Jan 26

The Joy of Trail Riding



What is it about trail riding?

There is a bewitching chemical concoction associated with riding trails, its a heady mix of adrenaline, endorphines and muscle fatigue, and lapping the bike park just can’t quite match it.  In Queenstown there are many of us that are seduced by the easy action fix of the Gondola… and why not?  It is good, very good, sinking into a plush downhill machine and nailing out a few quick runs… but in the final analysis, the joy and goodness of a wicked trail ride, for some reason has a more lasting effect, putting that golden shine on the rest of the day.  Maybe it’s the purity of taking off with only a xc lid on your head and no chunky pads and battle armor weighing you down, maybe its the lightness and acceleration of a five inch travel bike, and that mixture of pleasure and pain that comes with riding it up steep mountain sides.  There is something about the masochistic satisfaction of grovelling up a technical trail and taking joy in those small victories that only climbing can grant you.  You get to know a trail much more intimately when you pedal up it as well as shred down… Then of course there is the descent, more of a dance on a trail bike, the importance of line choice vision and body language all the more critical to a smooth and joyful ride.  Did I mention the solitude and the quite?  You notice the birds chirping, the sound of the beech trees swishing in the wind, the sheer adventure of being alone in a pristine forest… lalala.  I love down hill, its cheap and nasty thrills, big drops, smooth berms and easy adrenaline are seductive and amazing, but in my heart I am a trail rider, nothing else can really compare…