"Ride for the Soul, not the Ego."
These words echoed profoundly in my mind as I reflected on my summer mountain bike season. Sure, I stood on podiums, but the victories that truly mattered weren't about rankings or trophies. They were about the personal growth, shedding self-destructive thoughts, and embracing the essence of what riding truly meant to me.
Reflecting on My Race Season
The Montana Enduro Series was a rollercoaster of crashes, mechanical issues, and a constant internal struggle. Racing started to feel like a battle against myself, stealing the joy I once found in riding. Looking back, it all seems so trivial now.
Yet, amidst the chaos, I found a new appreciation for competition - one centered not on self-worth but on the collective spirit of pushing each other. The real thrill was exploring backcountry trails with friends, not chasing podium spots. Next season, I aim to focus more on big adventures and less on standing atop podiums.
Cultivating the MTB Community
I used to find solace in riding solo. But as time passed, I realized the true joy of these pursuits lies in sharing them with friends. It's the shared laughter, the camaraderie, and the unspoken bond on those trails that truly ignite my passion.
Today, I embrace being an active part of this vibrant community. It's not just about the ride; it's about the people who join me on it.
Coaching and Giving Back
Mountain biking was once a selfish escape, purely about my own enjoyment. I used to hesitate riding with those whose skills didn't match mine, afraid it would inconvenience me. But that changed when I began coaching this season.
Coaching showed me the incredible value of giving back. It's about empowering others, sharing my skills, and encouraging newcomers to embrace this thrilling sport. The reward isn't in personal achievements; it's in nurturing the next generation of riders.
Taking Action for a Shared Passion
Looking forward, I'm determined to expand the horizons of mountain biking beyond personal victories. Plans are brewing - organizing women's bike-packing trips, envisioning Big Sky picnics, and curating meaningful group rides and clinics, all supported by Juniper.
It's not just about riding; it's about creating spaces where friendships flourish, confidence soars, and the love for mountain biking becomes a shared journey woven by the community.
In this vast tapestry of mountain biking, it's not the victories that bind us; it's the connections we forge, the experiences we share, and the mentorship we offer that truly define our triumphs.