I was talking with a colleague about mountain biking recently and he had a great analogy. Do you remember in Star Wars where they are on little hovercraft motorcycles zipping thru the trees in the woods? It feels just like that. It feels like flying. Not flying in a big open sky where you can take a nap, but flying with things whizzing past you.
To say that it requires a lot of concentration is an understatement. Not only must you avoid trees, you must shift your weight to get through that tight bit between two trees, you must pull your tire up at the last minute so your don’t endo, you must keep an eye out for quick uphills or drop offs so you can gear accordingly. It’s not do or die, but it is definitely do or pain . It inspires ( and necessitates) a level of presence that is hard to reproduce on the meditation cushion.