23 Principles

23 Principles of Mountain Biking Liz Donahey

Climbing Mountains Makes Everything Else Easier.

Over the past two decades, I’ve been completely inspired by my love of mountain biking. And when the pandemic hit us hard in 2020, I decided to hit the trails even harder. When you ride as much as I do, there’s so much time to reflect and think about what makes us happy, feel loved, rewarded, and successful. The list goes on. Last year I climbed 284,000 feet and rode over 2500 miles on my mountain bike. I spent the time on my bike thinking about the critical lessons or principles I and others could live by to build a more happy and fulfilling life. Bad things can often come from good, and 2020 led me to the creation of a set of 23 Principles I’ve developed learning from one of the world’s most exciting and challenging sports, mountain biking. Through this amazing sport, I’ve meticulously extracted the life and business principles that it elegantly, but fiercely unveils.

I fell in love with mountain biking 20 years ago tearing up the Golden Gate Park while living in San Francisco. I’d ride night and day, nearly every day of the week through the park down to Ocean Beach with reckless abandon. I became a fire road queen climbing Mount Tam in Marin. Then deepened my wild heart racing through the byzantine network of glorious single track, balanced with perfect fire roads through Sonoma County’s redwood and oak forests. It was here one day riding Lawndale – Schultz loop that I began documenting and analyzing what I feel is a complete and exhaustive list of steps individuals, and teams can take to create immediate life changes and success. So, I invite you to dive in with me with brave optimism.

The 23 Principles

1. Don’t be afraid to ride

2. Get the gear you need

3. Play to your strengths

4. Maintain optimal stamina

5. Be balanced

6. Lead in front

7. Fall back

8. Partner well

9. Be in the right position

10. Fall well

11. Manage your mental power

12. Visualize getting to the top

13. Switch gears smoothly

14. Pick your lines wisely

15. Commit to your ride

16. Know your limitations

17. Know your competition

18. Keeping looking forward

19. Momentum is your friend

20. Go with the flow

21. Keep trying new challenging

22. Don’t over or under react

23. Enjoy the ride

Other sports yield a ton of life lessons, but this is not about other sports. Mountain biking offers a unique set of 23 principles thanks to the demanding combination of mental and physical skills and strengths that drive our individual performance improvement and success.

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