There has been a lot of talk today about riding bikes on roads.
Let me just say that I have nothing against roadies, I may even get a road bike one day, but today I don’t have a road bike and I have expressed my feelings probably over eagerly why I don’t want to ride a road bike.
I am not going to go into the club reasons (which are valid) for holding some road rides, and I am not going to on and on about why I don’t think the club should go down that road. I am just going to state why I like mountain biking.
The discussion today made me realise how much I love riding my mountain bikes. When I bought my first one a little over 2 years ago I realised how much of the countryside I could see on a bike. And yes you can see places on a road bike, but well it’s just not the same.
Fresh air, no motor vehicles speeding within inches of you, freedom (within reason) to go anywhere you choose, and what ever speed you choose. I can stop and take in the view whenever I like, I can take a rest and sit down if I choose to, anywhere!
It’s freedom. There’s finding new trails, overcoming the fear of a drop or a steep descent, technical climbs, fast loose stones tracks, roots, low branches, mysteriously deep puddles, tracks that just stop. Getting lost and finding your way back again.
And as much as I like riding with friends there’s also the solitude. When I need to think or need some space, I can climb a local hill and sit alone (with no fear of any traffic) – soaking up the view and forgetting, or remembering, or just sitting.
I have got fitter and lived a healthier life in the last few years, and also gained an appreciation of the land about me. The hills, forests and fields of the UK hold so many possibilities for me now. Everywhere I go I wonder what it would be like to ride that hill, or if there are any trails in that forest?
Road riding will keep my body fit and healthy, but it won’t feed my dreams and imagination the same way mountain biking can…
Well that was pretty deep and profound for a Monday, I’d better go to bed before I start on about how mountain biking can bring about world peace!