Move over alcohol and nicotine, mountain biking is taking over my list of vices. Looking for a thrill? Out of shape? I recommend mountain biking for weight loss and fun.
I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to cut down on partying. I don’t want to officially hang up my “cutting loose” habits, but I can only take so many yawn-filled mornings of bloodshot eyes and crooked smiles. I am ready to put those nights of loud clubs and expensive bar tabs behind me. Why the sudden lifestyle changeyou might ask? The answer—mountain biking. I think taking up this sport will jump start my active, healthylifestyle.
Growing up, I have always been into bikes. It all started when I was six. My parents tried teaching me to ride a bike in a big field near our house—not the best idea. Have you ever tried riding through a field, let alone on a child’s bike with small wheels? It’s nearly impossible. Every bump, rock, and stick bounced me off the bike and landed my butt on the ground. My parents’ rationale was that falling in a field would be better than hitting the unforgiving pavement, which makes sense. But it is also nearly impossible to ride on this terrain, especially when first learning.
So one afternoon, I took off my training wheels and brought my bike into the driveway. I sat down on the seat, put my one foot on a pedal, pushed off and started riding. And as they say, the rest is history. I got older and picked up BMX; bunny hopping curbs and cruising around on pegs. When I hit college, I was over my dirt jumping phase, and got a road bike—pedaling for miles at a time. So it’s no surprise that mountain biking caught my eye– which is a sort of hybrid amalgamation of extreme maneuvers from BMX and long rides of road biking.
Back to my life story, I graduated college, picked up and moved to California. This state is absolutely beautiful. Last weekend, my girlfriend and I drove out of the city and spent a few hours exploring and admiring the west coast’s landscape. We hiked through a state park, which was awesome—but I’m not much of a hiker. I need something to get my heart pumping. We did discover a ton ofmountain bike trails that the state park offered. And that’s when it hit me. Mountain biking looks like a blast! These guys flew past us on these gnarly mountain bikes, equipped with full suspension and rugged tires. The east coast didn’t offer trails like the west coast, which is probably why I never got into the sport. Now that I have all this terrain, I want to take full advantage.
So I started looking into bikes and am dieing to get one, but I ran into two problems. The bikes are very expensive and I drive a small Subaru whose seats don’t fold down. Plus, I wouldn’t want dirty, muddy tires all over my interior. I talked with a coworker who mountain bikes and he offered to lend me his old bike until I get my own. Great! But I need to get to the trails. My car doesn’t have a roof rack, so I looked for bike racks that mount to your trunk on the internet. If I can find a rack that mounts easily, I’m sure I will have no problem getting to the trails a few days a week and getting some exercise.