aha! competition, like cocaine fires you up like nothing else. this isn't a recommendation for either of the two, but humans have been known to always compete against each other no matter the activity.
fun is fundamental
comparing your skills against your riding buddy's is a precursor to competition whether you choose to actually engage in a race to the finish line or not. games can include playing with balance, popping wheelies, racking up miles, reaching remote locations, etc. in a friendly 'just for fun' environment of oneupmanship amongst your buddies.
not all rides are going to be adrenaline inducing or offer mind blowing views to write home about. but you can infuse fun into every ride in many ways. competition is often the easiest with something as simple as 'race you to the top' or 'last one there is the winner'. yup, slow races can be super challenging without being daringly dangerous. and when you're playing for fun, it really doesn't matter who wins or loses, everyone gains a bucket load of fun!
gamifying your group
it's important to realize competing even have to be skill based, you can use competition to regularize riding and increase attendance amongst your group. when that one guy in the group is always missing out on rides, adding an element of competition might inspire him to ride more often. we can started heralding the person who's always carrying munchies for everyone, or the one who's always doing the hard work of marking off-road gpx maps to guide the ride.
your rank in the off-road riding community does not depend on you fighting your way up the pecking order in competition but it's fun fosho! that said, for those of you looking for fame and fortune, y'all are playing for keeps so you need to engage in structured races organized by authorised local/national/international sport associations. here's a few types of races you can pick from:
healthy and happy competition
whatever your goals and however desperate you are to win, you might wanna take a step back and look at the big picture every once in a while. ask yourself why you started riding in the first place - is your competitive streak taking you closer to that goal or away from it?
the outcome of the game is less important than the spirit with which you play. give it your all and push your limits but don't hurt yourself or others in the process. it's just a game, and not worth losing life or limb to. as i love to remind y'all, safety is the foundation for your ability to keep playing long into the future.
competition is also irrelevant
collaboration and cooperation may be more effective and meaningful than competition. so you may find yourself drawn to projects that emphasize collective efforts over individual.
even personally, some of us find contentment in pursuing self-improvement without necessity for an enemy at the gates.
in some situations, competition may not only be irrelevant but also detrimental when players turn hostile and behave unethically. ultimately, significance and relevance of competition depends on context and individuals involved.
competition can be a driving force for fun, growth and progress, but don't lose balance and remember that collaboration can offer all that without rivalry as fuel.
this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?