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What is Mountain Biking?
At its most basic level mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Many don’t know that there are a few different types of mountain biking.
Cross-country riding is exactly how it sounds. Traversing trails both rough and smooth, maneuvering around the rocks and roots, and a slight incline and decline to the route. Challenge is rated from easy to moderate.
Downhill riding is also exactly how it sounds. After pushing or being shuttled (always nice!) up a mountain, one then traverses down a steep rocky trail. These trails often feature drops and jumps.
Enduro riding is right in the middle.
Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.
Why Should I try it?
Regardless of what type of mountain biking you do, you will get one thing for sure…nature! You can go further and faster than hiking, and go places your typical road bike could never go.
If you opt for a bit more challenge (you inevitably will!), then its good to know that you can often ride around harder obstacles and you can rely on your feet to get you out of tight spots. I’ve carried my bike down a number of steep spots!
Cost and Equipment.
I’m not going to lie. Mountain biking can be expensive! Cross-country bikes can start around $700 and more technical and durable bikes can costs thousands.
Besides the bike you need to invest in armour. I would wear elbow, knee pads and a basic for all levels. As you go more extreme you will need a full-face helmet and possibly chest and neck protection.
You also want some repair equipment, and although the local shop can tune up your bike for you, some lessons can get you out of a jam on the trail.