Mountain Biking and a Moose

One of my favorite activities is mountain biking! I greatly enjoy the distraction from daily life and activities by being on a single track trail, only directing my attention on the next few challenging feet of terrain in front of me. Maneuvering around, or over, each obstacle, willing my legs to keep pumping when I feel exhausted on the grinding climb, and praying I don’t crash when I get the opportunity to enjoy the reward of a long, fast downhill descent. The physical exertion and mental concentration of the task at hand helps re-energize my mind and body, while the praying and crashing remind me of my mortality.

Recently, I was able to go mountain biking with my 14 year old son, Brennen. Having a biking partner can be a completely different experience, as each person has different expectations as to what is considered “enjoyable”. While on a beautiful trail in Copper Mountain Colorado, I found that Brennen and I had different ideas about the “fun” of biking. I really like (at this age, need) the long, heart pumping up hill climbs, while Brennen appreciates modern technology and using a ski-chair lift to arrive at the top of a mountain. Needless to say, we spent our time going up hill on the chair lift, instead of conquering the mountain as God intended (breathless and dizzy with fatigue),

Brennen taught me a valuable lesson; sometimes when we are bent on tackling the challenge in front of us, we often miss the real opportunities for enjoying life. While on the chair lift (relaxing and eating Snickers) Brennen spotted a moose! It is unusual to see one in the wild, as they are elusive and solitary creatures. So we spent the rest of our time that day, not focused getting a workout or the successfully navigating the technical trail of rocks, roots, drop offs and sweeping turns, but rather we focused on finding that moose. We were able to get fairly close and enjoy a rare and unique nature experience, together.

We learned later that moose can become very aggressive and will attack people, if they feel threatened…one more life lesson learned!

— Chad Long