Words by Coalatree Ambassador Rafaelo Infante

For me, biking isn't a hobby or a career. It’s a lifestyle, a means of clarity from the rest of the wild experiences the world has to offer. You may wonder to yourself What kind of lifestyle is this? Let me describe it to you.

The ground is pacing, dirt is flying, it’s only you and your two-wheeled riding machine flying past the trees as you holler. It’s the sound of the wheels as they roll over branches, the chain slapping between your rear triangle, the sound of the gears shifting and brakes squeaking that put you into a trance, a trance that makes you one with your bike.

Biking is a means of transportation for some, and a career for others. For me, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that at times can bring frustration and pain but also reward. As I travel to ride my bike and race, I get questions such as Is it worth it? Why do something that involves so much risk? Why spend so much money on a sport?  

I like to answer with a question: What drives YOU? I am driven to push boundaries both physical and mental; I seek the next experience where I can get on my bike and witness something new. When I can get my bike running smoothly and not endure a mechanical breakdown, those are the times where I can focus on me. I can fully rely on my bike to push my ability to rail a corner faster, hit a jump bigger, or ride a rock garden more confidently. Yes, you do end up hitting a tree or slipping every once in a while, but all those little mistakes make me a better rider. There’s never a question of whether you get up, its always how and when? If I fall or make a mistake, it’s the drive to get up and do it again in order to get it right that makes me love the sport and the adrenaline that comes with it.

Adrenaline is something that many extreme athletes seek and in downhill mountain biking it plays a huge role. When you hit something bigger, faster, better, you can’t help but have a tingly sensation running through your body. It’s times like this that make me feel the urge and love for the sport. It’s adventures, races, the biking community that puts a smile on my face and encourages me to go faster. The sport pushes your mental and physical limits, and with every successful push the better you feel and the more you want to challenge yourself.

So, I ask you, what boundary will you push next? What challenges will you achieve? With every descent there’s always a climb to follow it, it’s up to you to take advantage of the little things in life and utilize them towards what you want to accomplish. There’s no better time than now to find that next thrilling adventure, so open the door and find what drives you.