A break from reality


Kieran Campbell

Kieran with Potato, the chiweenie.

Courtesy photo

Mountain biking is an exercise in mentally checking out while also being fully aware of your surroundings.

My favorite trails are tight and twisty with lots of logs and rocks to get over and around. I can’t think about heavy issues, like work or relationships, or I’ll make a poor judgement. I could choose a bad line or cut a turn too close and possibly hurt myself.

I don’t always ride with music but when I do I have a specific playlist on constant rotation. This curated list is just a sampling of the always-evolving playlist which fit a criteria: fast, fun and I know all the words.

Mental health is extremely important always, but especially now when folx are experiencing an unprecedented amount of isolation and uncertainty.

It’s pretty cool to get lost in the moment on familiar trails egged on by music you know in your head and your heart. The songs I selected are, on the surface, a ton of fun to listen to, especially loud. But they all hold a special meaning for me. The songs, paired with a fast and fun ride on my MTB, are the best way to take a break from the harsh realities of the world at large.

I may go into the woods tense and irritable and pissed off, but I rarely fail to emerge invigorated, confident and ecstatic.

Kieran Campbell is a Youth Cycling Coordinator at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Kieran is a huge fan of bike camping and exceedingly long road rides, but by far their greatest love is mountain biking and introducing folx to the joys of riding in the dirt. Having started VeloDash, a MTB/CX racing team whose members identify as trans, non-binary and women, it has become even easier to get new friends out on trails.

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A break from reality
Songs for attentively getting lost in the moment, curated by this mountain biker.
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