Riding the new Dakota Ridge Trail in Canon City was within my control... at least, mostly. Photo: Marcel Slootheer

Riding the new Dakota Ridge Trail in Canon City was within my control… at least, mostly. Photo: Marcel Slootheer

Editor’s Note: “Over a Beer” is a regular column written by Greg Heil. While Greg is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com, any opinions expressed in this column are his alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Singletracks.com.

As I wake up today, I find a new America laid out before me. Things will, undoubtedly, change.

Unrelated to the presidential election, I was recently reading an article on the Art of Manliness, titled “5 Tools for Thriving in Uncertainty.”

While there are 5 different tools mentioned, one of the key tenets that the article hinged on was what the author, Kyle Eschenroeder, refers to as the “Triad of Control.” Here’s how he explains it:

Every time you begin to feel anxious or upset, try practicing the Triad of Control. To do this, you simply distinguish, in any given situation, whether you have total control, no control, or some control. Then, focus on what is in your control

No matter who you voted for in this election cycle, it’s safe to say that the entire world has been plunged into a state of uncertainty. No matter what a presidential candidate may have claimed during his race, as we’ve seen over the decades, claims can fall flat, or never come to fruition.

As I read through my Facebook feed this morning, I saw posts from friends who are crying for America. Who don’t know how they’re going to face today. Who don’t know how to move forward from this point.

The key, my friends, is to focus on what’s in your control, and to completely ignore everything that’s outside of it.

Sure, as of yesterday, we had some control over the outcome of the election, thanks to the ballots that every one of us (hopefully) cast. Now, on November 9th, we have no control–and we need to accept that.

The good news is that we still have plenty of control over certain things in our lives. And one of those things is mountain biking.

Just Keep Pedaling

As I look at the new world ahead, as I wonder what’s coming down the pipe for America and indeed, the globe, I do know one thing: no matter what happens, I’m going to keep pedaling.

This afternoon I will grab my mountain bike, head out into the hills, and start turning over the pedals, one revolution at a time. The rhythm of the rotating cranks, the crunch of the dirt and rocks under the tires, the chain ca-chunking into place with each shift–the rhythms, the sounds, and the movements of my life will continue on.

At least, I hope the chain ca-chunks into place. With the state of my derailleurs, you never do know!

# Comments

  • Jeff Barber

    Well said.

    And wait, Cañon City ripped off the name “Dakota Ridge” for one of their trails? 🙂 It actually looks a lot like the original…

    • Greg Heil

      Yeah, it’s a new trail as of last year (I think), and it seems like it’s built on the same front range geological upthrust that forms the Hogback/Dakota Ridge near Denver. But they could have been a little more creative 🙂

    • Kristyn Econome

      Hi, guys- As one of the locals who spear-headed the Hogbacks rehabilitation project, I want to let you know the history behind the naming of our very own Dakota Ridge trail: Because the Hogbacks are quite close to the Cañon Exploratory School, students from there have been involved in the trail system since we began the rehabilitation of the area several years ago. Students have helped build trails, and use the area as an outdoor classroom for real learning experiences. They are the ones who thought we should name this ridge trail the “Dakota Ridge” trail since it echoes the ridge’s true geological name. The rest of us locals like it too. We are proud local students are involved in our trails and also proud to have followed their suggested naming. Additionally, the Dakota Hogbacks run for hundreds of miles in a north-south direction across the state, and even into northern New Mexico, so it’s pretty cool to have this geology at our fingertips all across the Front Range. Cheers!

    • Greg Heil

      Hi Kristyn, thanks for chiming in with some background on the trail name! And most importantly, thanks for being involved in creating such an incredible trail!

  • mongwolf

    “… it’s safe to say that the entire world has been plunged into a state of uncertainty.” If I understand your meaning correctly Greg, I probably would say that “the world” did not “plunge” into uncertainty yesterday; it was already full of uncertainty before the elections. That’s not a political statement on my part because I don’t think singletracks is a place for political partisan statements. There was PLENTY of uncertainty in the world before last night — twenty trillion USD in debt, threats upon the USD to be removed as the world currency, NATO troops amassing on the western border of Russia, the Middle East in chaos, Russia and the US in significant indirect confrontation in Syria, democracy overthrown in Turkey this year (the gateway country between Europe and the Middle East), on and on I could go. None of those are politically generated comments on my part — just observations of the real world we live in today. They were true on Monday of this week, and they are true on Wednesday. And what you said about biking is also true. We are all very fortunate to be able to ride our mountain bikes in times of chaos or quiet, grief or celebration, difficulty or ease. Whatever our own worlds may seem like this day, it is a good day to ride our bikes in nature and gain a little perspective. Then go out and do our own little part to make this world a better place.

    • mongwolf

      Honestly Greg, in a friendly way I do not agree with your first sentence above. There are others in the world that have reacted positively. It just doesn’t get reported in the US media. I can give you four nations here in Asia alone that gave positive comments in the last 24 hours. So which is it? In my estimation it is really neither. In terms of actual stability in the world today, these initial comments mean nothing. My point being immediate reactions mean next to nothing. People will say what they want. And political leaders will say what they want — usually politically motivated (on both sides). It is the actual results and outcomes of what is done over time that determine whether instability or uncertainty truly increases or decreases. In deference and respect to you I give you the last word if you want it. I’m really not interested in discussing political matters on Singletracks unless of course we are talking wild land matters. =) The final word is yours good man.

  • pvtalley

    +1 for Greg. I’m going biking this weekend and looking forward to feeling fundamentally human in the face of struggling to feel fundamentally American. Thanks for this.

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