Mountain Biking - A Whole Different World
by Alastair Hamilton [January 29, 2007]
The sport of mountain biking is increasing in popularity year by year. It's an exhilarating sport, but it's also physically demanding. Both men and women take part, but its usually people kids, teens, and young adults.
As with any other activity, mountain bikers have devised their own culture, including a language of their own. If you want to get into the game, you'll have to learn a few terms:
If you're riding a "boing-boing" you're riding a bike with both front and rear suspension. If you've "bonked" you've run out of energy. To "bring home a Christmas tree" is a bad thing, it means you've crashed through dense brushes and leaves and things are hanging off your helmet - it also means you've left a trace on the hill, which is something mountain bikers - and people in general, of course, are not supposed to do.
"Death cookies" are rocks that fly up into you as you go down the trail. This happens all the time and so that's why you want to wear goggles or some kind of eye protection. To get "first blood" means you're the first rider in a group who crashes and starts bleeding as a result. Some people perhaps feel this is a mark of honor for some reason.
If you're doing an "endo" it means you're flying over the handlebars of your bike do to a sudden stop. And then you'll most likely do a "face plant" - hopefully into mud and not into a rock. Regardless, that's why you wear a helmet and eye protection!
That's only a small sampling of the terminology. Of course you'll enjoy the sport even more if you can understand what the people around you are talking about, so take a gander at a few mountain biking slang dictionaries before you hit the trails.
Mountain biking is a great sport, but there is some controversy to it, as some people feel that the cyclists destroy the natural environment in certain areas, and bicycle advocates have to fight to keep the trails open to cyclists.
All cyclists can help by following simple rules - pack out more than you take in, respect pedestrians on the trails, don't bike after heavy rains, and so on.
By using a respectful attitude toward the environment and common sense in dealing with other people, mountain biking will be a sport that will be around for a long time to come.
About the Author
Alastair Hamilton contributes adding content to http://www.bikecyclingreviews.com . A free online magazine that carries articles on mountain bikes, and a guide on bike reviews here mountain bikes