Mountain biking is becoming more and more popular. (Arrowsmith Cycling Club photo)

Tim talks: Bikes are for town, not for mountains

Those who are close to me, those who aren't, even people I've just met, have heard me smack talk mountain biking. Now it's time for the whole community to hear it too.

Those who are close to me, those who aren’t, even people I’ve just met, have heard me smack talk mountain biking. Now it’s time for the whole community to hear it too.

As summer progresses I’ve heard of a lot of people getting injured. My housemates will come home and say “did you hear such and such broke their leg?” or somebody else knocked themselves out, up at the resort. I roll my eyes and give my standard response, “mountain biking is dangerous for your health.”

They say its a sport, they say it’s “good cardio,” and maybe it is but so is doing 1,000 jumping jacks and there’s nothing fun about that. Similarly I just don’t understand what’s fun about pedaling up a mountain when you can run it faster. And how is such an inefficient mode of transport so damn expensive?

I can get behind downhill biking, but that’s only fun until you wrap yourself around a tree, shatter your pelvis and spend the rest of your summer getting your roommate to deliver food, resulting in unnecessary strain on an already fragile living situation, because you pay too much money to live in a trailer with people you don’t like.

Last I checked, bikes had seats. Can you really consider something a sport when you spend most of the time sitting down? What’s next, is whitewater kayaking a sport? You just float on your butt down a river. Are you going to tell me that Formula One is a sport? I drive a car sometimes, always within the speed limit. Does the car being faster and a total disregard for traffic laws makes it a sport?

It’s becoming increasingly hard to have opinions outside the status quo, the looks I’ve gotten when I tell people I don’t like bikes…

I understand that the cool kids these days walk around in knee pads, full-face helmets perched on their heads and hydro pack bum bags around their hips. However, I don’t understand why members of the community feel the need to shame me when I say I don’t like biking.

I’ve heard people complaining about the trails being too busy this season, wouldn’t you rather one less person shralping the over-shralped trails?

The other day I was sitting at home doing nothing, enjoying my free time and my housemate convinced me to go biking with her. In a moment of weakness I agreed, next thing you know I was at Macpherson pedaling up a trail. I found myself challenged, looking for the best line, trying not to get tossed off my bike, trying not to lose momentum.

I had to be careful as the challenge was starting to get very close to being confused for fun. I was also sweating, the cardio made me feel good and healthy, but I snapped myself out of it.

We got to the top and I dropped the seat and followed my housemate as gravity started to do the work.

Something happened to my face as I started ripping down the trail, the trees trunks flew past me and specks of mud were catapulted from my tires, the corners my mouth started getting closer to my ears, exposing my teeth. A rush of adrenaline and excitement overcame me and it stayed with me all day.

It was awful.

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