RIDE ALL THE BIKES
Written by Korey Hopkins. Photos and video by Brice Shirbach.
Fences are used to keep in or out unwanted people, animals, or other creatures. Basically, they create a boundary that you have to stay within.
The purpose of fences makes me question why I commonly hear other cyclists say they are bound to one form of cycling. At their heart, bicycles are relatively simple machines, and it is that simplicity that aids in their ability to transcend a rider seeking recreation to nirvana. For me, the diversity in riding multiple disciplines helps keep the flame bright that comes from pushing pedals. Dirt Jumping
Derived from Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics, the classic saying “what goes up, must come down” is in full effect at dirt jumps. The thrill of achieving maximum air time on dirt jumps is probably what Newton had on his mind when exploring the realms of Physics and Calculus.
Striving to get air time, followed by aiming to do it with style, is what riding dirt jumps is about from a riding standpoint. The never-ending quest for maximum air and maximum style is partly what keeps the laps in a session going. The other part of the equation is the community around the sculpted dirt. Riding with others that are equally looking to progress is a fantastic feeling. It is almost impossible not to get hyped up when someone else accomplishes their goal for the day while you watch them try over and over between your runs.Gravel
Dirt jumps are heavy metal while gravel is a mellow R&B. Just to spin and admire the scenery is a complete 180 from all that makes jumping a bike fun, but still fun in its own right. Nature is stunning. Being able to admire nature with fewer stimuli from the bike and terrain helps in connecting with the world around me.
Crashes happen. When progressing in a sport where the bike and body fight the confines of gravity, one is bound to cross the threshold of being safe and hit the ground at some point. Without the added complexities of gravity pulling you back to the ground, as is the case in dirt jumping, riding gravel is a lot easier on the body and bike. When riding a lot, saving some wear and tear on the body and the bike can save a lot of stress and money.Mountain Biking
Mountain bikes are the pinnacle of cycling for me. The east coast delivers a lot of technical challenges to conquer, making the riding extremely dynamic and rewarding. The best way to describe it is organized chaos. Whether it is the rocks aplenty or root balls that may or may not want to take your front wheel from under you, it can feel like nature (or some crazy trail builder) is working against you.
Finding the flow and rhythm in it all is the most exciting part for me. At first glance, it may seem like an almost impossible task to carry momentum through a very technical section. Still, when you make it to the other side unscathed and going faster without pedaling, the adrenaline flows freely. Timing a jump from one sketchy rock to another sketchy rock that flows as smooth as gentle ocean waves is an almost therapeutic experience.
Piecing it together
Have you ever ridden a single-speed dirt jumper up a hill to bang out more laps?
Have you ever bunny hopped potholes or pumped the backside of rollers on gravel roads?
Have you ever steezed up airtime off of a small roller in the woods?
Ride all the bikes. It’ll make you better while having fun while doing it.