Whether you are a professional biker with lots of titles to your name, an amateur struggling to make a name in the realms of biking addicts or an enthusiast, riding mountain bikes comes with a certain degree of addiction and thrill. Addiction, you already know, is not always going to be healthy, especially if it makes you disregard daily routines. So, you may want to start by asking a few questions such as:
- Is it a bad idea getting hooked to my mountain bike, hitting the road every often?
- How will it affect my social life?
- Who are mountain bike addicts and how is their life different from road racers?
- How do I know that I have an addiction to mountain biking (signs)?
The truth is that the above questions could go on and on. It is also noteworthy that every mountain biker will want to give their opinions in every discussion. It could be how they fell in love with the bikes or whether they enjoy every bit of it. In this post, we will answer some of these questions, including why the popularity of mountain biking keeps soaring. You may also want to ask, what about the fun that comes with owning a bike, or hitting the road.
Addiction to riding bikes down the slopes of the Himalayas or any other hilly terrain isn’t a bad thing. But like everything else, you would agree, too much of something is dangerous. Some bikers do it because they love the high-octane adrenaline rush. For others, hitting the road in the company of friends makes for an unforgettable pastime activity. That is not all. In this post, we explore the bits and bytes of bike addiction so keep reading to learn more.
Bikes and addiction: Making Amends
The joy of riding on brand new tires during a foggy morning is immeasurably thrilling. You want to keep cycling from early morning to sunset. Then there are days when light rain showers turn a triathlon into an ultimate biking experience.
But while getting addicted to your newly acquired mountain bike is a good thing, here is the big question. At what point should you make amends after sensing unhealthy addiction? The truth is that you could be a biker for health reasons (exercising), which is essentially a productive engagement, you should not lose sight of your other life’s goals. For a student, oscillating between biking and studies can be quite challenging, especially if addiction to the former goes beyond control. Even if you are a professional biker always looking forward to the next competition, regular health checks are vital. You should also make sure your bike is comfortable to avoid fatigue.
Now, before we explore a few more reasons why riding a mountain bike is addictive, let’s quickly go over some signs of addiction.
Bike addiction: Signs you are an addict
Mountain bikes are beautiful, which partly explains the fun riders deride from cycling. However, the good side of the thrill begins to fade when the following signs of addiction become a clear manifest:
You have a penchant for tires
We have previously talked about bike tires. But it is a debate that doesn’t end with which is better between narrow and wide tires. One of the signs of bike addiction is having a penchant for tires. Your love for tires transcends tread design to include a collection of varying designs for different seasons. With winter fast approaching, you should already be shopping for something that will withstand the icy mountain trails. Meanwhile, you can shop around for some parts and costumes heading into Halloween.
You frequent bike stores
Bikers love to shop for the latest accessories but that’s not how far it goes. Another sign of addiction to mountain bikes is frequenting bike stores even if you do not intend to buy a spare part. For most cyclists, an addict knows every store and bike seller by name. Maybe that’s a good thing because you will hardly miss out on the latest parts and rumor mills about upcoming competitions. The funny thing is that people may begin to think you are an attendant at a bike store.
You will hardly throw away old parts
Our world keeps changing fast but for a biker, old is gold. A bike addict will not only want to have a stock of all spare parts and tires but he or she will hardly throw away old parts. It does not matter even if they are obsolete, which brings to the fore another interesting debate.
Cycling addicts who love mountain bikes view the latest models with suspicion. It is because, for them, a vintage ride is an ultimate Roadster that treads rough terrain on a sunny afternoon with great ease.
You refer to friends by their bikes
It is not uncommon for bikers referring to each other by names of their mountain bikes. So, if you are to pinpoint some signs of addiction, it is one of those things you should consider. Whether it is a BMX, Santa Cruz Nomad, Carrera or Diamondback bikes, there is always something in a name. It transcends the identities of triathlon competitors to include a bicycle model.
You like to put money on pricey bikes
There are more than a dozen mountain bike brands from which to choose the best. But for a biking addict, joining a group of cross-country cyclists comes with pride. You will want to be among those owning the latest BMX models, which is a good thing. But viewed from the standpoint of a biking addict, the best rides cost a little more. You won’t mind purchasing a mountain bike that costs as much as your car. After all, it is always going to be about making a statement before a Red Bull Rampage kicks off. To cap it off, an addict doesn’t know anything like “having too many bikes.” They always want more!
You own more than one bike
From low-cost bikes, middle-range to state-of-the-art models, the dream of every biker is to own as many bikes as possible. Having a bike garage at home is a sure sign you are an addict who dreams about bikes. Even if you don’t need your old Carrera, having it as a backup ride manifests addiction to mountain bikes.
You think bikes and the best trails
Another sign of addiction to mountain biking is that you always think about biking on the best trails. You may not have the best trails in your locale but riding a few miles away from home to join a cycling group at a good site is never far from mind.
You’ve neglected daily routines
Biking can be a routine but with it comes many other things one must do, at least every day. If you are a student, addiction to cycling can be manifest when you start absconding lessons. Before you know it, end term exams demand your attention. It happens to everyone else. The catch here is that the moment you realize mountain biking is taking a huge chunk of your time, make amends. It is time you put the bike aside and start focusing on equally important tasks of the day.
Signs of addiction to mountain biking can go on and on but the above are the mains ones.
Addiction and when it’s a good thing
Forget about the fun and thrill that a new mountain bike brings home and focus briefly on the good thing about cycling addiction. Does it mean you keep cycling every day of your life?
Well, addiction is manifest in many ways but it is beneficial in the following ways:
Cycling is a recipe for discovery
You don’t have to wait and find out about new biking trails via a TV show for bikers. Cyclists are like hunters and gatherers who use their sixth sense to unearth unbeaten paths. The adventure that comes with discovering new places will take your quest for fun to a higher level. But it doesn’t end with riding in a rocky wilderness. You wouldn’t be more pleased with your ability to stretch your cycling trails beyond ordinary and obvious trails. The extraordinary experience of riding in new places and the challenging maneuvers that come with it is the epitome of a biker’s discovery of the wild world.
Mountain biking helps break social barriers
While the initial plan of owning a mountain bike could be prestige or leisure, it often changes with time. Biking enthusiasts come together and commit to a purpose. From taking part in a charity course through racing, making new friends to supporting community awareness programs, cycling goes beyond addiction to include socialization for the good of society.
Running or jogging a few kilometers every morning is not for everyone and there are those who do not like being on the treadmill. It is where addiction to mountain biking bridges a gap. If you cannot afford to run over a long distance then try cycling. As the cold season sets in, it is that time every biker got ready for the icy roads. Nothing is going to turn your winter into a productive one like gliding your BMX on the snowy slopes of the Nepali Mountains.
To put it quite simply, mountain biking is a great way to exercise. The effort is minimal but the benefits are immensely rewarding. When you talk about mental and physical strength, more mileage and hours of cycling comes to mind.
A great way to burn calories and shed extra baggage
If you are overweight, pedaling might sound scary at the onset, but give it a try. Studies show that riding a bike up a hill and down the slope is like early morning or late evening jogs/runs. It helps burn calories and before you know it, you are on an effective path to weight management. If you are looking for an exercise that will help you cultivate focus, try biking.
Why is mountain biking so fun and so popular?
Let’s face it. Mountain biking did not start yesterday and it won’t end any time soon. Even in the unforeseeable future, biking greats will rise.
Professional bikers like Jordie Lunn from Canada who recently crushed to his death in Mexico are a pointer to an activity that is both a sport and a hobby. For many years, bikers from around the world have sought to experience the thrill that comes with cycling along and over dangerous cliffs, riding over rocky terrains and gliding over ice at high speeds.
Do we then say, the popularity of mountain bike originates from the high-octane thrill? Well, let’s explore deeper to learn more. For starters, you should note that road bikes preceded mountain bikes. The latter only became popular in the early 1980s, thanks to Joe Breeze, a man credited with introducing the first multipurpose mountain bikes in 1978. The idea behind his invention was to come up with something lightweight.
World’s most famed mountain biking trails
History books record that mountain biking started in Northern California, from where its popularity would later spread to the rest of the world like a whirlwind.
Today, bikers can choose from hundreds of the best trails in different parts of the world such as:
- Cheese Man trail in Slovenia
- The Old Ghost Road for bikers in New Zealand
- 401 trail in Colorado
- Ecuador’s Cotopaxi trail
- Nepal’s Lupra Pass trail
Moreover, there are several manufacturers of mountain bikes, each competing for a fair share of a market that constitutes thousands of cycling enthusiasts and professionals. For someone who has a penchant for the latest bike brands, addiction to biking isn’t always about owning a cool pricey ride. The popularity of mountainside cycling coupled with a quest for belonging are only but a few instances that help explain the craze.
The fun of riding bikes and the popularity of the sport are not always two to tango. And while every sport enjoys a certain degree of the latter, it usually depends on the experience of sportsmen. At this point, you should, therefore, ask this question: Are you biking for fun or as a professional? Well, let’s look at these two distinctly.
Fun equals adrenaline rush
There is hardly any sports or pastime active devoid of fun. With mountain biking, comes a high-octane experience that pushes one’s adrenaline to levels unimaginable. Except for a few times, mountainside cycling qualifies highly among extreme sports. And because every human loves to test and stretch their limits, even if it means riding a bike over a cliff, agility becomes the truest measure of the thrill. This explains why the popularity of mountain biking keeps soaring. Its ripple effect is more bicycles coming out of factories every other day.
Professional cycling -A trigger for the popularity of mountain biking
Here, you should think about annual, bi-annual bike competitions like the triathlon, Red bull and cross country BMX. They always mean more for a professional cyclist looking forward to winning an award after a tiring ride, crisscrossing the terrain to the finishing line. For many years now, cycling competitions have helped put an agenda forward-that like every other popular sport such as soccer and baseball, pro bikers too have a name to write on the world map. This, you would agree, is another reason that helps explains why the popularity of mountain bikes keeps soaring. It is a fun sport and something many people hobby.
Social media now making easy to connect with top pro bikers around the world by following their blogs and Instagram accounts. It doesn’t get any better for anyone who would wish to catch a glimpse of cycling action right on their timelines. Soon enough, you will be expressing an interest in becoming part of the upcoming Red Bull Rampage in Utah and any other part of the world.
The thrill with a biker’s costumes
There are bikers whose love for cycling began with a craze over a cyclist’s costumes. They wanted to feel like Spiderman, cruising the roads and gliding past motorists like gladiators. This is where a biker’s costume comes into place. It is a popular sighting everywhere cyclists reign and contributes to the polarity of the sport. However, it is nothing compared to the fun that cyclists derive from dressing for the occasion.
The Bottom Line
In mountain biking, the first race in the company of others is the beginning of a new chapter in one’s life. The fun that bikers derive from frequent bouts of adrenaline rush helps them overcome emotional struggles. You begin to experience a higher level of self-esteem as you perfect the art of biking. Moreover, you learn to focus and start doing things differently. It is an addictive leisure activity/sport that connects you to people with whom you share common interests and goals.
We, however, advice that as soon as cycling becomes a source of conflict, causing a rift between you and your partner/friends, it is always that time you stepped away from the bike. There is time for everything and because addiction is not always healthy, biking excessively can become counterproductive.