A Line In The Dirt: Finding Forward

Photos by Ian Hylands

“Both energies are always available to us at any given moment, fear… love/forward are always and endlessly available to us. Both sides simultaneously exist at every moment, the battle is, to choose. It is life’s battle, to choose.” – Chet Peach

Hi again, Troy here, writing in “one take” on my back porch in Fruita, Colorado, for edition three of my trail thoughts put into life words. Look at that quote above; it’s the truth, whether you’re riding a road bike into a scary switchback or about to send that jump that you have always been afraid of. It is the truth of life that is always “just right there.” Question is, can we choose it, can we actually go there, do we have the courage to choose it. Even more, if we did, how do we get there?

Recently I saw an example that resonated in my heart as a “life truth” expressed to me over the handlebars of my beloved mountain bike. It reminded me of something deeply true that seemed a guiding force in every other area of my life, from business to being in love, everything comes back to this truth; Can we choose forward or do we cringe back and shy away from the opportunity we have always hoped we would someday do? If we wanted to know this mystery of “how we get there”, how we choose, how we find magical powerful forward in our lives for me, I ask the doctor.

You might say, “Doctor should be capitalized”, but wait, this doctor is a trail near Almont, Colorado, and its advice rings true.

The 2021 OTE 3 Day event in Buena Vista Colorado hosted by The Buena Vista Bike Co. and Push & Pull tavern C0-owner of both is author and former pro racer Joe Parkin, shown here.

We had all been riding together for three days during a gathering in Buena Vista, Colorado, at the Push & Pull tavern. We rode bikes and shared mutual energies and ideas about the bike industry. I call them “3 Days”, it’s just a bunch of really fast folks riding bikes, eating waffles and sharing a love of the stated bike industry. By Sunday’s ride of the famous Doctors Park Trail I had become comfortable with my fourth place-ish starting order. I ride pretty well and have been playing on said trail for half my life but ya gotta know when you’re just not the fastest kid in the group. I saw that and I waited for my proper place in the pecking order every time we re-launched from our social interludes. Here’s what I saw that ties this all together: through the course of this whole weekend this magical gateway into being able to choose. It became obvious to me that when I tried to keep up it pulled me out of my mental posture. Follow me here. As my mind saw them as “faster than me” and reacted with “I should try to keep up”, this energy is not forward, instead putting my head  on the defense and getting ahead of itself, or behind, as I try to “ride better” and “push myself” to keep pace … basically it was making me ride like a shit-show and my signature line selection gave way to pummeling my Knolly through rock gardens amidst all the other myopic reactions of fear based energy. Vision closed, arms tense, about to eat shit royally or …  just back off.  I saw myself trying to overcome this and manage myself and my riding, I saw it causing a clutter in myself.

As my headspace and my riding returned to my own styley lines and “sick whips” off rocks over rock gardens instead of defensively bashing through I saw myself return to forward in my headspace, to find my flow, to actually be free. My eyes saw the sickest lines, like a tail whip into a right turn down a rocky, rutted chute. But the dirt over far side was way better, I did a little “mid air turn” and landed across in the good soil nearly in a stoppie from my perfect brakes to a beautiful reverse crossing and an S-berm left out the bottom at rocket speed. As my internal game of riding this way was finding itself in a “next level” calm and flow. What do I see in the trees ahead? Helmets, my friends, those guys who frickin’ RIP! I saw the truth immediately, that my battle with this oppressive dark energy of preventative life is revealed to me in my riding of a mountain bike. It is not to overcome, it is not to “be better” and it is certainly not backing off because your terrified. Fast is in peace, peace is from you, peace is not found in the battle. Peace is found in going back to the truest voice of you. Pinning your life there, pinning your line selection there. I suggest we allow ourselves to slow down, to take our time, to give ourselves a break. But see this truth. What you always wished for or loved about your life is the movements such as these. The backflipping off a canyon, the allowance of yourself to take your fingers off your brake levers as you roll in. To dare to choose, to dare to love and to catch up to your friend in a switchback and say, “sick right?” The Doctor said ,“quit fixing, quit fighting, quit trying. Just see, say honestly and frickin’ “send it.” If we choose to live there, to love there, to allow ourselves to feel that peace in our scary moments, that is is change to your way of seeing, your premise of “true true” and I’m telling you. It does wonders for your riding.

Relax and don’t over reach, just find your style, your speed, your way of seeing the trail. Relax until your riding is not preventative of a crash but rather looking at those rock gardens as a canvas with an opportunity to express art. We choose to dismiss fear as a basis of our life planning. We get forward, we feel peace and we see wonderful opportunity to express that beauty in a physical movement of our own imagination. I’s free, it’s fast, its love and I choose it as my forward.

Get forward, your power and agility are in your front wheel.

Til next time, love ya.

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