10 REASONS WE LOVE TO RIDE

Reasons We Love to Ride

Photos by Sterling Lorence

Fuel Ex 9.8 650b in Brevard, North Carolina

 

Have you ever thought about the first time you rode a bike? Maybe even the first time you experienced your first real mountain bike ride? Well, it’s pretty easy to picture the massive smile on your face shortly after the painful experience known as climbing. Mountain bikes can be enjoyed by everyone and offer a wide range of ways to participate in the sport. Similar to the different players that make up a football or baseball team, mountain biking includes dozens of different types of riders. Some may find joy in crushing the climbs, while others snag a free ride to the top to save energy for a wicked-fast trip back down. Some enjoy sightseeing, while others just want to improve their health. Mountain biking is a sport that offers so much for so many people, and that’s why we love to ride.

RIDER DIVERSITY

One of the beautiful things about mountain bikes is that you can chase the type of experience you crave. From heart-pumping, adrenaline-rush-seeking downhill riders to slim and trim, headstrong endurance racers, any rider can chase his or her passion. Use your bike to get out in the woods or follow a singletrack along the beach. If you are a serious racer, you can buy all the parts and accessories seen on your favorite racer’s bike and go for the top step of the podium.

BENEFITS OF MOUNTAIN BIKING

Once you are immersed in mountain bike culture, you’ll quickly find other areas of your life improve as a side benefit. Here, we want to reveal the 10 reasons why we love to ride and how becoming a mountain biker made us better people. Let us know if you’ve experienced any of these benefits in your personal life after entering our amazing sport.

Riding with a buddy can make the experience twice as fun. It’s also a great way to learn how others handle similar obstacles.

 

1. IMPROVED PHYSICAL STRENGTH

First and foremost, cycling can improve your life by building your physical fitness through regular exercise. Health experts say that everyone who is able should participate in about an hour of physical activity daily. If you are a mountain biker, that probably gives you just enough time to ride around your favorite loop or, better yet, two laps around your most fun singletrack.

While the majority of improvements to your physical strength will be to your legs, riding bikes off-road can also develop upper-body strength, providing a more well-rounded workout than riding on the road.

2. INCREASED CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Regardless of the type of riding you enjoy, you’re likely to improve your cardiovascular health. The type of improvements to your health may vary depending on whether you enjoy sprinting and pumping your way down a trail or racking up miles to test your limits. It doesn’t matter how you ride a bike or how fast you ride to the top of the trail; every rider is sure to feel the heart-pumping sensation that cyclists know all too well.

3. DEVELOP MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Riding bikes will greatly improve your mental toughness as you progress in the sport. A hill that may have absolutely destroyed your spirit just a few months before might feel like a walk in the park after regular training or consistent riding. Another aspect of mountain biking that is sure to thicken your skin is the reality that crashes happen. It might be something like the front tire losing traction in a turn or hitting an obstacle that sends you right over the handlebars, but learning to dust yourself off and keep going is part of the sport. That said, this mental toughness will stay with you through the rest of your life. We can learn to roll with the punches, get up and come back stronger.

4. LEARN HOW TO CARE FOR EQUIPMENT

Unlike a basketball or hockey stick, bikes have moving mechanical parts that require attention. Mountain bikes need love and care to keep them strong and ready for the next ride. Getting kids involved in the sport can be a great way to teach them that if they care for something it will last. The same goes for adults. Your bike needs to be washed, tuned up and checked on, or it may rebel against you on your next ride, causing you to take the long walk home.

Rain or shine, you can catch many riders out on the trails, such as this section of trail in Bellingham, Washington.

 

5. SEE YOUR PROGRESS OVER TIME

A really cool side of mountain biking is seeing measurable results. While we avoid competitive apps that tend to make us poor trail users, we love seeing data that shows we’re getting better. Cutting a few seconds off your time up or down a trail can be an amazing feeling that may fuel you to keep striving to get better.

Another fun way to measure your skills is by pedaling up a trail without putting a foot on the ground, or riding down a trail without stopping to walk a section. Seeing yourself clear a jump for the first time or just feeling better on a climb you used to struggle on makes all the effort worth it.

6. ADVENTURE SOMEWHERE NEW

Unlike athletes stuck in a gym or confined by the size of a playing field, mountain bikers can go just about anywhere they want to go. There are amazing places to ride all around the world, making it a perfect sport for anyone who loves the outdoors. Bikes allow us to journey through the desert, high into the alpine mountains or ride on a singletrack that leads to a beautiful beach. The ability to go anywhere is an appealing aspect of mountain biking that draws in many riders each year.

7. MAKE MORE FRIENDS

Mountain biking can provide much-needed solitude, but it can also feel a bit lonely at times. If you would like some company, join a group ride or sign up for some races where you will meet like-minded individuals. This sport allows you to chase a group of friends down the trails or race each other to the top to see who’s been training more. It doesn’t matter if you’re competitive or not, mountain biking has a place for you to meet friends and share your passion.

8. PERFECT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Mountain biking is also a great activity that families can do together. Many of the sport’s top athletes share a similar story of getting into bikes because it was something their parents did. Additionally, the sport offers low-impact exercise, unlike running, allowing participants to ride long into their senior years. Cycling is a sport that can truly be enjoyed by every age, from a toddler learning to ride to an 80-plus-year-old looking to enjoy the outdoors. In today’s age of computer screens, iPhones and streamed TV, it’s a beautiful thing to see a family out on the trails enjoying nature through their own eyes.

9. EXPLORE DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES

As we touched on in the beginning of this story, mountain biking offers a wide range of experiences and can be tailored to your taste, skill and fitness level. Typically, riders will lean towards trail bikes because they can perform on a wide range of terrain. Daredevil types may want a downhill bike to tackle the summer ski slopes with a style of riding similar to motocross. Meanwhile, there are riders who want to prove they have what it takes to get to the top of a mountain under their own power. Electric-assist bikes can make riding more fun by giving you the ability to travel faster across greater distances. We could easily keep going here, talking about all the different types of bikes our sport has to offer, but we better save that for another article.

10. GET HOOKED FOR LIFE

And last, the truly amazing thing about mountain biking is that it’s so much more than just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. Mountain bikers are often the first to show the public that they love to ride through bumper stickers, high-end bike racks and tailgate pads, as well as the clothing they wear. Many mountain bikers can spot another rider from a mile away. It’s a culture that we’re proud to share with one another on and off the trails. If you have yet to give this amazing sport a try, or you’ve been looking for a reason to get back out and ride, we hope this provides you with all the inspiration you need to keep progressing your riding, exploring new areas, and sharing what you love most with your friends and family. 


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