Singletracks Staff Hopes for the Coming Mountain Bike Season

The Singletracks staff shares mountain biking hopes and dreams and personal goals for 2021.

The cognitive dissonance that burrowed into most of 2020 felt like being lost for a lot of us, as we inured an uncertain new normal. The inner voice sounded something like, “Didn’t we already pass that tree? Am I riding or watching a POV video? Didn’t I finish this ride an hour ago? How is it still only Tuesday — again?” It may be a while until we get to clink glasses around a communal bonfire following daylong adventures, and we have some hopes for this coming season that we wanted to share with our cherished online mountain bike community.

We also want to encourage you, readers, to share your hopes and aspirations for the coming season. Will you learn some new skills in 2021, or pedal a longer ride than ever before? Maybe it’s time to learn how to rebuild your suspension components, or bleed the brakes? Please share your story with everyone in the comments below.

Matt Miller’s 2021 trail fun

Photo: Hannah Morvay

This year ended up being an exercise in adaptability. While it’s easy to say “2020 was the worst year ever and life sucked more than it ever sucked before,” I think it showed all of us how to manage our happiness. Most people I know traveled far less than they did in 2019, but a lot of folks I know rode more than ever. They traded in vacations for more miles at home, and even though the year, in general, was more challenging, we had to make lemonade out of lemons.

For 2021, I’m hoping we can get back to a regular schedule of gatherings, groups, and pubs at some point. Traveling for work in normal years can weigh on ya at the end of the season, but 2020 was also a reminder of how energizing it is to get out and ride with new people, especially if you live the WFH life.

I’m also hoping that trail traffic stabilizes in the next year, with a growth in new trails. 2020 has been a great year for bikes. I have at least one handful of friends who bought their first mountain bike this year and are freakin’ stoked on it, which is awesome. My want is that land managers will still pay attention in 2021, and bike-optimized trails will continue to grow, bike shop shelves will restock, and mountain biking will continue to get more affordable for anyone who wants to participate.

Leah Barber’s bike resolutions

This year everything has changed–seriously, I’m gonna need some new riding clothes–and that’s exciting. The new faces out on the trails are young and old, apprehensive and focused, joyous and frustrated, black, brown and white. I’m looking forward to riding with and befriending some new folks!

While I did not ride my bike as much this year, I’ve spent a lot of time doing yoga. In a lot of ways, it is like mountain biking; some things you just can’t muscle through or you’ll end up in a face plant. The other likeness is that there’s always progression. Perhaps that’s what I’m most excited about next year, in mountain biking and just everyday life. It’s hard, you fall on your face sometimes, but you move forward. Check back this time next year and see if I’ve mastered crow pose.

Jeff Barber’s forest forecast

This year was… weird. There weren’t many group rides or new trail days, but I did manage to learn some new things about working on my bike at home and building small dirt jumps and berms in the backyard.

In 2021 I’d love to extend my wrench skills to rebuilding wheels and suspension components. One thing I know is that having the right tools makes any job much easier, so I guess that means I’ll be adding to my tool collection as well.

Like everyone else, I hope to be able to get together for more group rides and to travel to new places where I can connect with local riders. This year has taught me that it’s important to take advantage of opportunities whenever I can. In years past I might’ve passed on a group ride or even a weekend bike trip thinking, “maybe the next one” but as it turned out, there hasn’t been a next one for a while. Once it’s safe to do so, I plan to make even more time for riding with others and exploring new trails.

A lot of people got into mountain biking for the first time in 2020, while others dusted off their bikes after years of neglect. As things get back to “normal” I hope folks are able to continue finding time to ride mountain bikes for fitness, fun, and community.

Jamieelee Garcia’s new-year singletrack schedule

Photo: Daniel Palma

For many, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years of their lifetimes. As the final chapter of the year comes to a close, it’s time to pause for a bit and reflect on the past year and be hopeful for the upcoming year.

Traveling and gathering were put on a pause this past 2020. In 2021 I hope to travel to new destinations with awesome trails where I can ride my Ibis DV9 hardtail, breathe some fresh early morning air, and say hello to riders as they go up and down the trails. When it is safe to do so, I hope to go to a clinic or skills camp to work on my technical skills and be able to go on many more advanced trails.

Whatever this next year has in store, I am hoping for the best.

Gerow’s hopes ahead

Generally, I hope to ride some far longer routes in the coming year. I had massive backcountry plans this season that were eaten up by the insatiable Corona monster and I would love to get back in the deep woods for a few weeks.

If a vaccine makes its way to Italy I would also like to travel a little in 2021. The high and dry Atlas Mountains of Morocco are atop my list, along with the less-explored tracks in Ukraine, and I would really love to ride any trail in the beautiful forests of Japan. I’d also settle for just riding nearby in the Alps without a mask on.

Locally, some of the DH-nutters who build in the hills here mounded up a few larger gap jumps during quarantine and I’m keen to give them a go. My shoulders are feeling strong again, and I would like to turn my aerial pencils into pancakes, or at least into something more exciting than pencils.

In terms of the bike industry, I hope that the slowly blossoming trend of women and BIPOC being better represented on teams and in bike media endures. There’s been a slow shift in representation and I want to see the industry double down on our equity work to invite everyone to the trail. I would also love to see the current focus on climate and the environment grow exponentially in the coming season. A place to begin might be ditching tear-offs altogether. Goggle lenses would be better without that silly plastic nub, and we’d all benefit from less trash.

That’s enough from us, now it’s your turn. What are your hopes and aspirations for the 2021 mountain bike season?