Mountain Biker Top Hill

WHY MOUNTAIN BIKING IS BETTER THAN ROAD BIKING

As a pedal-pushing enthusiast, I have tried both mountain biking and road biking. I spent years pushing myself on the tarmac but almost as soon as I discovered mountain biking I was immediately a convert. It isn’t anything against roadies or the roadie community, it’s simply that mountain biking is by far the more fun discipline. Here is my list of reasons why in a mountain biking vs road biking competition, mountain biking always comes out on top.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH CARS

Getting out onto the trails provides more than just an exercise outlet, it is also a break from the mayhem of town and city life. You get out into the forest and can fly down the hills to your heart’s content, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of forest life.

Road biking, on the other hand, involves cars and trucks flying past you at 50mph. Aside from the deafening noise and carbon monoxide clouds, it is also unsettling to know that you are no more than two or three feet from certain death at any given moment.

THE LYCRA PARADE

Sitting at the back of a roadie peloton is a bit like being at the back of the elephant parade in the Jungle Book. A constant stream of riders, stiff in concentration, bottoms in the air shaking back and forth in unison. Except in the peloton, all the elephants are in tight lycra and won’t slow down for you.

By contrast, mountain bikers wear much more flattering clothes and use the opportunity of everyone bunched together in a hill climb to crack jokes, give out banter and generally have a good time. The two are worlds apart.

UPPER BODY DEVELOPMENT

Mountain biking develops your upper body as well as your legs. Performing the technical aspects of downhill mountain biking involves navigating difficult terrain, drop-offs, tree roots and boulders, for many of these obstacles you need to incorporate your upper body to lift the front of the bike. Roadies, on the other hand, tend to have a much lighter physique and frame and any muscle is limited to their legs.

YOU GET TO BEHAVE LIKE A BIG KID

No matter how old I get, popping wheelies and doing huge back-end skids never cease to gratify and amuse me. You won’t catch roadies popping wheelies or power-sliding from the back tyre. Aside from the fact it would ruin their wheels, it’s not in their nature.

Mountain bikers like to get out in the country, get out of breath, get muddy, have a laugh and make friends. I have never met a friendlier, more chilled out group of people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Even for that reason alone, there is no contest. Mountain biking wins the battle of the cycle disciplines hands down. Sorry roadies.

 


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Neil Watson
neilwatson@dinga.com.au

Neil loves mountain bikes and everything to do with them. He's got years of experience he is sharing.