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There's something about a bike and a big sky that sets your adrenaline in motion. Three devoted cyclists share their thrill – and the wisdom that has been lost.
They feel extremely powerful.
"Cycling was not a cool sport when I was growing up with my family and sweating over the California mountains. But I fell in love with him. Every street has a different flow and rhythm, and as you climb that hill, you feel like a superwoman flying down the other side. As a professional cyclist, all I can think about is my legs screaming. However, when the day demands that you pedal at a light pace, I can live the landscape to the fullest and let my mind wander. On the open road, you have to pretend to drive a car ̵
"There are many amazing places to drive in Colorado where I live, but Crested Butte is my favorite. If you set the time in the summer correctly, you have breathtaking views with beautiful wildflower outbreaks. I also go to Moab, Utah in the spring because riding in the desert landscape is really inspiring. Every terrain requires slightly different nuances. When I started mountain biking in my 20s, there were no seat drippers [push-button seat posts that can be lowered or raised midride] but now I never drive without. That makes it a lot easier. – Koel Thomae, 45, co-founder of Noosa Yogurt (Be inspired: this badass athlete shares what it's like to ride a bike on one of America's toughest hills)
You do not have to worry about traffic.
"I drive all winter with a Specialized Fatboy bike with 4.6" wide tires that are perfect for snow. Who wants to scratch ice from a windscreen? Here in Montana, it may snow eight months a year – the tree-tunnels become heavy with powder, and it's magical to see Bunny trails on the trail. To keep my hands warm while commuting, I attach gloves to the handles and wear "lobster gloves" – they can shift as your fingers are together. Even when it's cold outside, heat up while pedaling. I promise it! – Amber Hoadley, 30, bike ladder manager in Bozeman, Montana (PS Read what happened when a SHAPE editor tried to work a bike every day for a week.)