Climb to the Peak
You start your way up the mountain. Helmet secure, water attached to the frame above the pedals. You have a small pack attached to your waist with a snack and a phone. You’re one with your bike. The dirt path has been smoothed out from previous mountain bikers. The incline is slight, but your legs can feel it. You come to a bend and the path diverts.
Do you choose the same dirt path on the left, or do you create your own through the opening in the trees to your right? You don’t have to think as you move to the tree line. You don’t know what awaits you on this path, but you’re confident in your bike and in your skills.
A clearing opens up a mile into the dense, wooded area. You break for water and to check your bike. The path ahead looks more challenging moving forward. Small rocks and broken tree branches now litter your path, but you push on, knowing the view from the top will be worth the struggle. The trees thin out as you create a path closer to the edge of the mountain. The terrain becomes tough, pushing you to your limits.
Your legs become tired, your arms heavy. You look out to your left, over the ledge to the valley below. A river runs through, surrounded by lush green pines. Your sight shifts to snow-capped mountains enclosing the small valley. You ride on. The climb continues to demand more and more, making you ride over stumps, through small creeks, and around boulders. Sweat drips from your forehead down your face. You wipe it away, but that one second without full control of your handlebars almost sends you to the rocky ground.
A foot juts out to stop the fall. The impact is jarring, shooting up your leg. You grit your teeth and commit. You can do this. You will make it. This was just a small hiccup. Regroup. Move forward. The air shifts, a cool breeze in place of the dense humidity from the start of your climb. You’re close. You can feel it.
Speed takes a back seat to control. The trail thins up, offering barely any room to move forward, but still you push on. The sounds of the mountain quiet, more rock lines your path. You ride on until you see light filtering through branches to your left. You change direction, and the path opens up to a grassy clearing, as close to the top as you believe you can get.
Capturing your ride on video is one thing. Photos show a different story. Good thing your Monster Digital camera does both.