Mountain biking expert Patrick Nolan.

M Expert – A reason to ride

Patrick Nolan invites us to discover the outdoors on two wheels

Pull into the parking lot and cut the engine.

Unload your mountain bike from the rack, box, roof or whatever you fastened it to. Don your riding kit, or maybe you drove in it – keener.

Hop onto your bike with your friends, your kids, your dog, all of them, or just solo. Feel the handle bars respond to your slightest touch as you head into the forested canopy. The combined scents of fresh rain, wet dirt, and sweet decay wash up and into your nostrils as your breath quickens. The climb is daunting, roots and rocks are strewn closely about. Your rear wheel slips but you manage to keep the bike on course.

Your hamstrings and quads are starting to warm up, maybe they’re already burning. Surmounting the crest of the climb you ease up and recover yourself—breathe, breathe, I’m breathing.

Accompanying you on your ride are ravens, crows, eagles, sea gulls and the odd owl. They watch you as you trace your way through the winding trails, their calls echoing around you. Now you’re descending, the trees start to blur together, things are fast and loose, your focused on nothing but the moment now, hang on.

I want to emphasize that mountain biking is for everyone. It’s a sport you can pick up at any point in your life; furthermore, it’s the ultimate challenge by choice activity. Meaning you determine the kind of riding experience you want by selecting the trails best suited to your abilities. Hartland mountain bike park is a good place to start, but the Southern Island is full of riding areas to explore.

See the South Island Mountain Bike Society’s website for local riding resources, simbs.com.

Find a bike, explore, challenge yourself, and rediscover your love for two wheels.

Patrick Nolan is a mountain bike instructor, guide and owner of Nolan Riding.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Three Nanaimo-area writers up for CBC non-fiction prize

Sheila Brooke, Vicki McLeod and Rachael Preston make 35-person longlist

Resident Alien returns to Ladysmith for filming in early October

New SyFy series back after spring filming interrupted by COVID-19

Most Read