The Balance: A New Column on Mountain Bike Culture

A new column from Matt Miller that focuses on the positive elements of mountain biking.

Illustration by Hannah Morvay.

It’s been a fast five months. I started as a full-time writer for Singletracks in May and if you’re a regular reader, then you’ve no doubt seen a few of my words.

I’ve already written more press releases than I ever anticipated I would, 75% of which were probably about a certain category of bikes that have been pretty hot this past year. Can ya guess?

In the mountain bike world, these are news items and we have a responsibility to get this information out to readers, but as a writer, it’s not what makes my blood flow.

And, although I love the process for good reporting and in-depth journalism, it doesn’t always satisfy the need for creative writing.

I’ve been a writer for less than three years and have been a professional writer for half of that, but what inspired me as a human before I started writing was hearing about other’s perspectives on certain things. The best stories weren’t divisive, or sensationalist, but rather thoughtful and humanistic.

I think the best thing a story can do sometimes is get a reader to think past it, even if it’s just for a few short minutes. Picking sides and writing arguments is only helpful for half of the audience, so for this column, I’ll keep that in check.

This doesn’t mean I won’t write about topics like social media, electric mountain bikes, and other pot-stirring items. It just means that I’m going to take the time to consider both sides heavily and not jump to one side or the other because it’s easiest.

Some of these may be carefully crafted opinion pieces, other stories might be just that – a story that’s hopefully fun to read with some element of learning.

Greg Heil’s column ended in April when he left and Singletracks readers are due for some fun and personal reads that are outside of the realm of trail access, gear review, and product news, so here’s to a new chapter. Look for a new story about once per month, starting with this one.