12 Things I Learned From Mountain Biking

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Sport is often used as a metaphor for life. In my experience, sports – both individual and team – have provided me with countless lessons that parlay neatly into other areas of my personal and professional life.

Take mountain biking, for instance. Any mountain biker will tell you that hovering above two wheels and a chain is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy God’s glorious creation. The camaraderie, the sights, smells, sounds and rush of air as you whisk through the woods are hard to top and it is always wonderful to see how extensively the mountain biking community contributes to sustainable environmental practices in the design, use and upkeep of its designated trails.

I’ve only been mountain biking for a short time, but it would take me weeks to describe how much I’ve learned while navigating hills, rivers, roots, rocks, climbs, descents and more with my friends. Here are but a few lessons that I hope will serve you in your life:

  1. Progress lies in being bold.
  2. Look as far ahead as possible, especially when the going gets rough.
  3. Absorb the bumps you meet along the way. Explore your resilience.
  4. The greatest thrills and most satisfying moments are often hidden in the outer folds of your personal envelope.
  5. Your full attention matters.
  6. Postponing little decisions is the root cause of most emergencies.
  7. Even in a race it is you against yourself.
  8. Pick your line and give it all you’ve got. Hesitation cometh before a fall.
  9. You can smell the roses even when you’re lying in a rose bush.
  10. If you’ve fallen on a rose bush, get out as quickly and as carefully as possible. Don’t wallow in misfortune. Reach out for helping hands.
  11. Energy is everywhere. Pay as much attention to the back side of every log, rock and hill as you do the front.
  12. If safety were put first, you’d never leave the parking lot for the trailhead.

5 thoughts on “12 Things I Learned From Mountain Biking

  • Having barely biked as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed your description of the merits of it! I’ll bet most hobbies when analyzed probably have a series of takeaways and provide a microcosm for life lessons. That’s a facinating exercise in itself. I think the last one would be my challenge as those powerful words of the commercial echo in my brain, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Great post, thanks.

  • Great list Gregg!
    #9 is my favorite, perhaps because I’ve found myself there all too often and sometimes there is not much more you can do then smell the roses…but don’t delay, take a hand and get up cause while roses smell nice the thorns with them HURT.
    see you on the trail ~

  • This list could fill a book about leadership or how to run a business successfully. I know that I will recommend to my managers that they share this list with their people in the continuing effort to assist them in finding the greatness that is within their reach. I might substitute “fear of failure” in the last point but overall, a great list and thanks for sharing with us Gregg.

  • This list captures so much of what it means to have an intensely healthy outlook in life. I mean, life on a fast moving trail full of obstacles is life period, no question about it! Life demands the best out of us, and encourages us to keep giving our best every single day, where today’s best needs to be better than yesterdays yet shouldn’t be as good as tomorrow’s.

    Dedication, effort, courage, single-mindedness, vigilance, spirited, releasing self-importance – qualities to make for a heck of an awesome day in my book!

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