Today I’d like to tell you a quick story about the personal lessons I learned at practice for my upcoming enduro race.
I know most of you reading aren’t mountain bikers, so here’s a quick explanation of Enduro racing: There are a few timed stages of technical downhill riding, with untimed transfers linking them together. Basically you haul ass down hill, then pedal yourself back to the top more casually.
What I love about enduro racing, especially at Mountain Creek Bike Park, is that I get to ride trails that I wouldn’t normally ride. They’re often beautiful singletrack trails out of the bike park, often with sections that push me beyond my comfort or skill levels.
In the few races that I’ve done before, my goal gas always been to get out of my comfort zone – I’m not racing to beat other people, but I’m racing to find the best in myself.
Yesterday, I went to Creek to pre-ride the stages, but I only got to ride one and a half of them.
I have thinner and lighter trail tires on my bike right now, and wanted to see the trails before I decided to change them to thicker downhill tires. I got a flat on stage 2, and then found out that my air pump is broken. So even if I put a new tube in, I didn’t have a way of inflating it. In the past, this would have ruined my day, but I’ve been working really hard to practice positivity.
Mindset is a muscle that gets stronger with consistent training, and you get to choose if that strength is beneficial or stressful.
Yesterday I ended up hiking my broken bike up and down three of the four stages that I saw, and I skipped one all together – I’ve ridden it a few times before, and so on Sunday I’ll be racing on trails that I really haven’t practiced at race pace.
In the past I think this would have really stressed me out, so I’m already feeling victorious for staying positive about it. The whole reason I go mountain biking is to have fun in the woods, and I’d defeat that big-picture purpose by stressing out about exactly what gear to be in or line to take.
Things don’t always go according to plan, and I think that’s how we react to those situations can tell us a lot about ourselves. Perspective is powerful, and I’m fully aware of the privileged that I have when I take my expensive bike into the woods for gratuitous racing. Too often we get attached to what we think things should be, or what we want them to be, that we lose sight of the positive perspective that I truly believe we’re all born with.
That’s not to say we can’t learn from mistakes, right?
I got a new pump, put downhill tires on my bike, and went to this race to have a party in the woods. I ended up getting 12th place out of the 18 riders in my age bracket and truly had more fun than I’ve ever at a race before. It was awesome!
Now I have 7 weeks to prepare for my next enduro race, the Eastern States Cup event that’s back at Mountain Creek Bike Park. If you’re interested in joining me, you can sign up for it HERE.
Thanks for joining me today, and if you’d like to see this in video form, click HERE.