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High Desert MTBer
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It could be any number of things: weather; company; the trail you are on; the bike you are on; your mindset... whatever!

Personally, I am happiest out riding when I do not have to worry about getting back at a particular time.
Then I think it's riding a challenging and relatively new trail, with steep climbs, and well-earned downhills, wide-open views, warm sunny weather, and when my bike is working well, pretty much in equal parts...
 

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when i'm in that zone where you are riding and it all seems so easy. you're not thinking about it or anything else back at home/work. you just ride along the trail seemingly being pushed by someone else.

doesn't happen very often. and usually when you realize it's happening, that's when you snap back to reality.

besides those rare moments i love the fact that it gives me a chance to focus on something that i enjoy. no deadlines. no schedule. just me and the bike and whatever trail/road i'm on trying to see how far i can go.
 

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+1 What schultzboy said, and the weather. For me when it's overcast allowing the evergreens to contrast against the darker sky. Temps are mild with a coolness when the breeze blows. Maybe the scent of rain as well. but still dry, like the calm before the storm. A good 15 miles of trails with dirt, rocks, roots, creek beds, some climbs, but mostly flowing flats and downs.And you make it back to the truck before the rains come...BLISS!!
 

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I just wanna ride my bike
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There are so many aspects of riding that make me happy:

...riding with my hubby on sweet alpine singletrack on a sunny day and knowing we have another (insert number) days of riding yet before getting back home and to the daily grind.

...reveling in nature while riding, whether it's a field full of flowers, having a dragonfly land on my handle bars, or deer running off the trail.

...that feeling of freedom when your entire body and brain are focused on the trail in front of you and all is flowing.

... dark chocolate in my camelback for lunch :D
 

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Leaving my cell phone and laptop at home :)
This.

But--more importantly-- it's not any one thing, it's a combination of everything. The sum is greater than the parts. Even when I feel like crap and as though I have nothing in the tank from the get go, then the weather gets bad and I flat. I feel miserable all the way home but, once there, and inside, It was the best ride ever since the last one, because I was on my bike, in the woods.
 

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Music does it for me, when I'm riding by myself I turn the tunes up to where that's the only thing I can hear and just cruise and get into that zone where my mind is only on what's in front of me and not the reality of life.
 
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