone needs a way to blow off steam, the important thing is finding that thing that works for you. Biking is one of valves and it helps that I love it! What do you do to keep your grip on your sanity?
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