Rock and Roll

Mountain biking technique: Riding a rocky trail is a fine art. Steve Thomas explores the skills and tricks required to master it.

It always seems a little strange when you watch different riders tackling the same rocky section of trail; there are those who seem to effortlessly glide over the rocks as if they weren’t there, making the trail look as though it was perfectly smooth, not losing an ounce of speed in the process.

Then of course there are those at the other end of the scale, who grind to a halt at the mere thought of tackling those evil boulders, and then try in vein to thread their way at virtually zero speed through the rocks, dabbing and floundering every few metres—it can be painful to watch at times.

Most of us linger somewhere in between these two extremes, which means there’s plenty of room for improvement, and mastering the rocks can greatly benefit your everyday trail riding. Continue reading

Bali High

When you think of Bali ‘great mountain biking’ doesn’t immediately spring to mind—but this island paradise is home to some of Asia’s best trails, and it’s right on your doorstep.

Knowing exactly what to expect when first arriving in a strange land is always a bit of mixed bag; a blend of intrigue, excitement, and at times fear all mix together.

Although I know much of Southeast Asia inside out, for some reason I’d never been to Bali. Sure enough I‘d considered it a few times, all be it vaguely. But I guess it’s one of those situations where preconceptions take over, if you let them.

Bali; when you mention Bali so many conflicting images spring to mind. For most it’s images of a bustling beach resort with nightclubs and neon lights that jump out. To others it’s images of tranquil sandy escapes, while to some it’s spas and holy retreats. Well, within a couple of days on the island you’ll find that it is all of these and so much more. The beauty of the place is that you can take whichever slice you desire and leave the rest of the cake on the side, or scoff the whole lot if you like.

You can party, relax, find solace, get culturally enlightened, and ride awesome singletrack—all in the same day. Early explorers termed Bali ‘the perfect island’. And in many ways it is.

Alternative Holiday

Not being much of a beach bum, my reasons for heading to Bali were to get in some decent mountain biking Continue reading

Drop off

 

MTB’s have more fun!

The enthusiasm of our readers never ceases to amaze me. Mountain bikers just seem to get so immersed in their sport. We get so many reader letters, at Mountain Biking Australia, that we rarely fit them all in the magazine. Likewise, we could fill four pages with our photo competition entries – if we had the space to spare! You only have to read a few of the letters to see just how keen people are.

The editor of our sister road magazine wishes he had the same volume of enthusiastic feedback. Then again, it may be unrealistic to expect people to get overly excited about road riding – I have done plenty of roadie miles over the years and I can report that for the most part, it doesn’t offer the same level of fulfilment.

So, what is it that gets people so hooked?

Check out the Be my guest page, each week and see why people from around the globe love the sport so much.

I believe mountain biking is so addictive because it appeals on so many levels. It is well known that physical activity can be addictive; endorphins go to brain and you feel good (at least when you stop hurting). Road riding achieves this as well, as does running and other similar sports.

But mountain biking also rewards with the sheer fun of piloting a bike down a narrow trail – much more fun than hugging the white line on the fringe of the tarmac trying not to get bumped off.

The nature of mountain biking also means that we get to ride in some beautiful surroundings. Want more?

Well you can also add the sense of adventure that you get from heading bush on an epic through sometimes isolated country.

My wife, Amber, used to be a gym junkie and picked up a mountain bike around five years ago. I have watched as she gained the same ‘MTB affliction’ that so many of our readers seem to suffer from. She gets the same health and fitness rewards of going to the gym combined with the addictive fun of hitting the trails.

After having our first child (Ellie), Amber couldn’t wait to get back on the mountain bike. She returned to the trails just two and a half weeks after giving birth and is more enthusiastic than ever. It seems to be a common tale amongst our readers. As the editor of Mountain Biking Australia, I can only say that it is a good feeling to be involved with such a fanatical and passionate group of people. I hope that this blog gives you further fuel to feed your obsessions!

Editor John Hardwick: Mountain Biking Australia

Are you passionate about mountain biking? Leave a comment and tell us what you love so much about it.

Don’t leave here without reading about Steve Jurvetson’s escapades at Be My Guest