While "local" is a hot buzzword it can be a bit deceiving. We love our local coffee shops, local restaurants, local bike shops, and so on. But in a truly globalized world the word local is often misleading and misunderstood. What even does local mean?
Mountain bikers are an interesting lot. We'll drive two vehicles for fours so three people can ride shuttled laps. We don't think much about loading our bikes up and hitting the road for the day. "Close" trips are anything within an hour and "reasonable" trips are anything under three hours one way. Driving and shuttling become almost as important as the ride itself and we have awesome set-ups to prove it ... Dakine truck pads, coolers full of ice for post-ride brews, and then there's the whole #vanlife crew out there with the amazing retrofits.
So when do local trails become local? What does local even mean?
It is definitely that time of the year where many of you travel greater distances and embark on epic adventures. As temps consistently warm up (speaking from the PNW point of view) and we shift into summer mode many of you with jobs that keep you close to home Monday through Friday try and eke out travels on weekends, explore greater distances on long weekends, and use hard earned vacation time to push the boundaries even farther.
It never fails. At some point on a ride deep into the forest here in the Pacific Northwest my mind begins to wander ... and then play tricks on me. Every blackened tree stump becomes a bear and sounds have a way of being amplified beneath the tree canopy. Snap. Flutter. Foot steps. Rock tumbling.
I like to think of myself as a minimalist. In today's world that is a statement full of contradictions. I type this on my MacBook Pro while listening to my pop punk Spotify playlist while drinking a $3 cup of black coffee as I communicate with friends on my iPhone. Hypocrite.
More than Monday it is today ... Tuesday ... where it begins really sinking in. The weekend is over. Monday is a jolt to the system. A shock. We're in denial. The weekend can't be over. So we fuss, fume, and post memes about Mondays and the weekend we just lost.