Living life on two wheels

Being physically active is so important for both physical and mental health. Finding an activity or sport that suits you can be tough. For me, mountain biking has been an activity that allows me to enjoy being outside in nature, keeping my body active, is easy on joints and So fun! Living life on two wheels is great for me and perhaps you too!

I started mountain biking in 2013. When I was young, I biked around town a lot, but was first exposed to mountain biking in Colorado on a family vacation as a teen. Who would have known that a couple decades later it would become a passion of mine! We visited friends in Montana during the summer of 2012. They were mountain biking enthusiasts and showed us their bikes. My husband and I were hooked. By the next year, we had bikes for ourselves. Since then, many of our evenings, weekends, and travels have been centered around biking.

A family on the trails

Living life on two wheels is about family.

Shortly after embracing the sport, we got to know a group of local riders at Black’s Grove park. In a few short months, we were racing on a mountain bike team associated with Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minnesota. We have raced the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series races as a family. We compete in our respective category according to age and skill level. We’ve also expanded to races in other areas of the country. I still don’t claim to be super-fast or excellent in technical areas, but I truly enjoy being in the woods. Overcoming obstacles that I previously struggled with is a constant motivator for me.

Coaching

In addition, I help as an assistant coach for the Northwest Composite Wolves, a local team made up of middle and high school students. The Minnesota Cycling Association aims to get more kids on bikes and is now over 2,600 kids strong! We practice as a team multiple times per week from July through October with the option to race. Each team has five races each year, with our local race in Detroit Lakes. Introducing children to this sport makes me happy and on practice days, I look forward to riding the trails with the kids! We have so much fun tackling the trails with friends and teammates.

Living life on two wheels might be right for you

Living life must involve bikes.

Take it easy to start. Don’t hesitate to hop off and walk or run areas that are uncomfortable until skill levels and stamina improve. Challenge yourself, but don’t take on too much. Reach out to others with similar interests and make sure your bike works well. Ensure that you have a helmet to reduce risk of head injuries.

Mobility is so important and tied to many areas of health. Cycling is just one way to help keep your body moving. Its also easier on the joints that some sports. Consider which sport or activity you might enjoy. Improved health is just one the many benefits!

Have an open mind and start living life to the fullest!

Heidi Olson, MD

Tri-County Health Care

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