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Mountain Biking - my return

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Mountain Biking - my return

Old 10-14-09, 05:56 AM
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Mountain Biking - my return

I'm new to BF so pardon me for being a bit back dated on some of the subjects posted here. I just saw a post though about mountain biking being in decline and wanted to throw my 2 cents in.

I just returned to mountain biking (actually more trail and cross country biking) after some 20 yrs of absence. I started riding more, having never really stopped, this past spring and decided to dust off my old GT Timberline, rigid fork MTB and hit some local trails. I live in the midwest around Chicago and we don't have any mountains so we ride through the woods we can find usually near rivers where we have the only elevation. One place is a reclaimed strip mine area with very technical and very gnarly stuff. I went there and after 2.5 hours covering just over 6 miles and countless "crashes" I was hooked again. The next week I bought my Rockhopper Expert 29 and it has gotten a lot of use since. The GT now sports a Tora Solo air shock that I just added - its my winter/snow bike now.

Around here the LBS can't keep the 29's in stock. 26 inch bikes sell well too. The place I mentioned, the strip mine trails place, is packed on weekends and even weekdays you will see a few folks. The other trails near and far are alive with riders too. I just spent some time in CO, specifically above Boulder and mountain bikes were EVERYWHERE. Before that I drove out to Ohio to meet friends and ride. I took the Rockhopper and wound up letting some others take a turn on it in the woods and trails - they are shopping for bikes now. So for me, at least in the places I have checked out its anything but in decline. Smaller groups than what I see road riding to be sure but then mountain biking has always been more of a smaller group, or loner, type of ride. I've got a cyclocross bike now too and use that on lots of the single track around here. I like it but its not as much fun as the Rockhopper.

Right now I can't get enough of it and its the same for the few people that ride with me. 20 yrs ago when I first started there weren't many suspension forks around, they were being marketed but they were rare. Riding was different then, I remember it being slower. Now its much more like the enduro riding I used to do with a motorcycle. Bikes have gotten better, components are better and from what I see, riders are better. If anything "mountain biking" has split into several different factions that didn't exist in any numbers before. Now there are specialized segments of off road riding where before it was all just mountain biking. Maybe people see each of these groups, smaller than the whole, and figure its declining. I just don't see it that way. Ride your own ride and have fun, the bikes are better than ever and the fun never changes.

Off to practice my bunny hops, which I still can't do very well.....
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Old 10-14-09, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ocho View Post
I just saw a post though about mountain biking being in decline and wanted to throw my 2 cents in.
That was a misguided thread. It's not.
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Old 10-14-09, 07:24 AM
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Declining doesn't seem to be my experience either. I work for a university, and I just got word, our regents approved the improvement of what was some unofficially created singletrack on University property. A bunch of old guys in suites adopting it and making it official seems like a good sign.
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