A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about all the reasons people give for not biking. But perhaps instead of giving you a list of reasons why they don’t bike, people just want to know why in the world you do. When people ask me that question, they’re asking for trouble because I could talk for hours about all the reasons I mountain bike. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say:
1. Mountain biking always presents a challenge.
There are always new ledges to make it up, drops to conquer, hills to climb faster, and descents to speed down. Every time I ride I set a new goal: make this drop, ride that ledge, PR on the Wrangler descent… if you’re someone who enjoys a challenge, then mountain biking is the sport for you. Of course, the main goal should always be to have fun 🙂
2. Mountain biking takes you to beautiful places.
Hiking does too, but biking is usually faster! Right now it’s wildflower season and man, it’s times like this that I wish everyone I knew owned a bike. Yes, I realize you can see flowers lots of places, but to see them as you’re whizzing by high above the Colorado River, or high in the mountains near Crested Butte, is something else entirely. To stand above Lake Tahoe on the Flume Trail on my bike? Amazing.
It’s not even just the scenery. Today we stopped after the last climb on our bike ride and just stood looking towards the Grand Mesa. Everything around us was silent. That sort of beauty and serenity is something you can only find when you escape to bike or hiking trails.
3. There’s beer!
Ok, mountain biking isn’t all about biking. Sometimes it’s about camaraderie. It’s about being out with your friends and then after the ride is over sharing some beers in a gravel parking lot with your flip flops on. It’s a sense of belonging. That belonging can also be felt inside the Hot Tomato in Fruita on any spring/summer/fall day with a New Belgium brew and a slice of their Granny’s Pesto Pizza. Whatever way you enjoy your apres bike, you’ll at least know you earned it!
4. Mountain biking is an escape.
When you’re biking, and you’re focused on the ride, there is no room in your brain to think about that fight you had with your mom, the new project the boss assigned at the last minute, or what you’re going to do about that weed bed in the back yard you call a garden. Biking is an escape from all that. When you’re on the bike, the bike and the ride are all that you think about. THAT is often reason enough to get out there and ride.
5. Mountain biking keeps me fit!
Is it bragging to say that I have strong legs and well-defined biceps? That my resting heart rate is low and so is my cholesterol? Biking is a great way to stay in shape. It provides a combination of high and medium to low intensity cardio workouts, allows you to build muscle, and works your core and arms too. For me at least, biking is a total-body workout.
So the next time someone asks why you mountain bike, I think the better question might be, why DON’T they!