How music is like mountain biking

Mountain Biker
Courtesy of

I have rediscovered my love for mountain biking. Recently, I went out on an all-women’s mountain bike ride. I have to admit I felt a bit out of shape, especially on the climbs where I held steady as the caboose of the group. (In my defense I still ride a hard tail and was most likely twice the age of the women I was riding with). While I was out there sucking wind, I realized that you don’t ever forget how to ride a bike. But, if you don’t keep it up, you do however, forget how to ride it well.

It’s the same with music. Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up your fiddle every once in a while and play like Liz Carroll. You actually have to practice it, and often. Otherwise, you get a bit rusty.I’m not a climber on my mountain bike. In fact, it’s my least favorite thing to do. But I know that once I get to the top of that mountain, there is a huge downhill waiting for me where I don’t have to peddle, all I have to do is point it down hill and hold on tight. It’s my reward.

Playing scales and learning new tunes or techniques are my “hill” on the fiddle. I hate doing it but I know there is a point where I won’t have to think about it and can just play what I feel. That’s my reward. We all want to play well and it truly does take practice.

Though I’ll never be a professional mountain biker, and I’ll never play fiddle like Liz Carroll, knowing that each time I ride my bike or pick up my fiddle I get a little better at both helps ease the pain. It’s like anything, the more you do it the better you get.

Each time time I get out on my mountain bike, it will be a little easier to keep up and each time I pick up my instrument it will get a little easier to learn tunes. The challenge is making time for both.

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