Monday, February 27, 2017

Home Court Advantage

If you're anything like me, you spend an embarrassing amount of time on Pinkbike aching to ride the incredible trails that are featured day after day in photos, videos, and articles. But, if you're like me then you also don't have the privilege of living in one of the world's mountain biking meccas. I am not complaining. Growing up in Utah and now living in Arizona I've had access to top notch trails for most of my life and I've been lucky enough to take some trips including unforgettable outings to Moab, Virgin, and BC. 

But my closest trails, the ones I can hit for a quick ride after work before the sun goes down, they've never been on the front page of any magazine. No teams circle them on the map when they decide where to spend their marketing budget shooting a video. Heck, I'd be surprised if any rider has ever driven more than an hour just to ride these trails. They are too wide and too sanitized. There are no jumps. All the corners are off camber, the hikers are oblivious, the equestrians are cranky, and there is a fee to get in. They're just not that special. Except for one thing: they are my local trails. As they say in basketball, I have "homecourt advantage." I ride them more than any other and I know every corner, every whoop, and every rock. I know which way to take the loops to maximize the downhill, and I know which lines to take to maximize the fun. I know just where to be for the best view of the sunrise and for the sunset too. They keep me sane when life gets crazy, and even though I'd rather be riding Dirt Merchant, I love my hometown trails. 

I doubt I'm alone. My guess is that most of us live closest to trails that aren't necessarily our favorite to ride. To those who happen to live near their dream trails, I salute you. To those who grabbed life by the ears and moved to their dream trails, I salute you twice. To those who picked up a shovel and built their dream trails, well... thank you for letting us come and play. But for those of us who have to settle most days for something a little less, I won't give you a lecture about "If you want it bad enough..." There are things that matter more than biking, whether family, career, education, or other passions. Maybe dad took a job in the middle of the big city or mom has a soft spot for acres of wheat fields. Maybe you've racked up thousands in debt treating your daughter's leukemia or you're biding your time while you finish that college degree. In any case, sometimes things keep us a little farther from our MTB dreams than we'd like to be. The world is full of wild variety, and I'm grateful to be able to put tire to dirt on any of it. So this video is just a little nod to unsung local trails and the people who ride them, wherever they are. Here's to home court advantage.

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