Great exercise, stress relief, excitement of setting goals and trying to attain them. Sheer fun of almost killing yourself and saying whoa...that was cool. Improving and being able to do things you weren't able to earlier. And I'm a little competitive just to boot. So it helps that crave...
Oh and I almost forgot. The fun of traveling to new places, meeting new people, and getting to see new scenery - that's also my favorite!
I ride because I love the being on the trails and I wanted some interesting exercise. Running is work for me - it doesn't engage me enough to stay interesting. Riding engages me completely - requires strength, endurance, agility, and focus. It lets me get the woohoo feeling of being 10 again and accomplishing something new and cool. I love the sights, the different character and terrain of different trails.
It burns lots of stress and keeps me from being a hair trigger.
I like tinkering with stuff (incorrigible hobbyist) and biking allows lots of tinkering.
Its funny that I started for exercise - now I try to jog and lift between rides to be a better rider.
I like the comaraderie (albeit smartass, self-righteous, and sarcastic) of fellow riders. I fit right in.
It is the coolest, most all encompassing, engrossing thing I've ever done.
I started riding when I had a completely stress overload job and started to get chest pains.
started to ride on the road and found after the first 10 or so miles the urge to choke the living $h!t out of people went away.
flash forward 8 or so years and it still seems to work but now I have found an interesting group of folks to ride with...like I heard someone say once " even a bad ride beats a good day at work..."
thats my story and I am sticking to it....now how do I get a T-shirt
Something happened when I first learned how to ride w/out training wheels - I remember that day still.
I then got into BMX - racing and freestyle. The feeling being on a gate w/ 7 other riders then hearing "Riders Ready..." Getting a good snap. Or trying again and again and again to get a trick or move. Then finally getting it.
Then there is mtn biking. Just being in the woods. Hating the climbs but testing your lungs and legs, loving the tech parts and descents but testing your skill. Getting lost, putting together trails, looking for flowy stuff at new spots or knowing where every stone and branch and hidden "popper" are at your local zone. Following a pack and riding way too fast or getting blown away and hanging on barely.
DH with the climbs taken out with a lift but your heart is beating even faster 'cause of the stress of taking the right line at such speed. Being all padded up w/ a full face. Stressing about a drop or jump then finally trying it.
Even on road with the cars and runners and kids and other bikers. The simplicity of it made better with a single gear. Just pedaling. Not my favorite but it can certainly be fun.
Then there are the dirt jump or "trails". Something about it for me - since I built my first tabletop back when I was 10. Building and shaping things out of dirt. Looking to make the perfect line. It's the most fun yet most fustrating type of riding. Nothing like getting to your spot and it's messed up by heavy rains or even worse some punk kids. 3 hours shaping a lip (not including piling the dirt) and it needs a rebuild. But getting a line running good....holy shiit. Not to mention jams with a few or more of your friends. Or being able to ride secret spots that have the best lines you could imagine.
All of the above does something to me. Why do I ride? I try to find that something again and again.
I ride for that feeling. It is apparently many things to many people, but the feeling is the same at its most basic level. Freedom, adrenaline, independence, thoughtless bliss, flow, belligerence (ok maybe all dont feel one, but I do sometimes and embrace it) and general happiness.
The way we all want to feel about every single thing we do but can’t seem to reproduce it unless we are pedaling.
As a teen, it was the place where I got to escape and make my own reality and find out who I really was, on my terms, in my way.
Today, it's the only place in my life where I am free to think about nothing else and nobody else. Taking the next breath. Breaking a seemingly simple movement into all the little muscle groups that make it up and singularly focusing, working and developing them one by one.
I find solace and solitude.
It's the place where I realize fully that in all things, I am limited only by the limits I put on myself and every day I have the opportunity to tear down my boundaries and move beyond them.
Because I have the chance to beat the snot out of the boys.
The ideal place to invest my energy, optimism, and passion. It's fun, healthy and I meet nice people. It's often a rather special and intangible place to be. Located somewhere that's made of nowhere. And contentment too.