Photo by Choh Wah Ye.

I am a mountain biker and mountain bike racing is a big part of my love for cycling. There’s only one problem: I live in the city. To get to the hills, I have to put my bike on the car and drive an hour out of town. Luckily for me, there are many aspects of urban riding that fulfill a similar sensory experience to the high I find on the trail.

I’m no World Cup racer, but hammering down the mountain biking trails, I still have moments when I find myself in a state of athletic euphoria that riders call “the zone.” When you’re in the zone, your bike and body operate as a single unit. Your thoughts and actions are intertwined. Your mind measures the variables as they approach at warp speed and you respond without thinking, arcing tight twists and turns through gaps just inches wider than your handlebars.