10 Reasons Mountain Biking Makes You Awesome

October 10th, 2013

For most us, mountain biking isn't just a sport or a hobby. It's a way of life. Here are ten reasons why being a mountain biker automatically kicks your level of awesomeness up a few notches.

 

1) It’s a killer workout… And it sure beats a treadmill

When was the last time you heard someone say: “I just killed it on the treadmill, and had such a blast!”? In all likelihood - never. One of the main reasons people give up their exercise routine is because they’re just not having fun with it. And understandably so - after givin’er on the stationary bike, they’ve watched a rerun of Seinfeld and shed a bucket of sweat, and that’s about it. Go mountain biking and you’ll find that for every leg-burning, lung-crushing hill you climb, you’re rewarded with the oh-so-sweet decadent descent you’ve been craving.

2) It’s therapeutic

Had a rough day? Feeling like doing this to your printer? Those who take up mountain biking have an effective and positive outlet to turn to when needing to blow off some steam. Throwing a leg over your steed and hammering it out for an hour can have the same (if not heightened) remedial effects as lying on a couch while relaying your childhood sorrows, without the hourly bill. Your problems may not have changed, but your outlook on them certainly will.

3) You’ll get closer to nature

As Rachel Carson once put it, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts”.  Indeed, research shows that those who are able to distance themselves from the noise and havoc of daily life to find reprieve in the tranquility of nature are happier, less stressed and more energetic.  One look at mountain bike pioneer Brett Tippie is evidence enough to support this.

4) It’ll bring adventure into your life

Mountain biking is by nature a pretty adventurous sport, the mere mention of which evokes a certain spirit of exploration and risk-taking. And being adventurous inevitably makes you a much more interesting person. When asking a mountain biker about their weekend, instead of small talk you’ll often hear glorified tales of darting across rickety bridges, scaling treacherous peaks, dodging branches or the odd rabid animal and awkwardly returning to civilization covered in mud, stained with blood and wearing a shit-eating grin.

 

5) You’ll discover new parts of the world

Traveling by mountain bike opens the door to a world of possibilities; you’ll gain access to places often too remote for the tourist hordes and engage with locals in a more meaningful way than from the seat of a tour bus. And the great thing about mountain biking is that no matter where you find yourself in the world, chances are you’re never too far away from a thin line of dirt snaking its way through a forest, field or desert. But heck, you don’t even need to go very far… A mountain bike can help you discover hidden gems in your very own city, opening your eyes to what you never thought existed in your concrete jungle.

 

 

6) It’ll teach you how to meditate

Leave your  gadgets at home on your next ride, and you’ll find yourself fully living in the moment. It’s not like you’re given much of a choice either, what with all the roots and rocks and tight corners along the way. It’s all about being present in the here and now. Rolling with it. Going with the flow. Everything else, all the crap life throws your way, is magically blurred out. And that’s the beauty of the ride.

7) You’ll get outdoors

Want to feel alive?  Studies show that a 20-minute dose of fresh air promotes a sense of vitality and rejuvenation equal to that provided by a cup of joe, minus the jitters. Just imagine what a 2-hour bike ride will do for your well-being and overall sense of kicking ass at life. You’ll also get in touch with your inner-child, bringing you back to the days when life wasn’t about crunching numbers or furiously typing away in a cubicle, but of making the most of simple pleasures.

8) You’ll meet some great peeps

Mountain bikers tend to be a pretty happy-go-lucky breed. Perhaps it’s all that exercising. Or the fresh air. Or the nature-loving. Regardless, happy people naturally tend to flock towards other happy people. So join a fat-tire club and you’re bound to meet good-natured, like-minded folks with a propensity for laughter and a penchant for good brews.

9) It’ll teach you a lesson or two about self-sufficiency

In a world of comfort and convenience, there’s something deeply satisfying and rewarding about relying on your own wits and two mitts to fix the inevitable trailside breakdown. Being able to diagnose and repair mechanical mishaps is as much a part of mountain biking as benchcutting a trail or picking the right post-ride ale. And if knowing a thing or two about bike repairs means lending a helping hand to those less mechanically-inclined, consider it a healthy deposit into your karma account.  

10) You’ll boost your confidence

The feeling of making it up a monster climb, balancing your way across a narrow ladder bridge or carving your way down a technical descent is a pretty incredible one. And luckily, most mountain bike trails offer heaps of obstacles, challenges and personal Everests, no matter your skill or fitness level.  All you need is a bit of practice, some determination and a kick in the ass to face your fears and push your limits… which happens to be a pretty good analogy for just about anything in life worth accomplishing.

Got more reasons? Share 'em in the comments below!

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