14 Zen Lessons Acquired from Mountain Biking

Zen and the Art of Crashing on Your Face?

1. Everything looks harder than it actually is. It is always better to look at trail features from the top than the bottom. Don’t ask me why, it’s just true.

2. When you do something right, you will make it look easy. That’s what makes it art.

3. The moment you forget what it’s like to be a beginner you will fall over for no reason, probably in front of a bunch of highschoolers. This is your reminder to be humble.

4. Sometimes the most fun things in life are not fun until later.

5. Body position and skill are more important than line choice. Or, as the old adage that I just made up goes, it’s better to make bad decisions well than to make good decisions poorly.

6. Don’t trust other people’s assessment of how difficult something is. Some people want to scare you (refer back to Point #1), and others want to reassure you. Ignore them all and listen to yourself.

7. You are stronger and more capable than you think. Cool stuff starts to happen when you push these boundaries.

8. It was never about the bike, anyway. The more time you spend coveting the newest piece of technology, the less time you spend out on your bike going fast.

9. 90% of the things people call “drops” are not actually drops. This isn’t zen wisdom at all, but somebody needed to say it.

10. Staying in the present moment will help you to avoid senseless and painful mistakes.

11. It’s better to get stitches when you need stitches. Walking around with an oozing wound doesn’t make you tough. It just makes you oozy and gross.

12. Calculated risks pay off. Gambling doesn’t.

13. Learn from the crashes you can learn from. Let the other ones go.

14. At the end of the day, it’s only riding bikes.

Syd Schulz

Pro mountain biker.

Average human.

I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.

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6 thoughts on “14 Zen Lessons Acquired from Mountain Biking

  1. Awesome blog Syd, I like your philosophy on crashes. Do you have any examples of features that people refer to as drops that actually aren’t?

  2. Syd! Every week I read your post and think, “she’s speaking to ME! How can she know my struggles this week?. We’ve never even met.”
    Goes to show that everyone has insecurities on their bike and we can not ALL suck. Thanks for once again helping me feel less alone in my fears so I can keep on rolling those drops;)

  3. Definitely almost all true about life in general. Or maybe all. Drops can stand in for crises. What most people consider a crisis is a good day to a young person who is very sick.

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