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  1. #1
    Trail Cubist
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    When your bike is a part of you...

    There is a state of being we sometimes reach in various sports that rely on equipment external to our own bodies. In my experience, it only happens after months (or even years) of practicing the sport almost daily.

    I refer to the feeling that the equipment (in our case, the mountain bike) is a part of our body...an extension of our arms and legs. It's a great feeling. You get on your bike, for example, and it doesn't feel like a piece of hardware. Instead, it feels like a missing part of your body is back again. And you feel like you can control it with the same effortless ease that you control your own arms and legs.

    I haven't really reached this point in mountain biking yet, but I'm sure many here have. I did reach this point in whitewater paddling. In that case, I raced slalom canoes, or C-1s. That feeling of connectedness was even more pronounced in a C-1 because you are literally strapped into it tightly...and every tiny little movement of your hips and upper body is instantly transmitted through the boat.

    After paddling 2hrs/day for a couple years (all year round)...I literally started feeling like a "mer-man," someone who didn't even have legs, but whose lower body was just a sleek kevlar and carbon dagger designed to slice through rapids with speed and precision.

    And even after reaching that point where you feel one with the hardware...it's depressingly easy to lose that fluid, natural feeling. In whitewater paddling (toward the end of my racing career), if I didn't paddle for a week or two and got back into the boat, I felt a bit awkward...and it took a good hour of paddling for me to get my "boat feel" back again and feel completely at ease. (If you've ever paddled a glass kayak with sharp edges, you'll know what I mean!)

    I haven't reached this point in mountain biking yet...but I can feel it getting closer. I've spent enough time on my bike that it's starting to feel natural...like it's just beginning to become a part of me.

    There are still times on the trail when I feel like it's "me versus the bike," LOL...and I definitely do NOT feel that "oneness" with the bike. But I'm beginning to have those moments of flow where I'll glimpse the connectedness for a few moments, and it's a great feeling!

    I hope in time (maybe sometime in 2011?) I'll reach a point where I don't even think about my lines anymore...I'll just do it.

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  2. #2
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    Kind of. There are rides, or even just runs, where everything is perfect - the flow ones. Rough trails become smooth, traction is great, corners effortless, jumps are dialed, pain (arm pump, crash pain, lactic acid pain) goes away... and after the ride, you don't really remember the details too well, just a blur, and the feeling of happiness. Those usually happen late in the season, at the end of a day of riding. Riding every day helps to get there, for sure. Relaxing is just as important - but then, riding itself is relaxing.

    Unfortunately, those don't happen as often as i would like, so still a lot to learn.

  3. #3
    DynoDon
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    In the Zone...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    I often get that euphoric feeling when I'm snowboarding on a good powder day. I'm at One with the board and everything just feels right.

  5. #5
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    Mountain biking at certain times, puts you in a dangerous or sketchy situation. You need everything to work just right to have a positive outcome, and your bike performs as it should and saves your ass. Your tires grip when you need them to keep you from going over the edge; your fork absorbs the hit from the rock just enough to keep you from going over the bars. Your bike gets you home when you fear being frozen in the cold, or baked in the heat, or lost in the dark.
    You appreciate the fact you can trust and rely on your bike, like a faithful horse or an old dog.

    My wife hardly ever goes biking, but after a few short rides this summer she surprised me by saying "I can see how you could get attached to your bike". She learned much more quickly than I would have expected.

  6. #6
    Never trust a fart
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    My bike becomes part of me when I crash and have the end of the handlebar jammed into my leg.

  7. #7
    Trail Rider
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    I was starting to feel at ease with my bike, then I dropped 6lbs off it, and I've gotta get used to it again - D'Oh.

  8. #8
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    i here ya SW. did some whitewater rafting this summer and it was amazing! Definitely overtakes you and you're in the moment the whole time! The bike's the same way. The fall and winter weather helps my bike "disappear" much easier though. those cool crisp days with perfect traction...

  9. #9
    The White Jeff W
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    I've been having that 'in the zone' feeling a lot lately, especially since I've pretty much gotten every inch of the local ride down now. When you dont have to think about what you're doing and can just ride it really helps with that feeling of being one with the bike. It's good
    No moss...

  10. #10
    the test dummy
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    i hear you.... thats how i have always felt riding a hard tail. when i went to a fs(tested about 30) it felt weird and more like a burden then making life easier. a hard tail just feels like a part of me
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
    -
    Ben

  11. #11
    T_E
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13
    I've been having that 'in the zone' feeling a lot lately, especially since I've pretty much gotten every inch of the local ride down now. When you dont have to think about what you're doing and can just ride it really helps with that feeling of being one with the bike. It's good
    .
    That's the time I get in trouble is when I stop thinking and get complacent.

    But then again, I don't know much.
    It's a chronic addiction

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