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Mountain Biking

10 Silly Questions Every Mountain Biker Has Been Asked Too Often

...and how to answer them all in under 10 seconds

1) So do you wear lycra then?

No. That’s road cycling. And also cross-country, which is also mountain biking, but mostly going uphill. It’s not what I do. So no, in summary. No lycra.

Answer: No.

2) Do you have to keep your bike in the flat?

This bike is genuinely the most expensive thing I have ever owned, and as such I do not trust any amount of bike locks, even with the front door guarding the way to the tenement staircase. Also, Brian from the fourth floor has the look of someone who would bump into things when he’s drunk. Basically, I’m scared bad things will happen to it, and yes, I enjoy looking at it for no apparent reason from time to time.

Answer: Basically… Yes.

3) Do you want to go hiking today for a change?

The problem with friends who don’t mountain bike but still love the outdoors is that they occasionally want you to give up a day on the trails to go hiking, but inevitably, if it’s sunny enough to hike, it’s also pretty much perfect weather for a ride. Maybe go with them once in a while, but if you do, make sure you stay away from any trails so you don’t get jealous.

Answer: Probably not.

4) Why does it matter what size of wheel you use?

This is probably the least silly of all the questions on this list. We can understand why it might seem bizarre to make such a big deal out of a matter of inches, but of course, it does matter what wheel size you pick. So, in the case of this question we assume you’ve all been asked a dozen or so times, just be nice and answer the question. Keep it short and sweet.

Answer: It makes a difference to what stuff you can roll over or not.

5) Why do you need more than one bike?

The old saying goes that the number of bikes you need is always N+1, with ‘N’ in that equation being the number of bikes you already own. The reasons you need these come in many forms; ranging from legitimate stuff like having different bikes for different styles of riding to the fact that you passed a charity shop drunk the other day and they had a 1998 Specialized Stumpjumper parked outside.

Answer: They’re for different types of cycling (it’s easier just to leave it at that).

6) “Why don’t you sell your other bikes?”

Because I like them. Because I like looking at them. Because even though I pretty much only ever use the full-suspension, I like the option of a play-day on a hardtail, even if I never really take up on the option. It’s like the bike equivalent of a vinyl, CD or DVD collection, just a lot more expensive.

Answer: Good question.

7) Why is your car so dirty?

Because I spent three hours riding in the rain two weeks ago and even though the bike goes on the top of my car or behind a van, my helmet, jacket and everything else, does not. Also, cleaning my car is about as high on my priority list as banging my head repeatedly off the dinner table.

Answer: Why is your bike so clean?

8) You’ll love the Tour de France then?

No. Again, that’s road cycling. But fair play to the folks in the Tour de France. They put in a shift when they’re not on EPO.

Answer: That’s road cycling. But yeah, the highlights aren’t bad.

9) How can you spend so much on a bicycle?

The right bike for you is the best bike you can afford. So needless to say, you’re going to end up buying the one that’s twice whatever that costs. You can justify it by only eating pasta and sauce for half a year, or by owning a Ford Ka or similar level of motor vehicle.

Answer: How can you spend so much on a car?

10) Is that what you do? *Pointing at a video of Red Bull Rampage*

Photo: Red Bull Media House

Red Bull Rampage seems to be the time of year when all your non-biking mates realise mountain biking is a thing, because the Huffington Post put out a video of it on Facebook. Naturally, they’ve overheard you talking about mountain biking and now believe this is what you do and why you’re injured so often. The easiest way to get round this is… well, just to let them believe. They’ll never see you ride anyway, right?

Answer: Err… well… fuck it, yeah, why not.

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