Get out of the city, escape the rat race and head to the hills to experience the thrill of tackling rugged, testing terrain on your mountain bike.
Few pastimes combine the beauty of nature with the sheer adrenaline generated by navigating your way through it than mountain biking. Whether you’re wanting to reconnect with mother nature or looking to get the white-knuckle ride of competition, the sport has something for everyone.
So, here we’ve outlined just some of the many reasons to get your helmet on and head for the hills.
Mood Boosting Bike Rides
Just an hour on your bike, whizzing through a trail will release feel good endorphins that not only lift your mood, but help you lower stress and anxiety. In fact, a recent study found that this exercise reduces the risk of developing depression by up to 20 percent.
There is also a real sense of community amongst riders. With much more focus on mental health in recent years, the camaraderie and team spirit are magnificent and is a big help in this world of stress. Mountain biking has a large online presence and social groups are sprinkled throughout the country. Find your nearest one and new adventures with new friends await.
Competition and Goal Setting
If a leisurely, almost meditative cycle in the hills, mountains or trails doesn’t appeal – there are always opportunities to compete.
Time trials, endurance or flat out break-neck speed down-hill, for those with a competitive streak you won’t be short of chances to put your newfound biking skills to the test. Competitive cycling has grown hugely in recent years, with competitions like Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup all being shown on our screens and a boom in cycling betting has arrived with it. The latter is dominated by sensational Swiss rider Nino Schurter, who fell in love with mountain biking as a child after spending time in the woods of Lumnezia.
Mountain biking is really about working towards a goal. You won’t be able to master the highest peaks or steepest declines at first, but what makes the sport so addictive is the sense of achievement when you achieve what you’ve been working towards all these weeks.
Why are bikes still one of the most popular gifts for a child? It’s the freedom you feel.
Remember the feeling of getting on your first bike and the possibilities that came with it?
Getting out into the forests, mountains or wherever you choose on your bike is a freeing feeling. You’re getting back in touch with mother nature and all she has to offer, be it wildlife, stunning scenery of just a satisfying feeling of serenity.
All of us can be guilty of being too ‘car-centric’, so saddling up off the beaten track can be so rewarding for those stuck in the commuter bubble, city life malaise.
Get out there and cycle today, dust off your bike, check out your nearest trails and get peddling. From mental health benefits to huge health advantages, mountain biking has everything. Grab your rucksack, pack lots of water and plenty of snacks and don’t forget your helmet, the trails await.