Dakota Ridge

I rode my new favorite (in CO) trail today. I can’t believe I haven’t ridden this one before. I’ve ridden over at Red Rocks plenty of times, but have avoided Dakota Ridge, pretty much on purpose.
Once Wes pushed me out to the car and I got out to ride today, I could see why this trail has such a name with the local riders. It is pure, technical, rocky, craziness. I feel like rocky technical riding is one of my few real strengths, but this trail definitely humbled me and challenged me big time.
There are also some fun log ramps, I rode up about 4 of them in a row before I couldn’t do any more. I also ended up taking my first big digger in years, a nice endo (which means whole body over the handlebars) onto some rocks with my knees and wrist. And that was my “cautious” riding speed (the one reserved for solo rides). I’m a little bruised, but happy. After doing the entire ridge trail, which is not that long, I headed back the usual way up Red Rocks.
It’s funny, when I am mountain biking it is one of the very few times that I can fully live in the moment. I don’t operate out of fear or worry, which is a big deal. I’m going to be super transparent here and say that I have a clinical anxiety disorder. It’s more than just worrying some. It’s a biochemical disorder that is treated like any other medical disorder, with medication. I still struggle with gripping fear and worry and it comes and goes in spurts. Some of the fears are silly (like throwing up) and some are much more serious. Simple treatment has been pretty effective for me, and I pray a lot for total relief.
I really feel that God has used mountain biking as a tool in my life to teach me how to just be – to not fear the next step, to drop down and go for it, to push headlong into something not knowing what the outcome will be. No other sport or activity has that effect for me. Rock climbing makes me fist-fight with that fear, road riding makes me want to go home and get under a down comforter, running makes me mellow, and swimming makes me feel like I am flailing. But on my bike, I’m brave – strong – confident – humbled, and every solo ride is like one long prayer. I love all the sports that I do, and I feel so blessed to be able to have them as an outlet. But, mountain biking, and now the Dakota Ridge trail, have a very special place in my life. I suppose you could call it therapy at its best.


4 responses to “Dakota Ridge

  1. Wow Laura. Wow.

    It’s insane that the dangerous high adrenaline sport of MB is where your confidence shines through. Sounds like more of that is in order!

    Awesome post!

  2. When I’m on a mountain bike, that is when I have high anxiety and the most fear. I cherish the few rides I’ve had when I have no fear on a mountain bike. ON a road bike, I can relax and let my thoughts clear. Funny considering I’m more at risk of dying from getting hit by a car than wrecking when I try to go over a log. Thanks for the post. I enjoy them.

  3. Laura, you always amaze me. I think it is soo cool how God has used mountain biking to bless you and give perspective. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And hope to talk to you really soon. Love you!

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