Does a person become a mountain biker when they buy their first mountain bike, or is it more of an attitude and a lifestyle? Does it even matter?

It’s safe to say, once you ride a bicycle on singletrack you’re one of us. It’s that easy.

We want to know when (and how) you first joined the tribe. Let us know in the poll and comment section below.

# Comments

  • limbojim

    Including the past 4 years e-mountain biking, it’s 20+ for me. If you count riding through the woods as a kid on my Stingray in the 1960-70s , it’s 50+!

    • Schmidt911

      Ebiking is not mountain biking. Hence the phrase “ebike”. Plus a mountain bike is something pedalled, not powered by a motor.

    • Kevin Hawkins

      LimboJim, my comment is aimed at Schmidt911’s comment:
      My friend, your view is shared by some, but please let me state my case which is not unusual amongst e-mtbikers.
      I am 73 years of age now, and suffer from Coronary Artery Disease. A stent was fitted to a heart artery after a small heart attack in 2003. I also loved mountain biking as well as road cycling in a bunch ride.
      This year my condition worsened and I underwent an angiogram which showed my coronary arteries had deteriorated significantly since 2005, and that apart from ‘aggressive medication’ nothing more could be done for me. To further complicate matters, the walls of my heart have hardened which is age related, and my heart cannot pump the amount of blood my body needs. The Cardiologist was aware I regularly rode the hills on my mtb, and indicated that was placing too much pressure on my weakened heart and said if I wished to keep riding the hills, I needed to switch to an e-bike.
      No option really was there?
      I purchased a 2019 Giant Trance +1 Pro E-MTB in March this year, and to my delight, it has opened up new fields ( read hills!!) for me.
      My excitement is back. I can now climb hills with the threat of another heart attack greatly reduced.
      Just today, I had a fall when I was admiring the views from the top of the Wither Hills Farm Park, rather than watching where I was riding. I put a wheel off the side of the track and down I went. Another lesson learnt – no harm done apart from a bruised leg (and ego) and a bleeding nose.
      Let me say Schmidt911, an e-bike still has to be pedalled, but I can still get a good workout by restricting the amount of power available to the pedals.
      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in my town, a group of 20-25 oldies aged anywhere between 55-80 years of age, meet for a group ride of approx. 25 kilometres followed by coffee. Many have e-bikes, many have mtb bikes, and a few have ordinary bikes. Some ride the local MTB tracks on the ratepayer-owned farm park on the side of a hill, and which is also a working sheep/cattle farm
      Many of the ones riding e-bikes have medical conditions and would not be able to ride without power assistance.
      Are you denying them the right to say they have been out mountain biking?
      Can I suggest you should admire them for having the determination to exercise for their enjoyment and health, and you should also be encouraging like riders in your country.
      The e-bike is here to stay. Let’s hope the number of detractors change their view and encourage ones like myself to share the joys of our beloved sport together.

  • cbotto79

    I started 9 years ago, at age 48, to impress the guy I was dating. We broke up, but I still love mountain biking!

  • Alvin Mullen

    My cheeter slick 5 speed stingray got stolen the summer before 8th grade, 1970. My step grandfather gave me his old Schwinn Typhoon. I stripped it down, changed the bars, put on wide knobby tires and started riding gravel and trails in Michigan. So I basically had a single speed Klunker and I had no idea what was going on in Cali at the same time. 12 years later after high school and years in the Navy, I bought a mountain bike. I still had no idea they were something relatively new.

  • Denacho

    1st date with my now hubs was mtb at a local trail. I had never ridden before and I now know that trail to be Interm+. It almost killed me. But we kept dating, married and I now own that trial. We are currently on a camping+mtb trip, one of many we take each year. I wld not trade that 1st date for anything

  • Mountainfun

    Got my first mountain bike in 1985 and rode it on single track with vertical climbing. A Cannondale with a 24″ rear wheel.
    Still riding today on a 29er.

  • Malarky

    I’m one of those kinda doing it before mountain biking became a thing. As a teen & young adult, in the 70s, loved riding whatever I had, on fire roads, service roads, foot paths thru woods & horse trails. As those things disappeared in my area, became more of a roadie. When the first mtb trails opened locally, I got a mountain bike.

  • Taz Pengra

    In the 1970’s as kids we rode our Schwinn cruisers on cow paths in the forest near Bend Oregon. There was a lot of “upgrading” to the widest tires we could get, and cutting down handlebars to fit between trees. BMX bikes were popular with some for this trail riding, but weren’t very good for long distances, so the beach cruiser became the bike to have for riding on trails. Then someone read a magazine article about some guys in California that were doing the same thing, and even making bikes just for riding on trails. Pre Internet, so news traveled slow. Interesting that it was happening in different places at the same time independently.

  • mongwolf

    Absolutely love hearing the stories of all you old timers. I’m a relatively newcomer to the mtb scene and have been riding for about 7 years. Five years in real earnest. I did have the exotic privilege to start mountain riding in the country of Mongolia. Nearly every ride was an adventure ride, riding trails that had never seen nobbies before. With only one trail in the country with an official name, it was exploration at its finest. Virgin trails with many long, blazing fast downhills. Wonderful days in my life.

  • m.krupp

    I too appreciate hearing from the elders of this community. While I am not young I am new to the sport. Hard to say officially how long because I dabbled around the edges of MTBing for 10+ years. About 5 years ago I started learning more and digging deeper and learning the details of bikes and types of trails and riding and…it just goes on. I appreciate all those before me making this a legit sport that I love and I am getting my kids into. Good to be apart of this community that pushes each other to be better.

  • Superfly Lee

    I started riding trails in the late 70s as a grade schooler in Washington state outside of seattle. Rodes bikes everywhere, to school, to soccer practice, everywhere. There were handcut trails connecting all of the various neighborhoods for miles. A lot of kids in that area were into bikes, but we were all on bmx bikes with big knobs. Bought my first mountain bike in the late 80s, Rode bikes and motorcycles all through high school and college and just never stopped, although I don’t ride my dirt bike that often anymore. I’ve also done a ton of urban riding over the years, mostly on mountain bikes. Sometimes riding bikes is like a time machine for me. I’ll be riding somewhere and something will trigger a memory of riding a trail somewhere when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s. Cool topic!

  • watusi512

    Had a version #1 Stumpjumper in ’82…But we used to jump our Sting-Rays way earlier than that! Lol! ???? (Currently 58 and still traveling, riding, and racing! 🙂 )

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