13 Things Every Mountain Biker Should Have On Their Bucket List
What are your ambitions when you climb on the mountain bike?
The world of mountain biking is pretty freakin’ huge. Within that one term you’ve got a variety of disciplines, each with their own scene, lifestyle, competitions and dream trails.
Some things that are universal across mountain biking though. Most mountain bikers are pretty chilled out. Most mountain bikers, shock, like being outdoors, and most mountain bikers, even those who pride themselves on riding up hills, will enjoy going down them even more.
Sitting down to think about what your ambitions on a mountain bike should be is actually pretty weird. Normally, you’d just climb on the thing, ride it around in whatever way you want, have as much fun as possible, and then climb off again. And that’s the way it should be.
But, on the other hand, there are some things out there that can make mountain biking even more enjoyable, or that will provide you with an experience you’ll never forget – possibly even rejuvenating your love for the bike and spurring you on to ride even more.
Of course, it goes without saying that ambition is personal for everyone, but let us know what you would've included on this list in the comments below...
1) Help Build a Trail
It goes without saying that ripping down a trail is great fun, skidding about, hopping around, speeding through berms and making your way down a mountain. If you’ve never helped build a mountain bike trail though, you don’t know the damage you could be doing to the trail, or the effort it takes to get it in such good shape in the first place.
Not only will building a trail give you more respect for the trails and for the sport, you’ll meet some great people along the way, learn how to ride the features you build, how to maintain them, and get a greater general appreciation for the sport.
2) Hike-a-Bike Somewhere
If you’re the kind of mountain biker we think you are, then you’ve probably got your local trails in your back pocket at this point. They’re fun – hell yeah they’re fun – but why not look for something different.
If you see a line you’ve never taken on because you can’t ride up there, why not hike your bike up? Same goes for holiday riding and so forth. It’s an experience you’ll remember, and you'll feel like something out of unReal.
3) Compete in a Mountain Bike Race
For many people mountain biking isn’t about the competition, but the thing is, that’s still the case for a lot of people that ride in mountain bike races. Sure, it’s great to test out your skills and find out how good you really are, but even if you’re not into competing on two-wheels, this is well worth it for the after-party and the sense of community alone.
4) Learn How to Jump
Being in the air is fun. That’s why when you’re a kid you're addicted to jumping off walls and other minor forms of parkour. Well, the same goes for mountain biking. This isn’t an essential, but it is something that opens a whole new world of options to you while you’re riding your bike. We just wouldn't recommend starting at FEST Series.
5) Learn How to Repair Your Own Bike
There’s nothing worse than a mechanical failure on your bike when you’re in the middle of nowhere without the knowledge or equipment to save yourself. This basically ends in you either freewheeling back to society or taking a long walk home. Learn how to repair your bike and what you need to do so and this may still be a major annoyance, but it’ll no longer be a serious fear. Here are some trailside fixes to get you started.
6) Go For a Night Ride
NIGHTIME IS COOL! Seriously though, remember to sort out a decent light first, or the dark will make light work of you. To make it even more unique, why not ride down in the dark with fireworks strapped to your helmet, like Ludo May? Actually, we can think of a few reasons not to.
7) Ride in the Snow
SNOW IS EVEN COOLER! Seriously though, remember to sort out your tyres first, or you’ll end up tired, wet and covered in white stuff pretty damn fast. We're not saying you have to take on Megavalanche, but instead of a sledge this Christmas, take your bike up the hills!
8) Save Up and Travel
There’s a special thing about knowing and loving your local trails. The sense of pride and community is amazing, but travel with your bike, and the sense of wonder and romanticism kicks in.
There’s nothing quite like reaching the top of a bike park or a mountain trail and looking around you, seeing Mt Blanc lurking in the distance or some other unknown mountain peaks where nobody ever expected you to be. Travel makes your story longer!
9) See the Pros in Action
Even if you’re not a follower of the professional mountain bike circuit – which you totally should be – seeing the pros in action is an absolute essential in our books. The style and speed they ride with is truly inspirational, no matter what discipline we’re talking. Just don’t watch them for too long then set out riding like your Andreu Lacondeguy or Steve Peat. We won’t take any responsibility for the subsequent crashes.
Where to start? Well, we'd recommend the Fort William World Cup. For those who have been... you know. For those who haven't? Don't expect to leave without a hangover.
10) Spend a Weekend in the Wild
Part of the fun of mountain biking is getting out of the city, into the wilderness and embracing the nature. Why not pack a tent and make a weekend of it? If you live in Britain, you really have no excuse, other than the poor weather and all that, but who says muddy trails aren’t fun?
11) Buy a Bike That's Worth the Money
That ride you're zinging around on from Gumtree is great and all, but just once in your life, why not eat only pasta for a few months, save up, read the bike reviews, go out on test rides and find a bike that perfectly matches your riding style. We guarantee that it exists, and when you find it, you'll love it like it's your very own child.
12) Be Somebody’s Saviour
We spoke earlier about learning how to fix your own bike and carrying the right stuff to do so. Well, why not be a good Samaritan once you’ve done this and stop to help out a poor fellow rider who forgot their spare inner tube or some other misfortune. You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, and the feel good, family-vibe of the mountain bike community will continue to grow!
13) Educate and Introduce
Finally, and the most important rule in our book, when you’ve got your grips in the mountain bike world and your life has been changed by the most beautiful sport in the world, share the love!
That mate you’ve got who loves the outdoors but has never got around to biking? Take him/her out on the bike, show them what it’s all about, teach them about trail etiquette and the wonders of berms and roots. Maybe they’ll get hooked and you’ll end up changing their lives as well!
The Indestructibles, a new TV show sponsored by G-Shock, is coming soon to Dave.