Mountain biking is a hobby, a sport, a thrill and a lifestyle for some. The bikes, the gear, the equipment, the water bottles and granola bars, the trails, the trees, the dirt, the fresh air; these are a few of the images that come to mind for a mountain biker.

Dave Schlabowske, a Wisconsin-native mountain biker, contends that mountain biking saved his life. In his article, “How a Treck Mountain Bike Saved my Life”, Schlabowske details the different person he was before and after purchasing his first mountain bike.

Schlabowske now in his late fifties, is a mountain biker and mountain bike photographer. He is the healthiest he has ever been and lavishes his outdoor, healthy lifestyle as being caused by changing the trajectory of his life through mountain biking.

Dave loved his freelance photography career but suspected that it was taking him down a dangerous path. He spent late nights rubbing elbows with beautiful women, drinking beer and chain-smoking cigarettes.

“(I) wasn’t an alcoholic, but I had a few beers most nights and would drive home.” , Schlabowske recalls. One evening, his friend came to his home after a drunken scrape with another vehicle. It turned out that Schlabowske’s friend was an alcoholic. While Schlabowske knew that he was not quite there yet, he did not want to take any chances.

He bought his first mountain bike to avoid getting a DWI but fell in love with mountain biking and changed his entire lifestyle. Schlabowske soon quit his two to three pack a day cigarette habit and almost completely eliminated alcohol from his diet.

Mountain bikers, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

While he cannot absolutely say that he would have died if not for purchasing that first trek mountain bike, Dave Schlabowske is sure that he avoided cancer and alcohol related issues by falling in love with mountain biking.