Mountain biking has become both the most terrifying and most rewarding form of exercise for me. Racing Triathlon in college meant the world of jagged rocks, steep descents, wheelies and jumps seemed alien. I started mountain biking as a new way to explore the many trail systems SLO (San Luis Obispo) has to offer, but found myself gravitating toward the sport’s more active attention requirements. Every split-second decision on a technical descent counts toward staying upright, sometimes a mistake could mean a serious injury. This quick-thinking prompts active engagement and more technique than I thought before entering the sport. Be it cornering on sharp berms, maneuvering rock gardens or exploding into jumps I have become entranced with body positioning, core engagement and commitment to a line.
Whereas I thought the sport was only for daredevils, the community has been incredibly welcoming and the ride is only as dangerous as one wants it to be. Riders are supportive and helpful offering tips when prompted but never come across as preachy or condescending. Maybe SLO is a bubble in this regard but one of America’s happiest cities continues to show positivity and encouragement for those of us new to the sport.
In this vain, the activity of Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) is truly inspirational as they coordinate dozens of civilian volunteers to maintain and improve the vast trail systems of SLO county. The biggest event of the year is happening on super bowl Sunday, February 11th (before the game of course) at Montana De Oro starting around 8am. I will be there setting up tents handing out shirts and organizing volunteers. If you would like to join, sign up for said event here or donate to help maintain all the vibrant trails of the Central Coast.