Have you been on an Epic Ride

Epic Mountain Bike RideWhat is an Epic Ride?
When you hear someone refer to their ride as Epic does it conjure images of twisty single singletrack through a cedar grove, an endless expanse of slick rock in a painted desert, or a rocky ridgeline that climbs into the clouds as the town below disappears under its opaque blanket.
Whatever terrain the phrase brings to mind the term epic is synonymous with a ride that is grander and more adventurous than your ordinary Sunday group ride.

So back to my original question what elements make a ride epic?
Time: Does a ride that is four or more hours make it epic? Not necessarily I have done many group rides that have been at or above the four hour mark and while they were enjoyable and even memorable I don’t think I would put them in the category of Epic.

Mileage:
What about mileage does a ride that is twenty or more miles make it epic? Maybe but you could rack up 20 miles doing a 5 mile loop repeatedly. 20 miles on a Rail trail does not really feel “Epic” especially when towing a toddler in a trailer.

While I think Epic Rides generally are longer in duration and mileage than a ride that would be considered ordinary, what makes a ride truly epic is its’ ability to challenge the rider and enthrall the spirit.
An epic ride is dynamic and comprised of layers of tension and release that build upon one another to create a unique experience. It is like a gourmet meal that delights the taste buds of the diner; each course exceeding your expectations and eclipsing the previous one.

On an epic ride you are challenged even punished as you make your way up a winding and seemingly endless rock strewn climb only to be delighted with an amazing expansive view that takes what little breath you have away. As you descend into the picturesque postcard scene that lies below you become aware of a strange sensation only to realize that it is from your muscles pulling at the corners of your mouth to form the ear-to-ear grin that has spread across your face.
An epic ride should test you and require you to reach deep down into you bag of biking skills. The trail will throw varying and unfamiliar terrain at you. Throughout the ride you start to become more relaxed and comfortable. You are tackling off-camber sections, rock gardens, and tight switch backs with deft skill and agility. You see a gnarly section and immediately visualize a great line through it. You are flowing like a Jedi master.

After the ride you feel transformed somehow and although your muscles and mind are fatigued you want to celebrate with a much deserved drink and something to eat.
You kick back and recount the day with your riding partners. Hell you want to tell anyone who will listen; the waitress, other patrons, the guy who refills your water glass and nods politely as you recall how you carved up some S turns going 25 mph. (this speed will increase over time). That night as you drift off and are somewhere between the head bob nod and comatose, images of the days ride flip through your head like a slide show. Your body reacts as though you are still on the bike not wanting to let go of the feeling just yet. Today you had a ride that was adventurous, sometimes torturous and completely exhilarating in a word it was……..EPIC

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