Why I Don’t Ride ‘The Local’
Riding bikes is fun. For the most part, riding at trail centres with mates is more than enough for me. I’m not a professional, nor am I trying to be. I just like riding my bike, taking photos and writing about it. For me, that’s all part of the fun. I don’t need crazy trails with huge gaps to have a laugh and, quite frankly, they’re above my skill level anyway. I don’t have a local riding spot per se; instead it’s half an hour (or more) from me for some mountain biking goodness. If I’m thinking local then the gravel bike comes out… but this isn’t about that.
There does come a point, however, when I’ve simply had enough of the same trails week in and week out. The waymarked trails at Dalby get a bad rap from me but that’s mostly because I’ve ridden them more times than I’d care to count. The trails aren’t actually that bad at all. Sure, they’re a little pedally but not absolutely horribly so. It’s just that the over-riding of them has meant that I’ve actually got a bit bored of them. There’s no longer a sense of adventure by riding them. That’s why finding new trails is so exciting. Discovering that little section that, until just now, has been off my radar feels like I’ve discovered something new. I know that it’s been built and ridden by loads of other folks before I’ve clumsily stumbled across it, but it doesn’t feel like that.
Last weekend was a perfect example of that. Riding with Rich and Will along some of the off-piste offerings at Dalby already felt like it was a bit of an adventure. There were some trails I knew, some I’d ridden but forgotten all about, and some entirely different ones that I’d not ever set rubber on before. That mix keeps it fresh. It’s the feeling of challenge by riding something new but also the sense of adventure by ‘discovering’ something.
It got even better as the day progressed and we stumbled across a whole new section that I had no idea was there. Since the felling a year or two ago, I knew the trails in that area had been destroyed. What I didn’t know is that there are some new ones which have popped up. Stumbling across those provided that smack of adventure and gave us something new to session and get some photos on. Rich snapped away to get some shots before we rotated and I captured a few of him. We all rode out of that little section with grins after all riding something we’d not found before.
I don’t ride ‘a local’ ‘because that would be the same set of trails. For me, new routes are fun. Sure, I’ll still ride the same places with mates and have a laugh but the proper joy is when riding something brand new with mates.
All photos used within this piece taken by Rich Bennett.