(Last Updated On: June 9, 2010)
I’ve been catching a little bit of flack from my friends lately, wondering why I’m still skiing and not on my bike yet. The truth is that right now, riding a bike doesn’t seem that interesting to me. I’ve been trying to figure out why getting up at 3am to ski dirty sticky snow is somehow more appealing than riding a bike in the sunshine, and I think I’ve got it figured out. It’s all about The Line.
Hopefully some of you took the time to read and watch Brittany’s recent post about Reinhold Messner. In the video, Reinhold talks about seeing a line on a mountain, and then being able to make it a reality. What only exists in his imagination will be made into reality once he climbs the route. This works in the same way for skiing, whether it’s a gnarly route with rappels from one snow patch connecting to another or a big mellow bowl. A skier can look back and admire the tracks they’ve laid- big turns, little turns, a slash on a wind lip, a slarve turn on a spine- a skier’s tracks are their personal signature, their artwork.
Compare that to mountain biking, where the goal is simply to follow the trail. To be sure, there are always slight variations between riders’ lines on singletrack, but we’re talking about a difference of inches. The only person who invents a trail in their head and then makes it a reality is the trailbuilder- every subsequent rider is simply following someone else’s dream. Not only that, but most trails aren’t the result of just one person’s vision, but are more likely the result of a few people building a trail within the confines of land managers and all the other hoops one must go through to make a trail. In fact, most trails were probably just a deer or cow trail at one time, all us bikers are just following some dumb cow’s vision.
Anyway, I’ll probably love the bike again in a couple of weeks. Thanks to The Line, though, I’ll always prefer skiing. Maybe I just need some new gear: Spring 2010 Gear Guide – The Best And Burliest New Mountain Bikes, Apparel & Accessories At HucknRoll.com. Valid While Supplies Last.