Progression. Not being content and keep pushing your limits to what you can do on the bike – getting faster and stronger, hitting the gnarliest lines, boosting the biggest air, landing the tricks you can do – is progression. To many, it’s an obsession. Google “mtb progression” for a second and the first thing that pops up are riders hitting jumps. “Send it, bro” – that’s the thing nowadays.
Fact: The faster, the gnarlier and the bigger you go, the more risk you’re asking for. Is it fun? Sure. Is it worth it? I don’t know. That depends on your ability and how much you value what you have in your possession.
Let’s face it, though, not all of us can totally “send it.”
But is that all there is to progression? I think not.
Progression is being able to know the difference between tube and tubeless and be able to fix your own flat. Be the most mechanically inclined.
Progression is having the patience to learn the basics. It takes time to build self-confidence to get comfortable at something. Get to know yourself. Observe others. Ask questions. Be curious.
Progression is knowing when to say no. It’s okay to walk your bike. Injury sucks. Be smart.
Progression is finishing your ride unscathed. Again, injury sucks. Be healthy. Be rad.
Progression is going riding comfortably on your own and being alone with your bike to enjoy nature when your friends aren’t around to roll with. Be independent.
Progression is adventuring to unfamiliar places and get lost on your own, and have the confidence in yourself that you’ll find your way back to get back where you started or know where you’re headed. Be brave.
Progression is leading a ride and sharing your knowledge, but at the same time be open-minded if you get corrected. Be that someone that others want to get a tow from. Be inspiring.
Progression is giving respect to other trail users. No one likes an asshole. Be that someone that others want to associate with. Be courteous.
So just because you can’t hit the gnarliest lines or hit the biggest jumps doesn’t mean there’s no room for progression.
One pedal stroke at a time.
Progression is being a better version of yourself today than who you were yesterday.