A mountain biking addict reflects on adaptability … and keeping the happy in the ride

By Sarah Hansing

Meanwhile ... back alongside the driveway ...

Meanwhile … back alongside the driveway …

“What time are we supposed to meet everyone at the trailhead? … Oh. I think we’re going to be late.”

“I forgot my camelbak.”

“Crap. does anybody have a tube?”

“I didn’t bring any extra food.”

“Has anyone seen my other glove?”

… and then we were on our way. It was a weekend ride with the usual suspects, and we were all more scatterbrained than usual, it seemed. The beauty is, no one got upset. It was a beautiful day to ride. We were going to explore a bunch of singletrack none of us had ridden before. And we were going to do it on awesome bikes, with awesome friends, in awesome weather.

No one got angry at the delay when we all started pedaling a little later than we had meant to. We teased each other and joked around when yet another “uh … guys? does anyone have …” sprang from someone’s lips.

The war cry for the day became a laughing shout of “Well, it takes a village!”

And even though we were joking, there is truth to that. As a group, we shared our things. Reminded each other to not forget the water bottle in the truck. And together we headed off on down the trail. Riding partners are great! Riding partners that keep the happy in the ride are the best. No attitude. No grumbling. Nothing to prove. Just happy, sometimes one-gloved, Camelbak-missing people riding bikes in the woods.

Mountain biking is about adaptability after all; sometimes it means being adaptable before you’ve even started pedaling down the singletrack. Things don’t have to be perfect to be … well … perfect. Because for everything we forgot, we still remembered that mountain biking is about fun, and friends, and playing outside. It was a glorious ride on sweet dirt and twisty singletrack, and as we finished up the ride, a collective murmur of “mmm burritos and beer …” rippled through our little group.

Followed by: “um. guys? I forgot my wallet …”