Are You a Mountain Bike Racer?

February 13th, 2015

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

Are you a MOUNTAIN BIKE Racer? 

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.

1) Do you Strava?

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!

2) Group Rides

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.

3) Carbon Fiber Parts

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.

4) General Riding

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.

5) Lycra

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.

6) Bike Equipment

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!