Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adventure: Are You Seeking It, Or Hiding From It?

Recently I was on Facebook and saw a post by someone that was musing on "what had happened to the adventure in mountain biking". The Facebook link was getting a lot of great comments. First, about how many felt the author wasn't getting it about "adventure", was being grouchy about the "new school" riders, or how we are actually living in the "golden age" of adventure cycling, and that it never has been better.

I say phooey to all of the above.

The Author On An Adventure Last Winter
Let's back up a minute. Here's a definition of "adventure" for ya....

adventure: –noun
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2.participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3.a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
I will assume that if you come here often, you already know what the term "cycling" means. 
So, as I read the article about "what ever happened to the adventure of mountain biking?" I read how the author grouses about terminologies, definitions, and segregation of the mountain biking community and what this has done to the spirit of "adventure" in mountain biking today.  

The Author On T.I.V7 Recon- Always An Adventure!

 Holy Cow! How about we just ride our bikes, have "exciting and unusual experiences", which may be "risky", and of which "we don't always know the outcome of"? (Thus qualifying for the term "adventure cycling"- get it?) 
I don't know about you, but I have no idea what I am going to find, experience, or whether or not I'll have a good, bad, or in between outcome most of the times I ride. 
Yes, really. You know why? Because I expect to find adventure anytime I am riding. If I didn't, I wouldn't ride my bicycle. Sure, you might think riding groomed trails, gravel roads, or commuting might be dull. You might think you could guess with regularity what the outcome of my rides are. But I say, you haven't a clue, pal. Not at all. 
 I have another way of knowing when I am having adventures, and that they are exciting, risky, and that I don't know exactly know how they will turn out while I am having them. It's when Mrs. Guitar Ted thinks about my riding, which drives her nuts some times. Must be risky looking to her, and she doesn't like not knowing the outcome of my "adventures", and especially that I can't tell her what it will be.

My "adventure vehicle" at The Renegade Gents Race
 I don't think "definitions" for your riding or mine preclude you or I from having "adventures". I don't think where we ride precludes us from having "adventures". I do think your attitude, and your expectations can limit your "adventures" though. And in some cases, a lot of folks actually shun adventure. 
You decide what an "adventure" is on your bicycle. If you were "excited", felt as though you were "taking risks", and if you weren't sure of the outcome, (and really, can we ever be sure of the outcome in life, much less cycling?), then you had an adventure, be it on a mountain bike, a tricycle, or yes, even a recumbent on RAGBRAI. 
So, whatever happened to the adventure in mountain biking? Easy. It is alive and well in the hearts and souls of those who seek it. It sure ain't limited by someone's definitions, where you ride, or  whatever. 
Go ride a bike and have your own adventure now, while you are thinking about it! See if I am wrong.... 


Ben said...


Charlie Farrow said...

Bravo GT...There are so many adventures available all around us in many varied flavors and sizes...Too me an adventure must include some aspect of an unknown outcome. A misadventure is when lotz of stuff goes wrong and those are fun too!
Best regards,

mw said...

we adventured over to the mighty mo on sunday...and i had a raging hangover...it was an adventure on bike and in my mind!!!

MICHAEL said...

True Dat.

Yeti said...

Couldn't agree more. Adventure is alive and well in mountain biking.

Chad Q said...

Very well put GT !!

MG said...

LOL... Amen. Game on!

MG said...

... and I was with mw on that ride sunday! Talk about an adventure... It was rad!

don said...

just got back from a bike/hike adventure from the end of the kougarok rd to serpentine hot springs in nome,ak. 74 miles of tundra riding/hiking, no roads only tractor trails and marsh. life is what you make it, even an old guy can do it. make your fun

Rat said...

Thank you, GT! People look at me funny when I say I love riding my bike, but barely ever get to the trails. Commuting around the city is a blast if you just chill out and enjoy it!

Keep rolling with that positive attitude!