Learning to tame the terrain
It baffles me how every place in the world has a terrain unlike any other. It can look the same, or at least similar, but feel and ride completely different. Or – the opposite - it can look completely different but ride exactly the same. It is mind-blowing how the bike can act one way on a certain terrain, and then the complete opposite on another. Learning to ride it can be as challenging as addictive as every terrain requires it’s own magic skill set. Well, at least I’ve had my fair share of “magic” moments in trying to find these skill sets. Learning how to ride slippery mud, surfing down sandy trails, (never really) getting the hang of shale slopes and pushing myself to ride different kinds of rock, I’ve come to realise that you don’t need big man-made features to challenge yourself on the bike. Mother Nature has already provided the biggest challenge of them all - the ever-changing terrain.
Learning how to conquer
It is so frustrating when you feel amazingly fast on your home trails and then go somewhere new and locals pin it past you like you’re riding in super slow-mo. The terrain is maybe a bit more rocky, slippery, sandy or muddy than usual and it throws you off balance. The bike acts differently; it grips in different sections, you have to brake earlier, later, less or more compared to normal and things simply feel a little less under control than at home. But as frustrating as it is to start off with, I love the challenge of trying to tame it, to work away at it, day after day – until it clicks. And suddenly everything is feels just right.