“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.” — John Muir
I feel like every month of every year is some kind of milestone. I remember the first time I rode Bent Creek like it was yesterday. It was in the heat of the summer- me, my brother, Stephen Janes, and Tom Van Devender. Brian and I drove up from Blountville one Saturday morning in 2012 (at least I think it was 2012). I remember walking up some pretty legit climbs. I mean, I had been riding for a couple months, so everything met ‘legit standards’. I can remember getting mad because it was so hard.
I wasn’t used to being mediocre at a sport. I’m not sorry for that, either.
One day I reached a point where I needed to take it to the next level. I had built a skill level that enabled me to do things I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Mountain biking has a way of bringing every single thing in your life into a perspective you never dreamed of. It doesn’t compare to any other discipline. It has a different skill set than road riding, and it approaches your senses in a different way than cyclocross. There’s just something that draws you in. Even if you leave it for a while, it ALWAYS welcomes you back.
The last couple months have shown me what I’m capable of, both mentally and physically. I just never saw myself in Pisgah. I was always too scared and intimidated, and worried that no one would put up with someone who got off her bike more than she rode it. So, I jumped in head first on New Years Day. My first REAL Pisgah ride and the world’s biggest reality check. Damn. This was no joke.
I managed to survive 4 months of long days in the saddle, in the most beautiful place I’ve ever had the pleasure of suffering to. I have never been more in awe of the places a bicycle can take you. I have never been more scared on a bike. I’ve never felt a sense of accomplishment like I have in Pisgah. Always rewarding to come home and lay on the couch because I simply can’t be bothered with moving my legs.
6 days until PMBAR. Until then my friends.