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Should You Start Mountain Biking?

In our digital world of incessant screens, wearable electronics, and instant data feedback, it can be overwhelming at times. Especially when it comes to our fitness. Now more than ever, we must take the time to disconnect. We must listen to our primitive brain, which doesn’t understand how fast our world has advanced. My favorite way to counter that is to get outside on a mountain bike. It’s a win win. You simultaneously enjoy the outdoors, allowing your soul to recharge, but it’s also a great workout. Whether you’re a newbie to mountain biking, or you’ve been hitting the trails for years, there are tons of options, both in bikes, and types of rides.  Hidden trails, lack of knowledge, and hard to reach resources are a thing of the past. Anybody can enjoy being on a bike, feeling the rush of the wind, the challenge of the climb, and the satisfaction of a great workout all the same. 

Bike Sitting in frame with Mountains in Background
Recharge with a View!

Finding Mountain Biking Trails 

Every state has some sort of accessibility when it comes to mountain biking. Thanks to increased recreational mountain bike trail usage, which saw spurts of up to 500% growth in the last few years, the market has given us more options. Mountain bike rentals are now affordable, and many bike shops will even meet you at the trailhead. Mountain bike courses can vary significantly depending on the topography and general location of your area though, which makes for different experiences every time. Check out http://singletracks.com for resources on the closest trails to you. If you’re a newbie, make sure you research and seek out beginner friendly options. Or, go with someone who knows the area. A surefire way to ruin someone's first time is to go too far, by choosing a longer trail, or selecting one that’s too difficult. Ease yourself in, and set yourself up for success.

 

Man biking uphill surrounded by greenery and trees
There's so many trails out there to be explored!

Where To Find Mountain Biking Gear 

If you’d like to get out and ride consistently, you probably should look into purchasing your own bike. You aren’t alone in those thoughts though, as mountain bike sales are up nearly 100% from 2 years ago. So much so that many retailers ran out of bikes. I view this as a good thing because it shows increased interest, and that the sport is growing, which is only going to improve the experience for everyone. There are still other economically efficient options though, such as proscloset.com, which allows you to buy and sell used bikes. This is a great alternative for someone just entering the scene, and more cost effective than buying a brand new bike. 

Man wearing sunglasses putting on helmet
Not everyone thinks of sunglasses as an important piece of gear, but it is!

 

Benefits Of Mountain Biking 

Once you actually get out on the trail, that’s where the fun really starts. Mountain biking is great for both physical, and emotional health. It’s an awesome alternative to your typical workout, and just as potent. The by-product of being out in nature is the connection you form with the outdoors. Depending on where you live, some trails offer killer views, which serve as a great break from the saddle to catch your breath. Plus, you may be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife, something the hustle and bustle of city life simply does not offer.


On the bike, it’s easy to forget about everything else going on in your world. The stressors seem to drift away, as your concentration has little leeway other than to focus on what’s right in front of you. The feeling of the physical effort, mixed with the clarity of a mind at ease, is rare. It’s in these moments that make it so worthwhile. There have been enormous culture shifts in certain aspects of our lives. Our new generation is taking the time to actually pursue their interests, try new things, and see what else is out there. For so many, mountain biking offers an excitement that you can’t replicate anywhere else. The nostalgic memories of riding a bike as a kid, and unplugging from the digital world, makes for a great adventure.  

Man wearing sunglasses while sitting on Mountain Bike
Enhance your vision with Fuse Lenses on your next bike ride!

 

If you are interested in trying out mountain biking for yourself, we say go for it! Anytime we expose ourselves to something new, we have an opportunity for growth. We also surprise ourselves with what we never knew we’d enjoy. These occasions spark a genuine appreciation for our planet, and serve as a reminder of what’s out there if we keep looking. Get outside and ride, it’s a true disconnect to reconnect.

 

 

 

Guest Post by: Aaron Hanna
Owner, CrossFit Westchase

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