Obsessed About Biking

Mountain biking in Arizona desert, USA

Image via Wikipedia

Me on Squirrel Gap in Pisgah National Forest, NC

About four months ago I decided to take up mountain biking again after a twelve-year hiatus from the sport.  I never had time to bike anymore because I was completely obsessed with rock climbing.  Obsession does not even do justice to what I was, it was more of a way of living.  I was not living anything other than climbing.  Reading about it, watching movies, traveling for climbing, everything climbing.  My wife likes climbing too, and we have had a wonderful seven-year marriage and fourteen year partnership that started with climbing.  But now I have a new mistress, and her name is mountain biking.  After being laid off from my second job teaching English, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Since climbing requires a partner, which is sometimes hard to come by, I thought what can I do with my time.  My answer came in the form of beautiful, endless, flowing single-track found in my back yard of Asheville, North Carolina.  Locals call the woods around here Pisgah, but I know it as pure, unadulterated, the most fun you can have on two wheels in the woods.  The trails around here are very different from anywhere else in the country.  It is raw out here, it is serene, and it is flat-out crazy at times.  Biking is fun here in so many different ways.  When I lived in Colorado and raced and biked there I had fun, but on my second go around at age forty-one, biking is more primal and spiritual for me now.  It clears my head, it helps me to dig deep, and it has helped me to see things never imagined, like the three bear sightings this fall, or the lone silver fox I saw one evening.  It has helped me to overcome my fear of competing and it has helped me develop new lifelong friends.  I am going places the past four months I never dreamed of going, like my first forty miler at age forty, my first win at a mountain bike race, and my level of fitness surging to places I never even went to when I was twenty.  In a real way, I am growing now, when before I was just drifting.  I feel a surge of emotions and raw energy that is propelling me forward.  I am once again obsessed.  Funny how it gradually creeps into your life again.  A few rides here and there, a race here and there, and now I read about it, I watch videos about it, I hang out with people who are all about biking, I talk about it, and I even write about it.  Well, I think it is all right to be obsessed.  I like it and it feels good to me.  What is your passion?  What do you think about constantly?  Grab hold of that thing and do your thing.  You will never regret it.  Take care.  Chris Coney


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