Reasons to Get Into Mountain Biking
The world of cycling has changed a great deal in recent years. Just a few decades ago, the world of cycling was dominated by trendy, rugged bicycles that could easy traverse terrain of all sorts. Road cyclists, with their tight-fitting suits and hunched-over postures, were objects of ridicule rather than respect.
But times have changed since then. A reversal in fortunes has seen many once-beloved mountain bikes relegated to the backs of sheds across the country. Road-cycling is how many choose to get around. But if you’re looking for a reason to get into cycling, there are still a few reasons that mountain biking makes a worthy choice – and some of them might surprise you.
Mountain biking is cheap
Like any other sport which involves engineering, mountain biking has the potential to be spectacularly expensive. But this doesn’t mean that one need spend an enormous amount of money to get into it. By spending just a few hundred pounds on a quality bike, a helmet, and a few accessories, one can experience all of the benefits of the sport. Indeed, you’re unlikely to appreciate the merits of a high-end bike when you’re just getting started, anyway.
With a few shrewd investments, you’ll be able to save yourself money in the long run. For example, a mountain bike can attract an enormous amount of mud while it’s out splashing through puddles and forest trails. Consequently, storing one in the boot of your car can be a messy business – and an expensive one, if you consider the cost of valeting an interior repeatedly, and the impact repeated cleanings might have on a car’s resale value.
Fortunately, technologies like the Hatchbag boot liner can provide a solution. Unlike cheaper boot liners, they’re made to fit snugly into a specific model of vehicle, and therefore form a tight seal within the boot, protecting it against scratches and dirt. There are Ford, Mercedes and Range Rover boot liners available.
Mountain biking is safe
Whilst it might seem counterintuitive to imagine that hurtling through an unpaved forest trail, amidst stray rocks, tripping branches and puddles, could be considered a ‘safe’ activity, it’s worth putting your intuitions to one side and considering the facts.
Of cycling accidents, a significant portion are caused by other road users. And, one might speculate that, of those that aren’t caused by other road users, another chunk are brought about because the cyclist is distracted by the possibility that another road user might cause them harm. Moreover, collisions with other vehicles are more likely to result in fatal accidents – with lorries being a particular concern in built-up metropolitan areas. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents report that “most cycling accidents happen in urban areas where most cycling takes place.”
Now, it’s worth reflecting on the limits of our knowledge, here. We don’t have reliable data for how many people died per mile of distance ridden. It might be that road cyclists cover a lot more ground than mountain bikers.
But what’s clear is that an enormous volume of cycling accidents come about as a result of contact with motorists. A source of danger which, if you’re cycling out in the countryside, is removed altogether.
It’s also worth reflecting on the dangers of not cycling. How many people a year die because they didn’t go cycling, and instead decided to vegetate in front of their computer screens every weekend for thirty years, and ultimately suffered a heart attack? Which brings us rather neatly to our next point in favour of mountain biking.
Mountain biking keeps you healthy
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you’ll be aware of the benefits of exercise. In today’s health-obsessed, obesity-ravaged society, there’s no shortage of reminders of this particular fact. Whether it’s a stony-faced newsreader relaying an increase in lifestyle-related hospitalisations, or a close friend or family member going through with one, the conclusion is inescapable: if you’re looking to stave off disease, prolong your lifespan, and generally increase your well-being, then exercise should be a nigh-on indispensable component of your life.
Unfortunately, for many this particular solution is less appealing than the problem it purports to solve. After all, exercise is stressful and often painful. Often, the most successful exercise programmes are those which inject a healthy dose of fun. Any activity which rewards you in such a way is one which you’re more likely to stick with. Consequently, mountain bikers find that shifting those pounds is rather easy.
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