December 27, 2013
First off, a disclaimer: I’m a mountain biker. Always have been, always will. And as the founder of a mountain bike adventure company, I’ve made it my career. So I’m more than a bit biased.
Secondly, I don’t have anything against road riding. I’ve tried it many times. I tried to love it. I tried to like it. But ultimately it’s just not for me. I know that millions of people love road riding (and that it’s more popular than mountain biking), but… I also think millions of road riders haven’t tried mountain biking yet. 🙂
So without further ado, here are my 10 Reasons Why Mountain Biking is Better than Road Biking:
- The obvious one: No Cars. Nothing harshes your mellow more than 4,000 pounds of noisy steel whizzing by you at 70 miles an hour, 18 inches away.
- Mountain Biking is Better for your Health: see above. Not sharing your ride with CO2-emitting vehicles is a lot better for your lungs, particularly when you’re surrounded by…
- …Trees: There’s nothing quite like the feeling of flying down a trail through the woods with trees whooshing by (and hitting a tree hurts a lot less than getting hit by a car).
- Quiet and Solitude: Mountain bike trails often take you to remote, peaceful places, where you can commune with nature, meditate, and enjoy the great outdoors. You rarely get such opportunities on a road bike, unless you happen to live in an area with rarely-used paved roads (which are pretty rare these days).
- Fewer Type ‘A’s: Mountain biking seems to attract more laid-back people. Whenever I’ve gone out for a road ride, everyone quickly gets really competitive. When I go out mountain biking with my buddies, it’s all about enjoying good times and good laughs with good friends.
- Lots of Riding Styles to Choose From: Cross-Country. All-Mountain. Freeride. Enduro. DH. Lift-assisted. No matter who you are, there’s a type of mountain biking to suit your personality. Road riding? Umm… let’s see… Riding on the road.
- Wipeouts on dirt hurt a lot less than wipeouts on pavement. (Cedric Gracia notwithstanding — we’re talking about the average MTB wipeout, not the kind of wipeout you get when you backflip off a 40-foot cliff.)
- Mountain Biking Gives you a Better Workout: Riding on the road improves your cardiovascular fitness for spinning at high cadence for a long time. Mountain biking requires much more dynamic fitness — from quick bursts to sustained cardio output — and incorporates many more muscle groups.
- Mountain Bikers are More Fun. See #5.
- Bib Shorts. Enough said.
I’m sure the roadies will get plenty upset at this post. The comments below are your opportunity to do so (and an opportunity for MTBers to back me up!)