Three is the magic number
Mountain biking is often accused of being an expensive and tech-laden sport. Which it can be. But really, deep down, there’s only three essential things.
Three things you need to mountain bike
- A bike
- A trail
- A helmet
And do you know what? It doesn’t even have to be a mountain bike. A lot of us started out riding offroad as kids on just whatever bike we owned. I probably started mountain biking on a Grifter. Plenty of my peers were ragging their BMXes up and down the woods.
Are you ‘mountain biking’ if you’re riding a non-MTB? Well, mountain biking is a state of mind, maan.
The key point here is that you don’t need a fancy mountain bike to go mountain biking. The bike is the not the experience. The ride is the experience. Yes, great bikes can aid great experiences. But to stop yourself – or anyone else – from going mountain biking because it’s not on the ‘right bike’ is daft. And mean.
Now then, this is probably more important than the bike. It’s way more important in fact.
Someone riding a mountain bike on a road commute is not mountain biking. Someone riding any-old-bike along some singletrack IS mountain biking.
When is a trail not a trail? Good question. The answer is, if it feels like mountain biking, then it’s mountain biking.
If you’re mountain biking properly you’re going to fall off. Feel free to break any other part of your body you wish but protect your brain. It’s the boss.
Things you do not need
- A mountain bike
- Disc brakes
- Carbon fibre
- Cycling shorts
- Inner tubes
- Hydration pack
- Shock pump
- Energy gels
- Any idea where you’re going
- First Aid Kit
- Zip ties
- Knee pads
- Spare everything
- Someone to ride with
- Everything we’ve said on our What to take with you on a mountain bike ride feature
What’s the point of this feature?
It’s all too easy to get hung up on the small things. And to be a control freak and paranoid preparation addict. Such behaviour, though well intentioned, actively stops some rides from ever happening.
It’s perfectly feasible to just slap your lid on, grab your bike and go mountain biking.
You don’t need to get changed into different clothing. You don’t need to arrange a start time. You don’t need to work out a route. You don’t need to fire up the cursed Strava.
Just get out and ride.
Like you used to when you didn’t know any better.