I sold my MTB today
Dirt, sand, rocks scare the crap out of me. Maybe I should start with a little background; I’ve pretty much always been a roadie. Like many of us I got back into riding after the kids and career obligations started to lessen and my waist had expanded. I even took a part-time job at a bicycle shop just for fun and discounts.
Back in 86 when I “temporarily” hung-up my cleats, mountain bikes were just starting to hit the shops. So I had no experience and little understanding of MTB’s even BMX was after my time. As I watched and learned about MTB’s I got excited about them. So about eight months ago I “got me one” full suspension, carbon, etc.; all the bells and whistles. I figured “go big or go home”, anyway there are basically 2 types of MTB riders the first and most common, people that ride them like beach cruisers and never venture off into the wild, much like the majority of 4X4 truck owner that never 4X4, and then there are the people that actually use there MTB for what it was made for, dirt! And that was what I wanted to do. Yep, I could just see myself riding up and over the Rockies or the Alps on the beautiful green side of a mountain like in a Coors or a Nature Valley commercial. Well, as Snoopy said, “Life is full of rude awakenings.”
I’m not going to get into the different schools of MTB’s downhill, cross-country, single-track, etc., but one thing is true; all MTB’s are dogs on the road. MTBs belong in their element, dirt, sand, rocks, and hills. That’s where my problem started. Being a roadie dirt, sand, rocks scare me, when my rear wheel starts to slide I panic if I get air under me I feel fear down to my core. These things are the way of the MTB’er but to me and a majority of roadies they are preludes to a crash, visions of road rash, bruises, broken bones, bent frames, scraped paint and tacoed wheels flash in my head. I even tried body armor, knee, elbow, shin, and shoulder pads, to bolster my confidence. The padding didn’t help, just made me look ridiculous, like an elderly Tron player.
Last week I went on another MTB ride with a young 25-year-old friend of mine, we only did seven miles of canyon riding I was totally exhausted. The bursts of high energy needed for MTBs is very different from the strength and endurance needed on a road bike. Four days earlier I had completed a century on my road bike but after less than an hour on the MTB and only seven miles I was done, wiped out, kaput. The kid spent more time waiting for this “old man” then riding. Not to mention my dirt fears. I finally came to the obvious and undeniable truth; I wasn’t and never would be a mountain biker. If any of you are over 50 and still able to climb rocky trails, bunny hop switchbacks and balance on boulders my helmets off to you. I sold my MTB today.