Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why do you ride your bike?

I recently found a quote that aptly describes why I love bike trails. It also illustrates a different biking philosophy than the norm:

"Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere."  - Robert Anthony

What does that have to do with biking and trails?

I think it has a lot to do with my biking style and that of many other rail-trail riders.

It seems like most bikers I meet are into speed. They are more concerned with getting from point A to point B... quickly. Whether they are on a road bike or a mountain bike, they are sprinting down the straight stretches and blasting around corners. If they are riding with others, they are concentrating on the competition of going faster than the next guy. How many people can I pass, how quickly can I get "there?"

That's what I see on the roads, and that's what I see on mountain bike trails. But when I'm on a destination trail (rail-trail, canal trail, distance trail) I see the opposite. People are riding for the joy of riding.  Their priorities seem to be to enjoy:
enjoying a Wyoming rail-trail

  1. the scenery of the trail
  2. the outdoor experience
  3. the camaraderie
  4. the fresh air
  5. the relaxation
  6. nature
You'll notice that nowhere on that list are the words speed, competition, or thrill-seeking. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against those pursuits. My point is, "It's nice to have somewhere to go where you can get away from those things when you want to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the great outdoors. There's enough stress in everyday life without also forcing it into your vacation, hobby, or leisure pursuit.

So where can you go to find such peaceful and tranquil trails? Well for starters, here's a list of states with links to their premier destination trails:


1 comment:

Barry said...

Ditto. I wholeheartedly agree with your feelings.

What is important,when going for a ride, is to pace yourself. No need burning yourself out when you still have a ways to go,to return home. I always say - every kilometer you cycle away from home/base,is two kilometers you have to ride to get home.

The riders that are a pain-in-the-ass are the acrobats and the slip-streamers (or the people who tuck-inside your rear wheel). On one occasion,when out cycling with my friend,who also happened to be my boss,I told him that if he came-off his bike,I wouldn't stop to pick him up (I would have,I'm not that big an asshole).Needless to say we never went riding together again.