For many, coffee is a utilitarian substance in the same manner as gasoline is for our cars. Both are meant to provide fuel and as far as associations that is the beginning and the end of it. Sure, depending on the type of engine we have, it may necessitate a higher grade fuel. But it is still fuel. Why is coffee viewed that way?
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Life has a way of throwing curves at you. Most often these unintended intrusions end up being enormous shaping influences on our lives. An illness … cancer … a disability … a job loss. These are all pivotal moments in our lives. As we emerge from them we’re simply not the same. No longer can we view life and the world around us the same way. The same goes for me, mountain biking, and sustainability.
I love food. I am food-motivated. Who isn't? Often times I find myself out on a ride and in my mind I'm already planning where to stop afterwards to get a bite to eat. When I'm lost in thought thinking of burritos is usually when I clip my pedal on a rock and take a tumble. But that hasn't stopped me from daydreaming about post-ride food. Besides, there's nothing more rewarding after a day out on the trail than to stop out some local eatery and replenish those "lost calories."
I've learned to mix up my routine (keep in mind I don't abandon a routine) throughout the year. Seasons seem to be the best times to do so. Summer and fall find me spending more time out on the trails while the wet winters and springs find me spending more time on my gravel bike and climbing hills. I find that unless I mix it up like this I'll get dreadfully bored with mountain biking. (GASP!)
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 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.