2020… Safe to say we’ll remember this one. With all of the political, pandemic, and economic crises that have left their mark on pretty much anything you can think of, there’s one outlet that has been largely spared. The outdoors. For those of us who are able, getting out on the trail and riding has been a safe haven. A relief. Somewhere to get the hell away from it all.

No matter the news or the demands at work, when you leave for a ride, you clip in, roll to the trailhead and everything else melts away. Breathe in, breathe out, and just keep pedaling. Riding trail lets you get lost for an hour or two… longer if you’re lucky. How magical is that? Seriously, how much better off would we all be if everyone were able to escape from the demands of daily life and get back to basics outdoors? For those of us who are able to get out there, we’re lucky. And we’re grateful. Like, really freaking grateful. Having the time and meansto escape the madness when we need a break and flow through singletrack to our heart (and legs’ content) is a gift. No doubt about it.

All that said, the truth is that many of us (myself included) can still take the fun, adventure, and sweet sweet relief of riding for granted on a too-regular basis. Why? Because we’re human.But if there were ever a year to be seriously grateful for our opportunities to ride, I think this is most definitely the one. So here’s the reminder: as you plan your next weekend trip to Moab or meet up for a local shred-sesh with your buddies, take a hot minute and be grateful for those trails you have to play on. Be thankful for the people who sacrifice their time, money, effort, and gave vision to build & maintain them. And be grateful that you have the health and the means to be out there enjoying it all. And no matter what speed you ride at, take a minute to stop midtrail and look around at nature. Take it in. Realize your place in it all. Breathe in. Breathe out. Chances are you’ll discover a lot more in that moment than the next line you’re going to rip. You’ll discover the beauty that’s really the beckoning call to bring your bike out. And hell, you might discover more about yourself.

Winter is coming for many of us. Soon, we’ll be inside on trainers, Zwifting along, doing intervals, and burning off some calories during the holidays (more blogs to come with details on that). For some of us in the North, we’ll bundle up and keep getting out on fat bikes (more blogs to come on that too!) Either way, the riding won’t be quite as approachable as it is now, but that’s ok. I say that’s all the more reason to enjoy the trails now. So, let’s live in the moment and be grateful for the ride!

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