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what are we looking for?

 

photo by GraemeMurray.com. Gaz on Boulderdash, Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua.

We went out for a quick ride, and tested out a new trail, freshly dug out of the earth by a man with our best interests at heart. It was all it was cracked up to be: difficult, sensationally good and not quite finished.

As we walked the unfinished part we started talking about what we look for in a trail, and that boiled down to what we look for in a ride: the bits that really work for each of us.

It doesn’t matter what your level is, there will be a place on your favourite trail that is close to perfection for you. When you ride through it you get that feeling of satisfaction that comes from executing something as well as you can. Not every time, of course. But in that place there is that possibility.

It requires complete attention, so you are removed from everything mundane for as long as it takes. No two days are ever the same, and as long as you own that series of corners, or rocky chute, or big double before it owns you, you come away feeling a unique kind of groovy.

Riding your perfect piece of trail once is good, but doing it again and again does not diminish the goodness. No two ways are ever the same, in some small detail there will always be a new aspect to the most familiar turn. Unlike a lot of other ways people find to escape their fetters, you don’t need to find something harder to get the same kick. You can, by all means, but you don’t have to.

Repeating a trail you like will reward you by becoming familiar. It may eventually bite you the way it could have the first time you rode it, only harder because you will be travelling faster.

It doesn’t have to though, you can get to that happy place and stay there, leaving the edges untested. Its up to you.

So that is how we ride: we go to a place that promises that good stuff. We take the trail, we  peer ahead, we wait for that sweet section.

It may be why we ride at all.