Mountain biking is exciting for 3 primary reasons:

  1. The amount and variety of landscape and nature one can experience in a single ride is unmatched by any other sport.
  2. The sensation of speed through the trees and grass and fresh air as they form a tunnel around you and the blur of dirt beneath your bike.
  3. Virtually constant surprise at what your body and skills make you capable of riding over and through.

But it’s easy to forget what all of this feels like in the fog of “real life,” the life lived off the bike, and as a result, “psyching in” (as opposed to psyching out) is as integral to every ride as pedaling.  Whether it’s reaching the decision to set everything aside and head out for a ride, or during the split second of not seeing an obvious line through a rocky drop-off while you’re speeding toward it, each pedal stroke is an act of faith that you will be excited by riding again.  And after you’ve started the ride and cleared the section you thought maybe you wouldn’t and worked through all of the other temptations to psych out, your mind begins to quiet and starts to look for Flow.

And it’s precisely in this mindset where excitement becomes enjoyment.