For Colorado State University sophomore business major, Jimmy Yoder, the day starts at 6:00 a.m. No, he did not procrastinate that much homework and no, he did not schedule a class at such an ungodly hour. Yoder gets up early at least three times a week to pursue one of his passions: mountain biking. To Yoder, it is one of the most beautiful sports, and for him, there is no better feeling than riding and seeing all of mother nature’s beauty.
“I started mountain biking early, probably around nine or ten,” Yoder said. After moving to Fort Collins to attend CSU, his hobby took a more serious turn. “I always loved biking but I was limited on places to ride when I lived in California.”
According to Yoder, Fort Collins has more trails with a lot more easier access compared to his home state.
“Freshman year, I was told I could ride a different trail every day for the rest of my life,” Yoder said. With Fort Collins being in such a prime location, Yoder encourages others to take up the sport. “Go outside and enjoy the nature and wildlife. Take stops frequently and just enjoy everything around you.”
Yoder says his best run was at the second half of Devil’s Backbone, a 4.4-mile trail located in Loveland, Colorado. In addition to mountain biking trails, Devil’s Backbone offers trail running, hiking and horseback riding. The gorgeous view makes any exertion more than worth it.
It is experiences like these that make Yoder recommend mountain biking. Yoder’s advice for those wanting to get into the sport? Ride with others and as much as you can.
“Riding with people better than you will always make you better,” he said. “All of my friends are way better than I am at riding, but over the last couple years, riding with them has made me a lot better at riding.”
Yoder recommends not stressing about getting a fancy bike. He rides a Ghost Kato, a good bike for those who do not want to invest too much but still get a rich riding experience. He plans on putting money into building it up and improving some of its parts.
“I would rather throw that around and have fun than worrying about losing 4 grand on a better bike,” he explains. “The type of bike you ride doesn’t matter, just go somewhere you haven’t been and have fun riding!”
Yoder admits with homework and class it can be hard to find the time to ride. But when he does, it is always rewarding and a good distraction from all the stresses of being a college student. He tries to bike as much as he can and enjoys the spontaneity he can exercise when deciding when to go. “I try not to set a time to go,” he said. “I usually just throw my bike on my car and head up to the trails.”
Nature plays a big role in the Fort Collins lifestyle, and mountain biking is a great way to appreciate it and stay active. Yoder offers some last words of wisdom from his experiences: “Mountain biking is what you make of it. It can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be.”