8 Reasons Why Mountain Biking is Better Than Football
If you ever get into an argument in the pub, here's what you say...
So the Premiership season is finished. Despite the early promise of an open season and the excitement of the final race to the finish in the end the overall result was all too predictable: The team that spent the most money won.
I like football, but it's times like this when I can't help but ask myself why. Especially when there are so many sports out there that are just... well, better.
Take mountain biking for example. Let's consider the evidence.
[part title="You Don't Need 21 Willing Mates to Play."]
You know the way it is. Your mates are feeling too fragile from the night before, or they're doing mind-numbing domestic chores, or they're drying their hair... whatever the excuse, it's not always easy to persuade people to come out and have fun on a weekend afternoon.
And when you've got to try and organise lots of people to be free at the same time? Forget it.
"When you've got to try and organise lots of people to be free at the same time? Forget it."
OK so we know you can play football with fewer than two full teams, but let's face it, you need at least 5 a side to have a half decent game.
For a decent mountain biking session, all you need is one mate to be free at the same time as you. Or none - shit, riding by yourself can actually be quite a lot of fun, specially if you get tunes on...
[part title="Professional Mountain Bikers Aren't Whinging Little Bitches"]
Consider the following two videos, both from this season.
Mountain biker Loic Bruni would have every right to hold his head and roll around on the floor after that crash - he's probably travelling at about 70kph there.
Instead he just gets up, dusts himself off, and gets on with business. He finished fourth in his race the following day.
Compared to Christiano Ronaldo with his agonising "head" injury (the defender doesn't even touch his head!) that makes him: 1) a better sportsman and 2) less of a whinging little bitch.
[part title="There Aren't Any Rules (Except Don't Be a Dick)"]
One of the great things about all the action sports is you can pretty much make up your own rules. There's no referee telling you what to do, or when you should be doing it.
On a mountain bike, you're basically on your own, just you going up against whatever terrain you are riding.
And even if you're on a crowded trail, it's not like there are rules like football. You just have to remember not to be a dick.
[part title="You Can Do It Anywhere"]
OK so I know they play football in the streets in favelas in Brazil, but try kicking a ball around most suburban cul-de-sacs in the UK and you'll soon find yourself shut down and shouted at by some elderly woman concerned about her precious windows/roses/cat.
And even if you were allowed to kick a ball round the streets, you're limited by the fact that a football pitch needs to be at least vaguely flat.
Despite its name, you don't actually need a mountain to go mountain biking - as Danny MacAskill here so ably proves.
Shit, you don't even need to go outdoors to have fun on a mountain bike!
Trials might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's still mountain biking and it's still better than football.
[part title="You Can Get Geeky About Gear"]
A lot of people will try to claim football is superior to many sports because you don't need loads of kit to play it. A ball, plus maybe a pair of boots (if you're playing in the UK) and you're away.
But you what, we like the fact that there's loads of gear in mountain biking and we like getting geeky about it. If you're into mountain biking (and you're completely honest with yourself) you probably do too.
"We like the fact that there's loads of gear in mountain biking and we like getting geeky about it."
If nothing else it gives you something to talk about with strangers you meet on the trails.
And contrary to popular belief, you don't actually need to be a millionaire to get started in mountain biking either as most trail centres will rent gear to beginners.
[part title="You Can Do It With Your Other Half"]
Yes we know that technically you can play mixed football matches, but let's be honest, how often does that ever happen?
Mountain biking is one of those rare sports that men and women can do together pretty much as equals - at least at an amateur level. And on the professional circuit, the women's racing is at least as exciting as the men's.
We like that kind of equality between the sexes. And the fact that you'll meet a mixture of folk out riding helps reduce the testosterone-fuelled rivalry that makes sports a magnet for dickheads.
[part title="You Get To Explore New Places"]
This of course is the big one and the reason a lot of people start mountain biking in the first place. It's one of, if not the, best way to get out and explore new places.
"When was the last time you explored somewhere new or saw something incredible playing 5-a-side?"
You cover more ground than hiking or running and you can get to places no car or motorbike could ever hope to reach. OK so you might have to carry it up some of the steepest terrain, but if you've got a cross country bike and a desire to explore, the world is quite literally your oyster.
When was the last time you explored somewhere new or saw something incredible playing 5-a-side eh?
So there you have it. Eight solid reasons why your's summer out and about on two wheels than worrying about the transfer market. Having said that, we'll probably still watch the World Cup...