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THE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF A BIKE RIDE

 

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Yesterday turned into a fairly tough one by the standards of a little company in our front yard. Oh, I hear you say, woe is me, get over yourself, you live in a mountain biking paradise and you haven’t had a proper job in so long you can’t remember what it feels like to have a ‘boss’. Fair enough. But still. Sometimes it feels like the wheels might fall off, and other days it would be nice to hand the pile of shit I am burrowing through to somebody marked ‘employee’. Only we don’t have anybody like that.

All of a sudden it was time to pack orders, and there was exactly enough time to throw the bike in the van along with the courier bags and the international mail sack and drive through the hellish traffic to town. OK not that hellish, I had to stop twice. And one of those was an example of the stop you do where you keep rolling very slowly to see if you can get going again without ever having to be completely stationary. You don’t do that sometimes? You ain’t living.

 

So next minute (almost literally) I am at the forest. Change pants, strap on shoes, check pack, do a funny looking wheelie and I am on the trail. Oh, I forgot: also have a random meeting with Lisa, which always provides a 50% lift in general feeling of wellbeing.

 

Five minutes later, and that is the honest truth, all was right with my world. I thought I was tired and had a headache, so the plan was to noodle around the flat trails and maybe head out to Pondy New. But a much more comprehensive ride was on: way up the back of the forest to the top of the hill, and a very satisfying run down a rejuvenated and extended version of the trail called Corners. Coming out of the forest in what may have looked like a controlled drift on the gravel of the gateway, but could equally have totally screwed up the entire ride, I was not thinking anything at all. Gold.