August 11, 2015
About the Author: Louise Smith is an avid mountain biker, hiker and outdoor enthusiast. After a successful career in marketing, keynote speaking, writing and corporate training, she has semi-retired to a chalet ‘in the Ontario north.’ Currently, Louise provides wisdom and advice to over 50,000 followers on her Lessons of Life Facebook page.
Mountain bikers aren’t always cut from the same cloth. We can argue with each other for hours over bikes and components, and we have a plethora of different reasons we like to ride. Our styles vary, our interests vary, and no matter how much some of us try to be open, sometimes we would rather hit the trails and ride our way.
The benefits of riding however are pretty consistent. Whether we agree to the fact or not, mountain biking is meditative.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 BENEFITS OF RIDING SOLO:
1. MOUNTAIN BIKING SOLO BALANCES MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT.
If you are emotionally or mentally drained from one of life’s hardships a good rip on the bike balances everything out. The physical actions of riding bring your body to the same level of exhaustion as your mental and emotional state and THIS puts you back in balance and back in the driver seat of your life.
2. RIDING SOLO HELPS BRING CLARITY.
For extroverts that think verbally a hard ride with friends allows them to ‘process’ current difficulties they are facing. We all know a verbal thinker — they don’t stop talking! But did you know that’s how they process information in their head? They have to talk it through, even if the only listener is themselves. Pushing the body physically and emptying the mind through verbal release brings clarity for them.
3. RIDING SOLO HELPS YOU GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.
Focusing on technique and trail moves the mind away from obsessively trying to ‘sort things out,’ which in turn allows the pieces of life’s puzzle to drop into place on their own. I call this element of meditation ‘getting out of your own way.’
4. RIDING SOLO BRINGS YOU PEACE.
Tears of anger or sadness may drop from your eyes out there in the trails, and that’s okay. As they flow the emotional energy connected to them leaves your body. Again, this allows new energy to take its place. This process often leads to you making peace with whatever caused the heartache in the first place.
5. NATURE IS HEALING.
Period. The trees soak up our Co2 and give us pure, clean oxygen in return. Rocks and dirt are grounding, pulling negative energy out of us, leaving room for new, better energy to take it’s place. Because we are focused on something else (technique and trail) we aren’t even aware the energy is shifting. All we know is at the end of the ride we feel great.