MTBLF Manifesto: Why We Ride

The Mountain Biker Liberation Front (MTBLF) has come into fruition under the recognition of the need for others to understand why it is that we bike through forests and over mountains, with the expressed intention of providing an education of sorts to those non-members of the MTBLF community, in so that we receive a more favorable position in the greater society, the one that looks upon us in our scabbed limbs with a general misunderstanding of why it is that we ride.

MTBLF riders ride first and foremost because we seek the freedom of the trail that winds like a narrow ribbon through pine, mixed hardwoods and across open fields, over rock gardens and boulders, to locations both near town–but far enough away–and remote.  The freedom is not only environmental, in the sense that we find solace in the landscape of natural wonder, but too, the freedom is of a mental faculty, where when the rubber knobs roll over dirt we get lost in the flow of being, in searching for the line through the rock garden, through the tight twists and turns of an aspen grove, through the sandy scree of the long uphill.  It is in this losing of ourselves—the letting go of what was and the absorbing of what is—that we center the Buddha in the pits of our stomachs while bombing the downhill, the Buddha of the lung-bursting climb, and the Buddha of the exhilarating ups and downs of cross-country.  The Buddha sits somewhere between mind, body and soul.  Exactly where, we do not care.  We, the MTBLF, simply acknowledge the existence as real.

MTBLF members, who also are members of the greater society, seek liberation from the widgets to be made, the work left on the desk, the crop yet to be brought in, the boxes of merchandise to put out on the sales floor, the plumbing to be fixed, the deadline to be met.  When in the saddle, we leave the other “greater society” self behind.  We are not naïve enough to believe that the other self can be destroyed, at least not forever, but we do believe that when on the trails we foment the MTBLF self in all its capacities.

The MTBLF self does not stand outside of the whole self, it is simply a being within the total being where MTBLF finds a “here-now” understanding.  “Here-now” comes that stretch of golden ale trail.  “Here-now” comes that shark fin rock garden ready to slice the tires.  “Here-now” come the rolling berms of that honey sweet descent.  “Here-now,” we are…

Some MTBLF followers are partners in the celebration of human love.  Still, when we consecrate that love, we do so with the overt message for our lover: 

 days will come when we will rise early

from bed with dreams of endless pedaling

 and forever trail to go and be quickly out

 the front door with power food in hand   

It is not a question of human love, but a need to caress that other passion:  rider/bike/trail coming together as one love.  Indeed, MTBLF acknowledges that the rider/bike/trail passion has caused problems in the celebration of human love.  We say to that, “If human love is about building happiness, giving of self to the other, compromising and sacrificing, then partners need see the endorphin-poppin’ satisfaction of MTBLF riders!”  MTBLF riders also vow to support the bond of human love by reciting the short MTBLF creed to their loved one:

          I, [name], a member of MTBLF, actively involved in a human love

          relationship, will give equal time to the truth of such relationship

    while pursuing my other love,

   mountain biking.

MTBLF members who are not actively involved in a human love relationship are free to ride as long as they want on any given day.  They are able to pursue the trail/bike/rider love whenever they feel the need to do so.


The Mountain Biker Liberation Front hereby has transcended an idea and has become a movement.  We have been here, are here and will be here.  We are under not a banner, but a literary attempt of putting to words the reason for Why We Ride:  to lose oneself and find oneself again, in the light of early evening on a lonesome path through a wood little traveled by.


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