Women and Mountain Biking
by LINDSEY VOREIS
Life lessons you can learn from a bike
My Mountain Biking Philosophy
Mountain Biking is challenging, frustrating, exciting, and rewarding. It is a sport that reveals a person’s true character and I wish more women would experience what it can do for their lives.
It requires intention, focus and perseverance, and most importantly, belief in oneself. Lessons learned from the bike have changed my life and I hope by imparting those lessons to other women I can change theirs too.
How My Bike Grounded Me
Life is full of challenges, and realizing who we are to our full potential can be a long journey.
Throughout my journey, the way I felt while riding my bike became a cornerstone around which I could anchor my life when I felt lost or alone. When I met my future husband, a professional mountain biker, I suddenly lost my cornerstone because I was intimidated to ride with him and his world-class friends. After a few bloody and embarrassing crashes and many temper tantrums, I sadly put the bike in the stable for a few years.
However, once I let go of my ego and faced my fears, my bike taught me how to be a stronger more confident person, and it has brought the most amazing people, adventures and happiness into my life.
Along the path to become a better mountain biker (which will never end), I began relating my struggles in mountain biking to my struggles in life. I found beautiful symmetry that allowed me to see myself more clearly and grow as a rider and a person. My passion to teach what I’ve learned runs deep.
I recently ran into a male friend out on a ride with his wife who is new to mountain biking. Knowing her fairly well, I offered to take her out sometime and show her a few things. She jokingly replied,
“It’s hard to imagine I need a lesson on how to ride a bike.”
Mountain biking is an enlightening sport. It is more than “just riding a bike.” It challenges your fears in ways that mirror life and provides opportunities to face those fears and overcome them. It’s a sport that can help you gain overall confidence in yourself by discovering you are capable of much more than you imagined.
And so begins my mission: Change women’s lives with two wheels and some dirt.
Six Ways Mountain Biking is Like Life
I am continually finding metaphors between mountain biking and life. I believe each challenge you face on a bike can be related to life and ultimately overcome through practice and the understanding of what the bike and the trail need from you, and what you need from them. It’s a partnership.
1. Some obstacles you should go around; for others, learn how to power through
2. Seek first to understand your crashes, then you can learn from your scars
3. Keep the momentum moving forward, especially when the trail gets tough
4. Your bike is light, don’t make it heavy
5. Look ahead and pick your line with care and confidence
6. Persevere; get up when you fall down
Thanks for reading: NEW CHRONICLES COMING SOON… GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!
Editors Note: Lindsey Voreis has raced mountain bikes since 1996 and currently handles the business end of The Allride Tour. She also guides mountain bike adventures for Cog Wild Bike Tours, and teaches at women’s clinics all over North America as a certified instructor. And, she survived CBS’s Survivor: Africa in 2001.
Mountain biking is a total mind-body-spirit connection unlike anything else. It can be a vehicle for positive change in your life if you accept the lessons taught by the bike and the trails you ride on.