10 reasons why mtb is better than road cycling

These are not my words but even though I ride my road bike and do group rides my biggest joy is solo on a mtb


First off, a disclaimer: I’m a mountain biker. Always have been, always will. And as the founder of Sacred Rides, I’ve made it my career. So I’m more than a bit biased.

Secondly, I don’t have anything against road riding. I’ve tried it many times. I tried to love it. I tried to like it. But ultimately it’s just not for me. I know that millions of people love road riding (and that it’s more popular than mountain biking), but… I also think millions of road riders haven’t tried mountain biking yet. 🙂

So without further ado, here are my 10 Reasons Why Mountain Biking is Better than Road Biking:

  1. The obvious one: No Cars. Nothing harshes your mellow more than 4,000 pounds of noisy steel whizzing by you at 70 miles an hour, 18 inches away.
  2. Mountain Biking is Better for your Health: see above. Not sharing your ride with CO2-emitting vehicles is a lot better for your lungs, particularly when you’re surrounded by…
  3. …Trees: There’s nothing quite like the feeling of flying down a trail through the woods with trees whooshing by (and hitting a tree hurts a lot less than getting hit by a car).
  4. Quiet and Solitude: Mountain bike trails often take you to remote, peaceful places, where you can commune with nature, meditate, and enjoy the great outdoors. You rarely get such opportunities on a road bike, unless you happen to live in an area with rarely-used paved roads (which are pretty rare these days).
  5. Fewer Type ‘A’s: Mountain biking seems to attract more laid-back people. Whenever I’ve gone out for a road ride, everyone quickly gets really competitive. When I go out mountain biking with my buddies, it’s all about enjoying good times and good laughs with good friends.
  6. Lots of Riding Styles to Choose From: Cross-Country. All-Mountain. Freeride. Enduro. DH. Lift-assisted. No matter who you are, there’s a type of mountain biking to suit your personality. Road riding? Umm… let’s see… Riding on the road.
  7. Wipeouts on dirt hurt a lot less than wipeouts on pavement. (Cedric Gracia notwithstanding – we’re talking about the average MTB wipeout, not the kind of wipeout you get when you backflip off a 40-foot cliff.)
  8. Mountain Biking Gives you a Better Workout: Riding on the road improves your cardiovascular fitness for spinning at high cadence for a long time. Mountain biking requires much more dynamic fitness – from quick bursts to sustained cardio output – and incorporates many more muscle groups.
  9. Mountain Bikers are More Fun. See #5.
  10. Bib Shorts. Enough said.

I’m sure the roadies will get plenty upset at this post. The comments below are your opportunity to do so (and an opportunity for MTBers to back me up!)

2013 To Do List – Report Card

mmm better get planning for the things i want to do in 2014 ….


I posted this list last New Year’s and so I figured it was about time to see how I did. The Blue items are ones I successfully realized and the Red items are ones I did not.

My 2013 To Do List:

  1. Ride Sedona AZ [Did it twice for 4.5 weeks total!]
  2. SUP and kitesurf in the waves on the Pacific coast of Baja
  3. Ride Cumberland BC
  4. Attend 2 Moontribe full moon gatherings
  5. Ride Squamish BC
  6. Bikepack from Nanimo back to Victoria on dirt
  7. Finish my Santa Cruz Nomad upgrades
  8. Ride Harbourview @ Sooke BC
  9. Get Sharon out for her first overnight bike tour
  10. Get a new consulting contract or job for 2013
  11. Clean out my office
  12. Get a solar power camping setup
  13. Try 4 new restaurants in Victoria
  14. Drink fresh beer from Phillips brewery more and bottled beer less
  15. Catch a salmon by rod and reel
  16. Fillet a salmon I caught…

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Sometimes even a bad ride is good

MTB today – as i left the flat the heavens opened and the rain and sleet hail came down. I could have, if i had a modicum of sense, gone back in and then either gone on the turbo or headed out to the gym. but in for a penny, in for a pound i headed off but changed the route from what would be a very wet and unpassable wood to canal paths which would be muddy but quick.

Hardly saw anyone all day and that is rare for a weekend when walkers and dog owners and other crazy cyclists and runners are out.

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2 degrees C – by the time I got in my winter mtg boots had leaked the water through to my now icy toes and the Sealskin gloves were wet and my fingers a bit numb. But quick bucket to clean the bike (all the mud sprayed off with rain puddles and then me …

post ridefor once the iPhone stayed in my bag as I didn’t want it ruined in the deluge …. then quick snap and 200m down the road to my victorian gym and their lovely turkish rooms …. aaaah bliss



Christmas jeer – great article from mtbr

Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt atsinglespeeder. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.

I love the Holidays. Really, I do. I love standing in long lines with sick people coughing all over me, driving endless laps in a parking lot on the verge of road rage, falling headfirst on black ice with a gripload of shopping bags, feeling obliged to go to some lame-ass white elephant holiday party and hear the same five stupid Christmas song on infinite repeat. Oh, and don’t even get me started about airplane travel during the Holidays; a dreadful ordeal I have to endure all day tomorrow.

I don’t want to be a Scrooge. Really, I don’t. But to me, the “Holidays” have simply become just another excuse to waste hard-earned money on a bunch of useless crap that nobody really cares about, but if they don’t receive this useless crap, they somehow feel shorted or unloved.

In it’s pure, boiled-down, non-consumer driven essence, I truly do love this time of year. It’s a time to spend with friends and family who you might not get to see very often. It’s a time for reflection on the past 12 months. It’s a time to look ahead to the coming year and plan some awesome mountain bike adventures. It’s also a time to reset a year that perhaps wasn’t great or was just downright lousy. Whatever it is, this time of year is like life, it is the death of one year and the birth of a new one.

My favorite memory of Christmas when I was a kid wasn’t the toys I received – it was the tradition of waiting until my parents would go out for the evening and surprise them upon their return with the entire outside of the house decorated in lights. I’d have only a few hours, so I would run out in the bone-chilling cold darkness and string thousands of lights on all the snow-covered shrubs and trees. Then I’d run back into the house, make a fire and peek out the window, waiting to see the smiles on their faces when they pulled into the driveway. Giving the simple gift of joy to someone else feels amazing.

But when I see people standing in line outside a department store desperately pushing and yelling at each other like famished souls in a Russian bread line, I can’t help but lose interest in anything Holiday oriented. It seems that for many people, the Holidays are just another opportunity to sink deeper into debt and accumulate more stuff that does nothing to improve quality of life but does everything to clutter up your house with useless junk. So this year, make more memories and buy less stuff.

However, if you do decide to spend money on someone else this Holiday season, spend it on bikes and bike gear. Why? Because the bicycle is one of mankind’s all-time greatest inventions, and its money that’s always well spent. In 120 years since its birth, the bicycle has essentially not changed at all. It’s still a pneumatic tire, cog and chain driven machine with a dual triangle structure. It just happens to be lighter, faster and more durable.

The bicycle has so many functions including recreation, transportation, relieving stress, promoting healthy lifestyles, reducing urban traffic congestion, cutting down on fuel consumption and pollution and better preserving natural resources. And mountain bikes specifically help take humans further into the backcountry than any other non-motorized means in an extremely low-impact manner. The mountain bike helps us discover new horizons, both literally and figuratively. What other human invention that essentially hasn’t changed in more than a century can solve this many problems?

Some people I know – myself included – refer to riding their mountain bike as “going to church.” As soon as that leg swings over the top tube and the pedals begin to turn, so does the soul. My body and mind enter a meditative state. Whatever bad is going on in my life instantly melts away. At least for the duration of that ride, I am at peace – unless of course I get three flat tires and break a chain. Then all that Zen is out the window and I become a stark raving lunatic. I am as unreligious as they come, but on the topic of bikes, I’m more pious than a Tibetan monk.

Giving the gift of cycling to another person is almost as great as receiving the gift. I’ll never forget the look on my 18-month-old nephew’s face when he laid eyes on the Early Rider pushbike I got for him one Christmas. With pure instinct, he swung his leg over that wooden contraption and scooted off down the hallway in a flash. The smile on his face was priceless. It’s the same smile I have on my face every time I ride my mountain bike. Five years after he got that Early Rider, my nephew rides his bike everywhere. It’s his favorite thing to do.

So whether you choose to visit your local bike shop or decide to avoid the mass of humanity and shop online from the comfort of your home, give the gift of cycling to someone this Holiday season. Because what you’re giving is far more than just a consumable good. By giving the gift of cycling, you’re fostering a lifestyle and open people up to a way of living that benefits the body, mind and soul and expands their connection with the outside world. I can’t think of a greater gift than that.