Anyone who rides a mountain bike knows that they've made the right choice. Okay, some mountain bikers do ride road bikes, but we all know they do it solely for fitness.
So here's 5 reasons why mountain biking is better than road cycling.*
1. Mountain bikers talk to each other
Ever been at the back of the road cycling peloton? It ain't fun. All you get to see is the lycra-clad backsides of those faster than you. Because road cycling is all about the climbs, everyone is racing to the top of the hill, heads down in serious concentration with no thought or encouragement given to those at the back. Can't keep up? Tough. And then, when you do finally get to the top, everyone munches silently on their carb gels, quietly mulling over the approaching terror of having to ride their unstable, narrow-tyred machines down hill at speed.
Mountain bikers, on the other hand, use the uphills as a chance to have a decent life-affirming chat, pull wheelies and generally muck about. So much more fun. And if you are at the back, those at the front spot an excuse to stop and have a breather, and to either offer encouragement for your efforts or to take the piss out of your slow speed. Either way, hilarity ensues.
2. Mountain bikers get to wheelie
There are only a few people on this planet who can successfully wheelie a road bike. So, if you're not Peter Sagan, or a kid from a council estate, getting the front wheel of a road bike off the ground is always going to be a big challenge. As is keeping it in the air once it's up.
However, if you're on a mountain bike, you can have a go at popping the front wheel at every opportunity. Tree root? Pop a wheelie. Mini drop off? Pop a wheelie. In the car park, getting bored of waiting for your mates to get ready? Pop a wheelie. The possibilities to get the front wheel off the ground and have tons of fun are endless.
3. Mountain bikers breathe in fresh air, not pollution
Cycling on the roads is dangerous. Buses, trucks, cars - all plotted by angry motorists intent on wrapping you and your bike around their wheels. And all the time, you're breathing in the silent and invisible killer; pollution.
But mountain bikers get to breathe in tonnes of fresh air, filling their lungs with the sweet scent of forests and mountains. What could be healthier than the cool, evening air of the forest, with only the fine dust of forest loam to encroach on its purity? The worst that can happen is your mate, riding in front of you runs over some sheep crap and you forget to close your mouth...
4. Mountain bikers get to do skids
One of the greatest pleasures of riding a bike is skidding. It was one of the first things we learnt as kids, hammering down the path, riding for the first time without stabilisers. Ever tried to do a skid on a road bike? Here's what happens...
Yank on the back brake of a mountain bike however, and your world is filled with childhood memories of impressive power slides, and the air is filled with a gratifying shower of dust, stones or mud as your back wheel carves one of the finest arcs known to physics!
5. Mountain bikers have fun - whatever the weather
Finally, here's fundamental reason why mountain biking is better than road cycling. Mountain biking is just so much more fun than road cycling. Have you ever seen the faces of road cyclists when it's wet? Not fun.
And here's the face of someone who's just ridden their mountain bike, not only in the rain, but through the mud and gloop of a well-worn trail.
So, when it comes to fun, mountain biking beats road cycling in every aspect. Now get out on your mountain bike, get muddy, pull a skid and have some fun!
*This is aimed purely at those road cyclists who take themselves too seriously and have forgotten that we ride bikes because it makes us feel good!