Life is Like Riding a Sand Pit

Those who know me know I spend lots of time riding my mountain bike. Most of my riding time is spent with groups of riders or at least one or two others. Not only is this safer in case you crash or break down, but it’s more social. But I have always enjoyed solo rides for the peace and quiet and for being able to just ride at my own pace, whether it’s fast, slow or medium that day. Those who also mountain bike may also know that one of the best qualities of mountain biking (on anything but pavement) is that it tends to free your mind of worries and extraneous thoughts and allows you to only focus on the here and now that is the trail in front of you (especially on downhills). Lose that focus and you will likely crash. Simple as that. 

So suffice it to say when I am riding solo on anything remotely technical I’m not doing much deep-thinking…just concentrating on the flow of the trail and problem-solving my way up or down the hill. With all  that being said, the other day I had a pretty deep thought while out on a solo ride. 

It was mid-week, early morning in the newly re-opened Whiting Regional Park. Many know that name because it is where Mark Reynolds, a mountain biker, was killed by a mountain lion a few years ago. Last year it burned in a forest fire and was closed to the public until just a few weeks ago. The park was particularly empty and I had only seen one hiker on the way up Borrego Trail. Borrego meanders it’s way along a mostly dry creek, slowly gaining elevation as the trail climbs the canyon. Before the fires this trail used to be a cakewalk to ride. Smooth, buff hard-packed trail, worn smooth by countless mountain bikers. After the fires and the rainy season Borrego Trail became a sand pit wherever the trail crossed the dry creek bed. What used to be smooth, easy trails were now in many places a 75-foot stretch of 6-10″ deep sand. In case you’ve never ridden in sand like this, it is difficult to say the least to negotiate. Many bikers tossed out a slew of negative opinions about the sand and why couldn’t it be removed. Apparently they were not able to negotiate it. I found it wasn’t easy like it used to be, but hey look on the bright’s rideable and at least the park is open.

As I was crossing one of the sand pits on my morning ride, this deep metaphorical thought crossed my mind. These sandpits were like one’s life journey in a several ways. 
  • Life can be hard at times, but not impossible: Just like the sand pit. Riding in sand is difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible to traverse. But with enough steady effort and the right balance, the sand is easily travelled.
  • Have a plan: Allow your front tire to wander from the straight line in the sand and you will either crash or be delayed and you will exert extra effort to exit the sand pit. Just as in life, without a plan to steer straight on, one might wander through life,get sidetracked and either never achieve one’s potential or a least will require or expend additional unnecessary effort to achieve one’s goals.
  • Everything in moderation: Enter the sandpit too fast and even the slightest steering mistake will send you flying. Enter too slow and you will bog down not able to ride through the sand and having to walk. Same goes for life…live it too fast and hard and a mistake could send you crashing to rock bottom. Live life too slowly and carefully and you might miss out on many of the best things in life.

And then just about the time I completed that deep thought, I realized I wasn’t concentrating on the trail enough and I should stop thinking and just ride!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *