Want to teach trainable skills? Go mountain biking!

bicyclist passing the road near the river
Photo by Pixabay on

At Christmas dinner this year, a family friend was discussing his new job as an electrician’s apprentice.

“Yeah, it’s great pay and I enjoy the work,” he said. “It’s crazy how this guy hired me to help dig fence posts for him, and was so impressed by my digging abilities he hired me right there that day to be his [electrician] apprentice.

The reason this man could dig such great holes is because he’s a long-time mountain biker. And in Washington State at least, that means going out and creating your own jumps, bridges, and other trails around various mountains.

A few cousins who also mountain bike chimed in about similar stories; getting jobs as carpenters or doing well in engineering classes because of their passion for mountain biking. Most mountain bikers also pick up first aid skills, native plant knowledge, and insight into local seasonal weather patterns which are applicable for all sorts of things.

These guys (and gals but mostly guys) all inadvertently trained themselves how to do complicated tasks and work hard doing them all in the pursuit of play! Play is a key driver for everyone as they grow and learn, from the time we are a few months old to the time we are in our 90’s.

Just a friendly reminder that “goofing off” and playing outside can be one of the most crucial skills you’ll ever learn!