Are you looking to take up a new free-time activity? Something, more demanding and adventurous, maybe? How about mountain biking?
Mountain biking is all about adventure, fun, pushing limits, and enjoying the ride and scenery. Seems interesting, doesn’t it? But, wait, before you start thinking that mountain biking is strictly an adrenaline-driven sport, you should also know that there are things that you can do on a mountain bike that you never even imagined.
Before we dive in listing all the things you never thought you could do on a mountain bike, let’s see what mountain biking is about and how mountain bikes differ from your good-old bike.
Mountain bike riding
Simply put, mountain biking is a sport or activity of riding a specially designed bike off-road, and over rough terrain. Technically, you can ride a mountain bike pretty much anywhere but they are made for mountain trails, forests, and other similar terrains.
When thinking of mountain bikes, people often think about extreme sports. That’s because they’ve probably seen cyclo-cross. Cyclo-cross is, in fact, a form of an extreme sport. It’s a race that takes place either in fall or winter and consists of laps taken on several different trails.
All in all, mountain bike riding is a great activity for all those who love cycling and enjoying the scenery. There are many health benefits to this type of bike riding, so that’s something to consider when deciding on whether to take it up or not. It’s a demanding sport and requires having the right kind of equipment.
There is no mountain bike riding without a mountain bike. A mountain bike is a bicycle designed for off-road riding. This type of bike differs from a regular one in many things, for example, a mountain bike is designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain, and this is why they look bulkier and heavier.
Mountain bikes also feature powerful hydraulic disc breaks, front or full suspension. Unlike regular bikes, mountain bikes have larger tires and durable wheels.
However, if you want to go mountain bike riding, a mountain bike is not enough, you’ll need certain accessories as well. A mountain bike helmet is absolutely necessary – it can protect you in case you fall. Eye protection and clothing are also an important part of a mountain bike adventure.
Other accessories such as a water bottle, repair kit, and padding or body armor can also be of great use.
Other things that you can accomplish on a mountain bike
Once we know what mountain bikes are and what mountain bike riding implies, let’s see all the other things that can be accomplished on a mountain bike.
1. You can earn money mountain bike riding
We know what you’re thinking, but no, you don’t need to become a professional mountain biker to earn a living using a mountain bike. You can become a mountain bike patroller and in that way earn some money.
A mountain bike patrol involves the maintenance of trails. Besides your bike, you’ll need a chainsaw and a rake as equipment for this job. Mountain bike patrollers also carry first-aid to help out injured trail users, they’re job is to offer assistance with bike repair and to give information about the trail and bike safety.
A great way to earn money while riding a mountain bike and helping out other bikers.
2. Trail research and development
With your mountain bike, you can work on trail research and development. If you were wondering how new mountain bike trails are discovered – here is the answer. At first, the idea of a potential trail begins on a map, and then it needs to be researched in the real environment as well.
On your mountain bike, you’d be in charge of exploring the terrain and tracing the contours of the trail, discovering better trail options and natural paths. You know-how
people in the past used to go on mapping and cartography expeditions, well as a trail researcher, you’d be going on exciting expeditions with your bike!
3. Trail testing
Similar to trail research and development, trial testing is making sure that trails are safe for use and that they are clear of obstacles. There are instances when a bike will be used without a rider, on trails around big rock drops, or succession of large stumps.
If the bike passes the test without hitting anything. If the bike can pass the test, that means that a rider will be able to do so as well.
4. You can heal faster riding a mountain bike
Physical injuries are treated with therapy. And there is usually no better therapy than cycling. Many surgeons and physicians will prescribe using a bike as a way of rehab.
So, you can be creative and swap boring stationary bikes with mountain ones. And of course, don’t do anything overly physically demanding, just ride around your city, park, or neighborhood asphalt and gravel paths.
Mountain biking can also benefit your mental health. So, it is safe to say that your overall health can be improved just by mountain bike riding!
5. Winter mountain bike riding
Riding a bike during winter, on snow-covered paths and trails seems impossible, doesn’t it? However, with the right bike, such as a mountain bike, riding on snow is actually possible. And not just with some super special type of mountain bike, with your regular one.
To be able to ride your mountain bike on the snow-covered paths, you just need to know a couple of tricks and tips and this winter can be real fun for you.
The first tip is to choose the widest tires that your frame will allow. A wider tire will float on the top of the snow without sinking in. Then, try lowering the pressure in your tires to create more traction. Your body weight will flatten the tire so that more rubber is in contact with the snow.
Replace your current pedals with flat ones. These types of pedals will allow you to put your foot down faster. Plus, flat pedals allow you to wear bigger shoes or boots – which is something you’d want to do in the winter cold.
Another tip would be to choose your trails carefully. Trails covered with two to three inches of snow are ideal. As for the perfect time of the day for winter mountain bike riding – lower temperatures are in the morning and towards the end of the day, so that’s the ideal time. Riding on soft snow is impossible, that’s why you need the weather to be a bit colder.
6. You can use your bike to go up and down the stairs
Yes, with a mountain bike and appropriate gear riding up and down the stairs is possible. And you can also go in the reverse on the stairs as well. For this, your bike would need to be a full-suspension bike.
If you want to try it out, you can. But start small, and don’t forget to use safety accessories and equipment! You can try hopping up and down the stairs on the mountain bike too. For hopping, experts recommend a bike without suspension.
So, there you have it. Mountain bike riding as a free time activity offers many different options and possibilities. These were only a couple of things that you can do with your mountain bike, as the technology advances and mountain bikes get upgraded, maybe there will be more things that could be done on it.
One thing is sure, once you take up mountain biking as a hobby, you’ll be hooked up for life!