Inspiration & Humour

10 Reasons Why Mountain Biking Is Better Than Road Biking

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. …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).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. Moun­tain Bik­ers are More Fun. See #5. 
  10. 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!)