Training, Nutrition, and Health

Are You a Mountain Bike Racer?

February 14, 2015

Today’s guest post comes to us from Adam Rup­pel, founder of Chico Rac­ing.


I know a lot of peo­ple don’t want to be con­sid­ered a moun­tain bike rac­er, espe­cial­ly these days as it is now a seri­ous Olympic sport. But maybe you’re a moun­tain bike rac­er and you nev­er even knew it. Here are six ways to tell if you are actu­al­ly a racer.


If you did you timed your ride. You can pre­tend you didn’t care to look at how fast you did the ride, but you did. I am sor­ry to say you are prob­a­bly a rac­er, even if you’ve nev­er done a race. Do you know your local Stra­va Cham­pi­on? If you do you’re a seri­ous Stra­va rac­er, and shame on you. Take that to a prop­er race!


Do you lead group rides with friends? That doesn’t make you a rac­er. But if you start defend­ing your posi­tion by pass­ing any­one who dares take the lead you have rac­er ten­den­cies. Plus your friends prob­a­bly don’t like rid­ing with you.


Peo­ple con­cerned with weight do so because they want more effi­cien­cy and speed. Chances are you are a rac­er. If you order chick­en wings and beer after every ride and are using these parts to off­set weight you are prob­a­bly not a racer.


Do you count how many peo­ple you passed on a ride? Are you breath­ing so hard you can’t acknowl­edge oncom­ing rid­ers or hik­ers? Do you pick up the pace when a faster rid­er pass­es you? Sor­ry, but you are most like­ly a racer.


Unless you are Emi­ly Bat­ty, most peo­ple don’t look fash­ion­able or cool wear­ing span­dex. This doesn’t make you a rac­er, how­ev­er wear­ing it could push you over the edge into that ter­ri­to­ry. All clad in lycra at the local Star­bucks? You are a rac­er or a wannabe, in the eyes of oth­er java lovers anyways.


If your bikes are worth more than your car you are prob­a­bly a rac­er. If on any giv­en ride you choose between your dual sus­pen­sion car­bon, car­bon all-moun­tain or car­bon hard­tail you are prob­a­bly a rac­er. How­ev­er if your bike choice includes a fix­ie city hard­tail then you are prob­a­bly a hipster.


If you answered yes to one or two of the above you prob­a­bly just have a wee-bit of a moun­tain bike rac­er in you.
If you answered yes to three or more of the above and you are prob­a­bly a lit­tle more than just a week­end war­rior. 
If you answered yes to all six, get a race plate on your bike, fast!

But no mat­ter how you answered the above most of us only race for fun. Some­times an impromp­tu race can appear on a group ride, or it can be your local sanc­tioned event, but one thing is for cer­tain. Rac­ing can make moun­tain bik­ing seri­ous­ly fun. 


Adam Rup­pel found­ed Chico Rac­ing which has been oper­at­ing moun­tain bike events in Ontario for over 20 years. Chico Rac­ing orga­nizes North Amer­i­ca’s Largest 24 hour moun­tain bike event — the 24 Hours of Sum­mer Sol­stice at Albion Hills Con­ser­va­tion Area.

Do you race? Have you ever want­ed to but are scared to try? Let us know your thoughts about rac­ing in the com­ments below!