Live to Ride


Today’s post comes from a new mate of mine named Jase Rodley. He’s a good old Australian boy who’s currently hanging out in my home country of Canada, ripping things up in the mountain bike heavens of Whistler, BC. I really dig this guy and look forward to getting to know him better. Jase rides bikes because it makes him happy….how can you not like this guy?

Live to Ride

by Jase Rodley

As a kid growing up, I never thought I had a particularly special childhood. I was just another average kid living an average life, part of which included riding bikes.

Looking back on it though, my passion for all things bikes began at a very early age. My parents can’t tell me exactly what age I started riding, but they both assume it was just after I turned three. I was allowed to ride up and down our driveway – anywhere further and Mum or Dad had to come with. A year or so later I was allowed to ride up and down the street, so long as my older sister was on her bike too (we lived on a very quiet cul-de-sac, or no through road).

Already at such a young age and without me knowing, riding bikes was my life. By age six I’d built my first jump, received a full face helmet from Santa Claus, jumped three neighbourhood kids, and broken my elbow as a result of riding my bike.

Fast forward twenty years, and not all that much has changed. I’ve now built my own pump track and helped to build a lot of trails, received a full face helmet, loads of parts and plenty of deals from the companies that either sponsor me or just do what they can to help me out, and over the last year I’ve managed to separate my shoulder, break a rib, and wake up to the paramedics flashing torches in my eyes only to realise the next day that I’d had a concussion.

The fundamental difference between now and when I was a kid however, is that my life is now in my control. I know that sounds very obvious but I think it’s an important point. Two years ago I was working a full time office job in Australia, commuting to work on my bike (23km one way!), riding in the evenings and getting out for some cross country mountain biking once or twice on the weekend. It sounds like a lot of time on the bike, but time riding had to fit around my work. If I had to work on the weekend, it was my cycling, and in effect my happiness that suffered as a result.

Thanks to a very supportive wife, we made the move to a town called Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. They’re not kidding when they say that Whistler is the “Mountain Biking Mecca of the World”. I have been lucky enough to work here for the Whistler Bike Park as a Mountain Bike Instructor, getting me out on the bike daily. Although the money isn’t the sort that you see working in IT, I’m getting paid to ride my bike, teach people how to ride bikes, and talk about my passion! To make my situation even more envious, my wife has taken a real interest in the sport since moving to Canada, and I get the opportunity to fly through the air next to my wife on our bikes at least three or four days of the week if not more.

Jase from in the Whistler MTB Park

Jase from in the Whistler MTB Park

The journey doesn’t finish here though, it’s only just began. My life so far has shown us that if we choose to live to ride, we can. Life doesn’t have to just be about the 9 to 5, it can be about whatever you want. The problem is, in order for your life to be about that “something different, you may need to give up something else – in our case the big one was income! I can see our lifestyle being more than heavily involved with bikes in the future. I’ve never been much into competition, although I have ridden in my share of cross country races back in Australia. I do plan on racing some downhill this year to see if I can get into it though. My wife and I both plan on spending two or three months in Europe sometime in the future with some touring bikes, a tent and the bare minimum, and I can see myself running a bike related business in the future as well.

To me, riding bikes isn’t just about staying fit or challenging myself, it’s about the freedom. The freedom of enabling me to go and do the things that I do, whether it be riding my bike to the lake to relax, or clearing an intensely technical trail full of rocks and tree roots. It’s entirely my choice, and it’s yours too!

It’s a positive future for me. Bicycle sales are going up all over the world, presumably as a result of fuel prices going up as well. Whether those bicycles are mountain bikes, road bikes, fixies, cyclocross bikes, comfort bikes, cargo bikes, tandems, fat bikes, recumbents or any other weird and wonderful flavour of bike, I’m happy. Whether they are replacing the family car with a cargo bike, or buying a road bike to get some extra exercise, it’s all good.

Live to ride and ride to live!

For more about Jase, take a look at his blog.

Enjoy Your Ride
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7 Responses to “ Live to Ride ”

  1. Full Face Helmets on September 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Your passion of bike riding is awesome and you really fulfil your plans. May you get succeed in your business and get the dreams come true.

  2. Jim (@bikerly) on July 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Outstanding blog post and life outlook, Jase. I needed to read this from you today…and dammit I’m leaving the office early to gide my bike. ūüôā

    Enjoy your time in Whistler…I know you will…dang I’ve heard good things about that place. Godspeed.

    • Anonymous on July 9, 2011 at 1:54 am

      Thanks Jim. Glad it got you out of the office and onto your bike. Not to say that office work can’t work with bikes! I have spent a lot of time here in Whistler working behind a computer, but my prerequisite is whether or not the scenario will allow me to ride bikes as much as I want (at least three days a week, if not 7… :D)

      Whistler has been amazing to me. Riding bikes every day during Summer, hanging at the lake when your body is too abused to ride bikes any more, and a nice laid back lifestyle to tie it all in. I definitely recommend coming up to Whistler to explore the “free” side of the town. There’s plenty of scope to get smashed, eat fifteen deep fried cows glazed with cheese and smoke cigars, but beneath the superficial side there’s some great people and a very free lifestyle to be had here.

      Ride on mate!

  3. Darryl is Loving the Bike on July 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    This is one fantastic post, Jase. ¬†I just re-read it and it was something I needed to hear today….seriously. ¬†You really helped me focus my attention back on what is most important. ¬†As I mentioned in the intro to this post….I really need to meet up with you. ¬†I fully mean that and have really enjoyed slowly getting to know you and look forward to more.
    My wife just mentioned to me that she thinks our family should do a cycling trip through Europe in about a year….maybe we can join up on that together. ¬†That would be incredible.You really know what living is all about and I wish you and your wife all the very best.

    • Anonymous on July 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks Darryl,

      We are definitely keen on the touring trip, but need to go on some test runs first! Traitor Cycles hooked us up with some frames last time we were down there and I’ll be looking at building them up when the money comes around so we can start putting some KM’s down and do some “weekend touring” practice.

      But if all goes well, I’m always keen for an extra in the touring crew, even if we just meet up somewhere. How does Florence sound? haha

  4. Joel Phillips on July 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    FUN….That’s why I ride a bike because it is fun, pure and simple. ¬†Through cycling I have been able to regain control over my life and more importantly, discover the self-confidence I never realized I had. ¬†Growing up (in the 70’s), bikes were king. ¬†School, ball practice, trying to pull off an Evel Knievel jump, everything we did involved a bicycle.
    ¬†¬†I lost touch with that part of my life when I turned 15 and started driving. ¬†I let life roll me like a degenerate gambler in some dark back alley after making another excuse for not paying the vig. ¬†I licked my wounds and crawled into a hole. ¬†I took a job where my experience and education was grossly exploited, but I didn’t care because I felt safe. ¬†Fat and unmotivated, I started having health issues. ¬†Nothing too serious, all things considered, (hernia, gall bladder), but my doctors all stressed the importance of me doing something more than walk my dog. ¬†My surgeon strongly suggested riding a bicycle. ¬†I asked her if that was really advisable because of my past
    knee injuries and back trouble.  She was
    quick to point out that the cycling motion is beneficial to both the knee and
    hip joints because the repetitive, measured movement, is rehabilitating to
    damaged joints; as it loosens fixations and broadens the range of motion.  Additionally, cycling helps build leg
    strength, specifically the hamstrings, which lessen the burden on the back. After
    looking at myself in the mirror without any bias, I realize it is time to hop
    back in the saddle.

    I began by riding thirty minutes every other day
    along the Platte River Bike trail in Denver during my lunch break.  The first day I did this the same feeling of
    elation I felt the first time I rode my very own new bike began to flood over
    me.  My smile couldn’t have been broader
    as I entered the trail at 8th Avenue and the stress of the morning
    began to wash away.  As I rode along the
    river, under I-25, then between Mile High Stadium and Elitch Gardens I couldn’t
    help but wonder why I ever quit riding my bike in the first place.  During these rides I marvel at how therapeutic, both
    mentally and physically, cycling is.  The
    scenery, the camaraderie among riders and simple joy it brings is something that
    just needs to be experienced.  Chronicling
    my progress, charting my weight-loss and increase in physical fitness keeps me motivated
    to ride. Taking any opportunity to advocate bicycling and share my rekindled
    passion led to the founding of Reasons2Ride.

    Like Jase, I’ve made the decision to make cycling the center of my life. ¬†Yes it required sacrifices and lifestyle changes. ¬†My wife and I gave up luxuries and cut expenses to the bare minimum. ¬†We’ve never been happier. ¬†When I looked back on my childhood I realize what I missed most was it’s simplicity. ¬†Too often we choose to make life complicated as our view of what we NEED becomes distorted. ¬†Now that the bike is back in my life and we’ve simplified things, life is fun…..Livin’ to ride, and riddin’ to live for sure…Nice post Jase and Darryl


    • Anonymous on July 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Nice one Joel! I’ve met so many people that have had their lives changed by cycling whether it be on a road or on a mountain.


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