Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Is It Called Mountain Biking?

Why is it called mountain biking?

I ask the question because even though the sport is called mountain biking I am guessing that most people who ride rarely have the opportunity to go to an actual mountain to ride.  A mountain is classified as being a vertical incline of at least 2000 ft anything less than that is a hill (that’s what it said in yahoo answers)

A more appropriate name for mountain biking would be off road cycling or  hill biking.

Barley anyone rides on mountains but that is where most the NORBA national mountain bike races are held. Ski Mountains have out door recreation facilities to accumulate a large number of people.  This is OK I suppose but doesn't represent the sport very accurately. I'm guessing the NORBA national championship series rankings would look different if they only did races on non-mountain courses.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First Ride Outside For 2009

Pulled my mountain bike out for the first time since thanksgiving.  I bent my cassette during that ride and I didn’t fix it or put lube on my chain after I was done riding.   My drive train is a bent up rusty mess.

Still a lot of snow up here in Maine, a lot has melted in the past week though.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Race?

Race season is soon approaching and it makes me think of a question I’ve asked myself quite often…Why do I race?

I find my self diving on average 6 hours most weekends of the summer to go to races, often times places that I would never go if there hadn’t been a race there, sometimes in conditions (very hot, raining) that I would normally never ride in, and After adding up the cost of gas, race license, normal wear on car, registration, it costs me about $75+ a week. Plus all the time involved, an entire day maybe more.

Making sandwiches, organizing and pack all race gear and food in car………..1.5 hours

Making fixes to bike to make sure it is race ready……….. On average 1 hour

Travel time............ On average 6 hours

Waiting for awards........... About 1 hour

Another less measurable cost is the mental one. There is less riding just for fun.  Training rides are often times painful (hill intervals, LT intervals, sprint intervals).  Other times when I feel like riding I feel pressured not to because I'm tapering off before a race.

Why would anyone want to put themselves through all of this? Some may say that they want to find out how good they are. This is an OK reason for the first few times someone races but after that you should have a good idea of how you stack up.  Professional athletes from more popular and lucrative sports often say they compete for their fans or God.  I don't believe people who say that . Here are some reasons that are more likely to be true…

1…….So you can have some sense of accomplishment that comes along with training and being better than others.

2…….So others will respect you and you can make friends. There is a bond after doing a hard event together.

3……..To have fun (Racing I think is about as much fun as a group ride. Group rides are free so having fun is not a good reason on it's own I don't think.)

4…….. To make money (not really a factor in mountain biking)

Depending on the person and the situation the reason people race is probably a certain percentage of each of those four reasons.