Cycling could already be part of your regular fitness regime or you could have just been contemplating picking up a mountain bike and hitting the trails. Either way, we’re here to convince you why you should take up mountain biking and all the benefits associated with it.
Mountain biking refers to the sport or activity of riding off-road, often over rough terrain with purpose-built mountain bikes. Mountain biking can occur almost anywhere but most take them to the trails. Near mountains, forests, or parks.
There are several types of mountain biking disciplines that can be suited for almost everyone, from beginners to experts! These include:
The most popular amongst recreational riders, trail riding is going off-road and exploring trails in mountains or forests. You’ll be met with ever-changing scenery and no trail will be quite the same. Trail riding is a good all-around mountain biking activity as it provides all the physical benefits through a casual ride with friends.
Cyclocross is for competitive riders, with defined end-to-end points, riders normally time themselves when taking up cross country cycling. Like most mountain biking disciplines, the trails often change. You can be riding on a narrow dirt track down a hill and suddenly be on open paved roads. It is also recommended that riders who take up Cyclocross be more experienced as the sport requires more endurance and good bike handling, which requires some time and practice.
If you want to experience the full force of mountain biking then you should be looking into all-mountain bike riding. All mountain biking is considered the purest form of mountain biking as riders can get their adrenaline pumping by exploring the mountainous terrains as they please. Riders can choose to stay on trial or deviate from the norm, creating their own adventure.
Mountain biking differs from regular cycling and generally refers to on-road cycling. On top of that, they require very different bikes. You could use mountain bikes for on-road cycling but you wouldn’t be able to take a road or cruiser bicycle on off-road trips. Mountain biking also requires more bike handling due to uneven and harsh terrain and is a much more effective whole body workout as it activates more muscle groups around the body.
Due to uneven terrain associated with mountain biking, riders experience more than the usual workout when compared to regular cycling. More bike handling skills are needed which come from balancing the bike on uneven terrain. This helps work out your abdominal and core muscles. Riding uphill also gives your upper body a workout. It’s safe to say mountain biking really provides a full-body workout.
Mountain biking allows you to experience the diverse landscape in your area. From trails throughout heritage-listed rainforests to tackling valleys and ridges, no 2 trails will be the same. A quick Google search can provide you with a list of biking trails near you.
Mountain biking is a great way to make new friends with common interests. If you're new to the mountain biking scene, the community around it is generally very helpful and willing to help out newbies on trails. You could ride in groups, train for races together and interact with like-minded people.
Depending on your off-road adventure, the equipment you pack for mountain biking can change.
The short answer is, yes! Getting your kids involved in mountain biking can make for great family bonding and they can reap all the benefits listed above. Some things you may need to consider if mountain biking with kids is carefully selecting the trails you take. They’ll need to be much easier and shorter than usual trails. You will also need to make sure they are using all the appropriate equipment including a mountain bike for kids, and safety gear.