8 Reasons Mountain Biking Should Be the New Golf

8 Reasons Mountain Biking Should Be the New Golf, by Sacred Rides
May 15th, 2015

There’s been a lot of ink spilled recently (or pixels pulsed, rather) over the rise of cycling as the new golf in the business world (see here, here and here for examples). As a cyclist, I can’t help but nod in approval. But what if we took it a step further? What if mountain biking became the new norm when looking to land offers, screen potential employees or network with like-minded partners?


What kind of world would we live in?


Here in my native Toronto, we have access to 80km of quality singletrack, all in close vicinity to the city core. My team and I at Sacred Rides take advantage of such easy access on our weekly rides, which we often share with clients on a rip around our favourite trails. Although it may be hard to quantify, I’m willing to bet that those relationships are more deeply forged on dirt, through the common experience of breaking sweat and sharing pain, than after hours of putting about and cursing our luck on manicured green.


So, in the hopes of informing rather than antagonizing, here are  8 reasons to consider throwing a leg over a mountain bike (and ditch the clubs) next time you're looking to do business outside of the office:


1. Mountain biking is a sport. It requires endurance, resilience and stamina. Looking to shed a few pounds or improve your cardiovascular fitness? It’ll whip you into shape. Golf? Good luck losing those handles or building those calves on the course.


2. Better fitted for business. Ever noticed how business metaphors are more closely aligned with mountain biking than with golf? Climb the mountain. Reach the summit. Journey to the top. That’s no coincidence. There’s a higher degree of risk and reward in mountain biking - of pain and gain and plain old grit - which any leader knows is required in business.


3. Happy vs. Frustrated. Mountain biking makes people happy. The feeling of pushing yourself to the top of a climb and being rewarded with an epic descent is an incredible one. Golf, on the other hand, makes people bitter and annoyed, with many suffering from Frustrated Golfer Syndrome. Isn't the point of a social outlet to let loose and have some fun after a grinding day?


4. Experiencing the outdoors. Mountain biking allows you to get back into nature, real nature. Not the fake, polished and pesticide ridden crap you'll find on a golf course. We're talking trees and rivers and birds and bugs. Mud flying in your face, dirt sticking to your sweat and trees whooshing by at breakneck speed. It's a big bold world out there. It's time you experience it. On a mountain bike.


5. Time and money. A mountain bike ride can be as long or as short as you want it to be. It’s less of a commitment than an 18 hole, and although it's by no means a cheap sport, you’re not committing anyone to annual membership fees on top of the equipment required to participate.


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6. Better Bonding. Mountain biking allows you to bond in a way that golfing can’t. There's a healthy dose of competition when facing the inevitable obstacle, but it's all in good fun. You’re sharing a skill, a challenge and a common experience together. In golf, you’re either trying to win to gain an employer’s respect, or lose to avoid ruffling a prospect’s pride.  There's always a clear winner and a clear loser. And everyone knows that's not the way to go about business.


7. Better networking. You really get to know someone's true colours on a ride. Whether they're struggling through the strains of physical exertion or helping a fellow rider fix a flat tire, mountain biking will offer insights into your colleagues, partners and potential employees that golf never will. Their attitude, their determination, the strength of their resolve will all come to light. The sport also allows you to network more actively amongst greater numbers, with group rides ranging from 5 to 20 riders. And rare is the mountain bike ride that doesn't end up at the local watering hole or Mexican joint for a round of post-ride libations, making it a casual but effective networking opportunity. 


8. Perhaps the most important reason: Mountain biking requires a thin stretch of dirt no more than 5-15 inches wide flowing through a forest. Golf, on the other hand, requires that same expanse of forest to be chopped down, devoid of any semblance of a natural environment, constantly plucked, spruced and manicured, sprayed with pesticides, showered in drinking water and littered with gas-powered carts for the lazy. Ugh. 


About the author: Nate is a Toronto based mountain biker, badass protein bar maker and Rider Happiness  Manager at Sacred Rides. Interested in any of our Singletrack Rides? Feel free to book a 20-minute phone consultation with him.

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