Yes, I admit it. When I ride my mountain bike (MTB), I usually go alone. When the subject comes up in conversation, you should see the looks on peoples’ faces. It’s almost like, “poor Lynn, I wonder why he doesn’t have anyone to ride with?” In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. I DO ride with others occasionally, and I have a lot of good riding buddies that are a text, call or tweet away.
So, why ride alone? For me, riding alone in the woods is therapy – the sound of the wind in the trees, the beauty of the forest and the occasional wildlife sighting (bears and deer are not uncommon). But there’s more to it than that. Here are a few personal benefits that I experience from the time alone on the MTB:
- The mental purge. Sometimes, those negative gremlins build up in all of us. For me, there’s no better way to banish those thoughts than a good grind on the MTB. Endorphins trump gremlins any day of the week.
- Time for reflection. The solo ride gives me time to reflect on my personal life, professional life and family – the positive aspects, my challenges and my failings. I frequently get a fresh perspective on how to handle difficult situations at work and in my personal life.
- Creative brainstorms. OK, let me preface this by admitting that I am a total left brain gearhead. That said, there’s something about getting out in the woods on the bike that gets those creative juices flowing. I get some of my best ideas out on the trail. Some people get their brainstorms in the shower; for me, it’s on the singletrack.
I understand that time alone might not be for everyone. A lot of people just aren’t happy unless they’re in a crowd.
But for me….”my name is Lynn, and I (sometimes) ride alone!”