Travel is the very best part of mountain biking. A bike is a vehicle, and a vehicle is a device for travel. A bike is not a shiny status symbol, or a false god to worship, or even the topic of a new forum thread. It is a utilitarian vehicle. The most efficient machine man had ever designed. The mountain bike takes that utilitarianism and adds a healthy dose of spices so you can have a fun curry wherever and whenever.
There is an endless list of places to go and to not feel the constant pull towards these places is something I cannot fathom.
Isabelle Eberhardt puts it better than I can when she wrote,
Not to feel the torturing need to know and see for oneself what is there, beyond the mysterious blue wall of the horizon, not to find the arrangements of life monotonous and depressing, to look at the white road leading off into the unknown distance without feeling the imperious necessity of giving in to it and following it obediently across mountains and valleys! The cowardly belief that a man must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness.
The act of traveling is the means and the ends. Going fast rules and getting to that post ride beer is a pleasure, but what counts is the minutes or hours between pulling that bike out to putting it away. Each ride and every ride is a chance to travel. Whether you are on that dream trip to a mecca, or the ride to work. Whether you are tracking a virgin route, or in the local hills of your most cherished mid week loop, the fact that you will see sights that so many will never see is reason enough not to hate.
Mountain biking is pure traveling. Even if you travel no further than the woods at the bottom of your garden you are exploring and seeing things that you perhaps wouldn’t otherwise. Every ride is an adventure even if you don’t take the road less traveled. You can ride the same trail over and over again and each time you may experience something new. Be it the pulsing contentment of nailing that tricky line for the first time or every time, or tasting the acrid tang of blood when it all goes astray, getting beat by the trail or beating yourself when you give up and walk that last bit of climb. Anyway the trail takes you learn a little more about the within and the surround.