A Mountain Biker’s Illustrated Thoughts in 'Daydreaming'

Jan 24, 2021
by Anders  

Coming down the track with crowds roaring and chainsaws howling, I know its a good one. I can feel it. Through the loudspeakers, I hear Warner going ‘Look...At...The.....Time ‘ when I cross the finish line. Cameras flashing and the team running towards me. It´s clearly a run for the history books.
But the fact is that there is no line to cross or time to be had. I have actually never entered a race in my whole life.

Looking around me I´m alone at my local trails on a beautiful fall day. I notice that the rainbow stripes on my jersey are in fact lines of snot from my daughter's runny nose resting on my shoulder on our way do daycare this morning. No crowds or race. It´s all in my mind.

The constant imagination of my youth never really left me, it has been (and still is) my constant companion. It exists in all parts of my life, but it really excels when it comes to riding bikes. I think about it all the time. It´s like a fog rolling in out of nowhere to catch a fisherman unaware. Only the fisherman is me and the ocean is actually the morning meeting at work where I´m supposed to look alive and contribute with clever ideas and insight. Instead, I´m far away at some trail shralping turns, looking at mountain views and generally being a way better version of myself than in real life.

Imaginary crowds cheering beside a world cup course that isn´t really a world cup course at all.

I wish I could say that it only hits me when I´m bored but there is no escape. You will regularly catch me with a frustrated look as you just took a piece of butter from the buttercup and completely ruined the close to perfect step-up feature I´ve shaped in it. It links perfectly with the position of the bread that makes a cool wallride and completes an entire slopestyle course at our breakfast table. How is anyone supposed to complete a perfect run if you people keep destroying the course?

The breakfast table turned into a slopestyle course by the oldest kid on the block.

The breakfast situation is obviously a drag for the rest of the family, but not exactly a danger to anyone's health. This, however, is the case when I´m commuting on my road bike. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself gazing to the sides of the road imagining possible trails and features on the side of the road only to be abruptly interrupted by someones tail lights coming up way quicker than what is recommended. After a near-collision is neatly avoided I give myself a mental slap in the face and refocus. Only to see another insane looking tree in a park that could easily be built into this roll in that would then drop off to another tail light...Wait, what? Taillights!

The absent mind takes flight...
...a millisecond before face potentially meets rear window

If this phenomenon seems a little immature and crazy, you are not wrong. Sometimes it´s probably more than a little crazy. But the thing is, I love what it´s doing to me. I wish that my interest in bikes could amount to 100 per cent riding but the reality is quite different. My drifting mind allows me to live my passion even when the next ride is pretty far away.

So maybe it is a bit crazy and immature. This is still a low price to pay in comparison to what this state of mind gives back. To me and many fellow riders, every stone in the woods could be a fun session. A fallen tree in the woods could be an opportunity. Memories of riding are stored close to heart and mind rewarding us long after they have ended. Conversely, our future rides reward us in our daydreams long before they have even started.

For more illustrations and stories check out @trailanthems on instagram


  • 30 0
 Love this!!!! Beautifully expressed and so like me too lol
  • 13 0
 Ever since I was a kid I can vividly remember daydreaming out the car window as we went down the road about cool lines.... Brrrrrap!
  • 9 0
 I have found, just like horses bike are very hard to draw, props to this guy.
  • 3 0
 they are very simple which makes them very easy to screw up.
  • 2 0
 @NivlacEloop @joshfrandsen I completely agree, horses and bikes are a bit of a pain!
  • 4 0
 No way! Horses are dead easy, bikes are impossible.The geometry is so specific and the wheels are so...circular. Hopefully. LOL.
  • 5 0
 "I notice that the rainbow stripes on my jersey are in fact lines of snot from my daughter's runny nose resting on my shoulder" This line resonates with me. For me, out on the trail, looking at the rolling hills gives me time to reflect on life. Taking in and enjoying every rock, bump, burm, or jump. Dreaming of the day me and her climbing to the top and enjoying the sunrise together.
  • 1 0
 @splzed Couldn´t agree more!
  • 3 0
 Great recognition!!
Ever since kids age when I only rode a BMX in the woods/backyard I have been using imagening going thru my favorite trails (in detail) when going to sleep, and still does... Best bedtime story Smile
  • 3 1
 Very impressive and beautiful artwork. Keep it up. This artist should be able to command very livable commissions for this caliber of artwork and hopefully the bike industry will agree and be willing to purchase and decorate their facilities with artwork like this.
  • 1 0
 Stoked to hear this, thank you so much! Very grateful towards Pinkbike for putting this up on the main page!
  • 1 0
 @ritaranders: You're most welcome. You should be recognized for your talent.
  • 2 0
 I love the brain picture. Then I noticed its flying backwards. But then again, I've never seen a brain attached to a mini helicopter flying by. Maybe they know something we don't.
  • 2 0
 Every time I pass a mountain with rock's on it. I day dream building a trail there. when my girlfriend and kids see my face light up.. and they said we know dad you want to build a trail their..lol
  • 4 1
 I like the clarity of your illustrations and words. Proliferate! Here I glimpse a best version of your self in real life.
  • 3 0
 @landscapeben Thanks Bud, glad I´m not alone!
  • 2 0
 My friend has an iron plate on his face from hitting a car’s rear window. (Yes he is a roadie)
  • 2 0
 Awesome stuff!! You can catch me daydreaming about mtb at work all the time
  • 2 0
 Fint skrivet Anders, och bra ritat som alltid!!
  • 1 0
 @billysrides Tusen tack!
  • 2 0
 Beautiful work- keep it up. Love seeing this sort of bike art
  • 1 0
 This is rad. Relatable concept, and there is so much motion and texture and depth in those sketchy shading lines.
  • 2 1
 Very cool illustrations. Nicely done.
  • 2 1
 Love the artstyle
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