Mountain biking is a wonderful sport. If you're here, then there's a good chance you already know that, so we don't to explain it any further. But if we were to explain it further, we'd probably start by pinpointing the freedom that the bike provides, the wonder of the speed and the beauty of the countryside that it takes you through. These are easy things to understand - simple pleasures that even the average, non-mountain biking human being can understand.
There are, however, a lot of things about mountain biking that the average, non-mountain biking human seems not only unable to understand, but completely baffled by.
We're talking about the occasional enjoyment in the crashes, the pleasure in being covered head-to-toe in dirt and even, on occasion, the strange pride that comes with the injuries you pick up along the way.
Normally it's possible to brush past the awkwardness that can come up when these less obvious pleasures of mountain biking arise in conversation, but if you're a mountain biker with a non-mountain biking flatmate, that is significantly less likely to happen, because there's a good chance you're dragging all of that behaviour, and the dirt and the mud and the blood that comes with it, back into your home.
Thus is born a series of the strangest arguments you'll probably every have in your life. Including, but not limited to, the below... Sound familiar?
1) “You left a trail of dirt in the hallway/kitchen/every other part of the flat"
Answer: "I got at least 95% of the dirt off before I came back in. If that's not a victory then I don't know what is."
2) “Do you really have to wash your bike in the shower?"
Answer: "Until you buy me a hose... Yes."
3) “You left your blood in the shower again"
Answer: "I'm sorry my literal bleeding is causing you so much pain."
4) “Can we go on a nice hike today? It’s so sunny!"
Answer: "Absolutely fucking not."
5) “Can you stop subtly adding pieces of bike-related decor to the living room?"
Answer: "They're not decor, they're accessories... and they're important. Even the old ones."
6) “Does the walk-in closet really have to have four bikes in it?"
Answer: "Well with a few parts we could turn it into a proper bike storage unit..."
7) “Does the living room really have to be a bike storage unit?"
Answer: "Well the closet is full..."
8) “It’s a bit of a hassle to get past your bike out on the staircase each morning, could you leave it outside?"
Answer: "Could you leave yourself outside?"
9) “Why do you even have so many bikes? Is one not enough?"
10) “But that’s bullshit about wheel size. It can’t make that much of a difference!"
11) “I don’t care if it’s a downhill world cup weekend, [insert football team here] are playing"
Answer: "Huck the staircase on my full sus and i'll let you watch what you want."
12) “You can take it to the bike shop tomorrow, you promised we'd go into town today"
Answer: "It'll only take five minutes" *comes back three hours later with new bike*
13) “It’s just you’re always flaking out because you have no money... and then I find these bike shop receipts"
Answer: "I'm sorry... that you found those receipts. I'll hide them better next time."
14) “...But I need to use the washing machine now too!"
Answer: "I'm currently 60% mud, and you don't want to know what the other 40% is. I'm going to use the washing machine now or roll around on your bed for the next hour. Your call"
15) “A lift would be great... But could you clean your car before we go?"
Answer: "The only thing I care less about than cars is their cleanliness and your opinion. In fact, I'm going to go make it dirtier"
16) “You take half the paint off the doorframe every time you try to get that bike into the cupboard"
Answer: "Yes, you're right. But in my defence, it's really fucking difficult to get the bars through the door."
17) “You know you really shouldn’t knock trail running until you’ve given it a shot"
Answer: "I'm leaving. And i'm taking my cactus with me."