The Thing That Changed It All

Leav­ing town.

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Contents - jo­ce­lyn quar­rell, / mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor

I re­ally got into moun­tain bik­ing in 2009, and started push­ing my­self to see how far I could take it. I reached a point where I was putting on a full-face hel­met and body ar­mour to learn how to do big­ger drops and jumps – and I was stress­ing my­self out. Then a few friends in­tro­duced me to bikepack­ing. It was a way for me to ride my bike off-road, in the woods, and be out for a whole week­end, with­out scar­ing my­self. It al­le­vi­ated my stress rather than ad­ding to it. Now I lead a women’s bikepack­ing group. I love the im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of bail­ing out of town as early as I can on a Fri­day, and not get­ting back to my car un­til late Sun­day af­ter­noon. Rid­ing at that slower pace, my men­tal­ity shifts: I’m think­ing, “What’s that flower? Which birds are mi­grat­ing? What are their sto­ries?”

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