Restoring Sanity Through Mountain Biking

McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Awesome views, good times - McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

It’s all too easy for me to feel like the world is headed toward becoming one nasty place.

People on both sides of the political spectrum squawk constantly, demonizing and dehumanizing each other. The only social currency seems to be bad TV shows. Average waistlines expand to the point where people are starting to have their own gravitational pull. Corporations funnel money to the richest, leaving the rest of us behind in servitude.

It all makes me want to get on a plane to New Zealand and never come back.

And a lot of times, I can’t even count on my fellow mountain bikers to make it much better.

They put their earbuds in and isolate themselves in another world. Other bikers don’t even seem to register, even if I smile and say hello. Which I do. Because that’s what mountain bikers are supposed to do.

That’s all a petri dish for bad juju.

Then I have rides like today’s. I’m out there in 70 degree weather on a fast, flowing trail.

Before I know it, my GPS tells me I’ve ridden 35 miles. My legs still feel good, but the thick coat of grit my chain has attracted makes my bike plead “no mas!”

Then I pass two other riders. They’re off to the side of the trail, shooting the bull and enjoying the view of the Superstition Mountains, a volcanic caldera from a supervolcano complex that last erupted about 15 million years ago.

Another shot of McDowell Regional Park, with Four Peaks in the background.

I give a quick “what’s up, guys”” as I pass.

Both respond with a very genuine and friendly greeting. I can’t even remember the words. But the meaning was plain: We’re just excited to be out here today as you are, and we’re glad you’re here, too.

Great trails. Spectacular scenery. Other people who love riding ’em as much as I do. An unstoppable feeling of physical and mental wellness.


That makes it easier to get through the crap that can plug the toilet of everyday life.

This post just might contain affiliate links. Fear not, they’re non-spammy and benign. Hey, I have to keep this thing running somehow!

By Wandering Justin

Writer. Traveler. Gastronomic daredevil. Fitness fan. Homebrewer. Metal dude \m/. Cat and dog lover.

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