I first rode a mountain bike for a 70 km, mixed terrain ride. The first 30 km we rode paved bike path, but the rest was an off-road adventure. Though it wasn’t very technical, then length combined with some rough terrain made the ride a challenge.
During the first long descent, I remember being afraid to embrace the speed. But the longer I rode, the more confident I became. As my speed increased, I suddenly hit a ditch and was thrown to the ground. An instant later, my head began to throb. Fortunately, I had help and was carried off in an ambulance.
The fall left me with a black eye and a small cut near my eyebrow that required three stitches. And, after I was attended to I got back on my bike and finished the route. Although it was a complex way to begin my mountain biking journey, I knew that – despite how hard it could get – this was an activity that I would grow to love.
Now when I ride, mountain biking makes me feel alive. Nothing compares admiring nature in all its splendor, to enjoying the place that you can reach with your mountain bike, the smell of plants and trees, and listening to the singing birds in moments of total tranquility, where only the here and now matters. Mountain biking has changed my life significantly; not only has it become one of my great passions, it is my way of life.
Although at the beginning I was afraid of certain routes that included technical terrain, I have improved and am learning to control that fear. I still have much to learn, but every ride I go on is an opportunity to learn from the people I meet along the way.
One of the biggest things mountain biking has taught me about life is to get ahead despite the adversity, you have to hold onto the handlebar and continue.
I know mountain biking will lead me to discover new places, people, traditions, and help me become a part of new projects. By being chosen for the Liv Trail Squad, I have a goal to work toward: finishing the Cape Epic. Along the way, I’ll have the opportunity to improve my mountain biking skills and my fitness. But before I get there, I will first ride nearly 800 km alone from Sain Jean Pied de Port, Frace to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.