The Singletracks staff and our contributors spend a lot of time every day, week, and month drafting up gear and bike reviews, and informing readers with breaking news and press releases. All of us try and devote an equal amount of time diving into the culture of mountain biking, digging into news and trends on a deeper level, and connecting with the mountain bike organizations and advocates who make our riding happen.
This year started off like any other; fitness content, optimism, and planning out bike trips for the summer with our friends. As the coverage reflects, it quickly turned. Instead, we stuck near home, reflecting on the greater world of mountain biking through a TV, or short rides near home by ourselves. That evolved over the year, and then the world grappled with inequality.
Parts of this year felt like they crawled by achingly slow, but looking back at some of these articles, it feels like it flew by, just like any other year. Here are our favorite reads of the year. Read them over while you’re nursing a New Years Day headache, or after setting the bike down for the first ride of the season.
How to Convince Someone You Need a New Mountain Bike: 10 Arguments to Try
BY MATT MILLER | JANUARY 7, 2020
Having a tough time convincing someone you need a new mountain bike? Here are 10 arguments to try. Read More.
How I Found Community and Self Confidence in Mountain Biking
BY SAM JAMES | JANUARY 15, 2020
Sam shares how much cycling and mountain biking in particular have improved his life. Read More.
As the Rumor Mill Turns, Mountain Bikers Still Have Plenty of Questions about the Kingdom Trails
BY MATT MILLER | JANUARY 23, 2020
Some of the best trails in the Kingdom Trails network were closed to mountain bikes in December, and there are still questions floating around as to why it happened. Read More.
Whether Building or Riding, There are no Easily Earned Miles in Southwest Utah
BY MATT MILLER | JANUARY 28, 2020
Southwest Utah has blown up in popularity as a mountain bike destination over the past decade, but that brings a new set of problems that trails builders must deal with. Read More.
Former Mountain Biker Uses Mountain Bike Technology To Break Down Barriers To The Outdoors For Himself and Others
BY RICHARD SHOOP | FEBRUARY 3, 2020
Ben Huntzinger designs and builds custom wheelchairs made to handle natural terrain, drawing his inspiration from the sport of mountain biking. Read More.
Listen to the Aspens Quake: A Mountain Biker’s Guide to Nature
BY BRIAN GEROW | FEBRUARY 13, 2020
Many popular mountain bike trails weave in and out of aspen groves. We investigate to learn more about this unique tree species. Read More | from the Mountain Biker’s Guide to Nature Series
Inside the YT Mob With Team Manager Martin Whiteley
BY BRIAN GEROW | FEBRUARY 12, 2020
Martin Whiteley shares his story of becoming a mountain bike World Cup team manager, and explains how athletes get paid. Read More.
The Mind Behind the Lens: An Interview With Legendary MTB Photographer Sven Martin
BY BRIAN GEROW | FEBRUARY 25, 2020
Sven Martin is at the top of the photo-narrative heap, creatively capturing images that share the real emotional qualities of mountain biking. Read to learn what goes on behind the lens. Read More.
Mountain Biking During the Covid-19 Quarantine in Italy
BY BRIAN GEROW | MARCH 11, 2020
Here’s what it looks like to mountain bike in Italy today, under a nationwide quarantine. Read More.
Mountain Biking: Chicken Soup for the Soul
BY MAUREEN GAFFNEY | APRIL 15, 2020
When they said “work remotely for the next three weeks,” I packed my California bags for Sedona that night and was on the road 12 hours later. Read More.
Quarantine Remains as Shredding Resumes: Updates From an Italian Trailhead
BY BRIAN GEROW | MAY 8, 2020
After sheltering in place for two months under some of the most restrictive measures in the world, Gerow finally goes for a mountain bike ride. Read More.
With Little to Do Staying at Home, More People are Picking up a Bike
BY MATT MILLER | MAY 18, 2020
Coronavirus has had a surprising impact on the bike industry, but it seems like it’s mostly a positive one. Read More.
Learning How to Build a Bike Was the Best Thing I did all Quarantine
BY MATT MILLER | MAY 14, 2020
Stay at home orders make for the perfect time to learn how to put a bike together from scratch. Read More.
Pump Tracks for Everyone! The Gateway Drug to Mountain Biking
BY JEFF BARBER | MAY 27, 2020
Now, perhaps more than ever, our communities need more pump tracks. Read More.
Opportunity Vs. Chance: How John Hall Became Aaron Gwin’s Mechanic
BY MATT MILLER | JUNE 17, 2020
A little bit of chance and a lot of hard work led to John Hall landing his dream job as a World Cup mountain bike mechanic for Aaron Gwin. Read More.
Bias and Discrimination in Cycling and What to do Differently: The Miles Crumley Interview
BY BRIAN GEROW | JULY 10, 2020
Former Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference director Miles Crumley shares his experience as a gay, Black cyclist. Read More.
Family Mountain Bike Bonding: “Do you Want Stitches or a Scar?”
BY BRIAN GEROW | AUGUST 4, 2020
If scars make something more memorable, then mountain biking must be sinking in. Read More.
With Closures, and Limited Build Days This Year, MTB Organizations See More Rogue Trails
BY MATT MILLER | AUGUST 13, 2020
Illegal trail building is seeing an upswing during the pandemic, so MTB advocates are trying to recruit rogue diggers. Read More.
How Can You Truly Feel Like You Belong When No One Out There Looks Like You?
BY ANNE-MARIJE ROOK | AUGUST 18, 2020
Brooke Goudy, a Black, Denver-based mountain biker explains what it is to really feel welcomed in the mountain bike community. Read More.
Ampt Biking Helps Amputees and Adaptive Mountain Bikers Find Happiness on the Trail
BY MATT MILLER | SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
Ampt Biking wants to help amputees and adaptive athletes get on mountain bikes. We joined the group at their first-ever event in August. Read More.
Eliot Jackson, an Advocate through Circumstance
BY ANNE-MARIJE ROOK | SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
Jackson sat down with Singletracks to talk about his foundation and stepping into an advocacy role he never sought out. Read More.
On the Trail, Everything Is Actually Happening, Right Here — Right Now
BY BRIAN GEROW | OCTOBER 30, 2020
It’s a brilliant time to be a young mountain biker. It can also be tough to pull away from screens and get outdoors. Read More.
Don’t get Wound Up: Mountain Bike Suspension Experts get to the Bottom of Coil (Mis)information
BY SINGLETRACKS STAFF | NOVEMBER 10, 2020
Coil-sprung mountain bike suspension comes with both advantages and disadvantages. We talk to the experts to help you decide which one is best. Read More.
Analysis Paralysis: When the Trail Grows Before your Eyes
BY MATT MILLER | DECEMBER 3, 2020
For a mountain bike trail feature I know I can ride, the longer I look at it, the bigger it gets. Read More.
Mountain Biking has Outgrown Colorado’s Most Popular Trails
BY MATT MILLER | DECEMBER 7, 2020
As the population and interest in outdoor recreation grows, Colorado mountain bike trails like those at Apex park are feeling the strain. Read More.
Mountain Biking Through the Rocky Trail of Grief
BY SCOTT JENSEN | DECEMBER 17, 2020
A brother turns to mountain biking to cope with loss. Read More.
Singletracks Staff Hopes for the Coming Mountain Bike Season
BY SINGLETRACKS STAFF | DECEMBER 21, 2020
The Singletracks staff shares mountain biking hopes and dreams and personal goals for 2021. Read More.
Tell us which Singletracks article was your favorite in the comments below!
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Wow, I am so grateful to see one of my articles listed as a best read for this year. Thanks for the privilege of letting me write for Singletracks, and thanks to all the readers who have enjoyed and shared my articles.
Thanks guys, super stoked to see one of my articles on this list. I can only hope my words have inspired some others out there too. Here’s to 2021 being a brighter year.