Why you ride

smaj

Likes Dirt
I started riding MTBs when I moved back to Canberra because I was looking for a new exercise outlet, and I'd always wanted to give it a go (and Canberra's perfect for it -- loads of trails). I'd ridden road bikes and run for years before this and knew I needed some "outdoors time" in my day. I keep riding because it hits that sweet spot for me, between skills and aerobic fitness, and because the riders I meet on the trails are all pretty friendly and helpful (an unexpected bonus). There's nothing quite like hitting a feature perfectly to make your day, and my bike handling is sooo much better than it was before I started MTBing.

Also, I've found working on the bike to be really good fun. I've always wanted to learn, and the more I do the more fun it becomes.
 

greendream

Likes Bikes
I guess I just like bikes and all the different aspects that go along with them. Similar to everyone else.

I like the mechanical aspect of them, tuning, tinkering. Admiring the engineering.
I love the technical aspect of riding them, balance, technique, challenge. Uphill, downhill and features.
I love the fitness aspect, feeling strong and physically challenging myself.
I love the zen feeling of cruising along during a still early morning in the bush by myself, listening to the birds and looking out over nice views.
I love the social aspect getting out with mates or even meeting other riders on the trails. And getting out with my kids.
I love the feeling of accomplishment after pushing myself to complete a big ride.
I love seeing places I can't get to by other means and the feeling of adventure.
And lastly I love the adrenaline of travelling at speed on the bikes, finding grip limits and hitting features.
I concur with all of the above and would like to add:

I love the tough guy scratches, scrapes, cuts, contusions and scars that come with the turf (the entire risk v reward thing) which my family tease me about but remind me that I'm alive and a still kicking gen Xer.
 

hellmansam

Likes Dirt
Looked at this thread a few days ago, I like riding mainly for thrills that come from going fast or doing techy sections, riding close to the limit of my ability - you can always do that no matter how average you are :D I guess I like to scare myself a bit on most rides
I really like MTB technology and how the stuff we wished for when we were riding square taper BB axles, fully rigid bikes with rim brakes, has all become a reality.
And I like working on modern MTB's, probably a bit more than riding...
However I struggle with getting motivated to drag my arse out to some trails and exerting myself ! gotta break out of my rut soon as the weather is cooling off nicely right now.
 

beeb

Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
I’ve really enjoyed spending time out on my bike in the bush recently and even though I don’t do many kms or jumps or anything, I really enjoy riding as it helps me clear my head and not think about what’s bothering me, and only concentrate on what’s in front of me. Helps me get some perspective after the week. No, I’m not fast or a good climber or descended and I’ve got all the gear and no idea but I don’t care, I just like getting out.
I was in a shitty mood after work on Friday and all day yesterday but after a shit nights sleep I was up at 5 this morning to head to the hills and I feel so much better for it. I’ve got other stuff going on...
I keep coming back to this thread and really think you've nailed my thoughts pretty well @Rorschach.

I enjoy riding, but makes no bones about not trying to be "Mr Extreme" or having zero intentions of racing. For me it's (passively) more of a mental health pursuit. It ends up being my reset procedure to wipe away the residual anxiety and stress of a week at work. If I had to force myself to "go huge" or push for speed it really wouldn't be enjoyable for me. I think it's probably part of why I enjoy a weeknight ride so much. Forces me to do something other than work, eat, sleep, repeat - it really just calms me down.

I do like it when I'm going fast, but when I try to force things is normally when I end up laying on the ground with the bike tumbling past me, so I just take it as it comes. When things feel "right" I push it a bit, and when they don't I just roll along at a comfortable pace. So far this approach has kept me mostly rubber-side down and unscatched after a few incidents of my expectations exceeding my abilities.

Obviously I get a kick out of designing/speccing/building/blinging bikes too. Having done mechanical trades in the past, it's nice to have an outlet and something to tinker with. I love tweaking and tuning setup too, now I just need to work on actually holding onto them once I have them fully sorted and I run out of things to play with. :oops:
 

The Duckmeister

Has stumpy thumbs, Speciaized are so weird
Pretty much everything previously written applies for me too. Riding gives a sense of freedom and release from routine life stresses. My post-childhood riding quickly turned to non-competitive roadie riding, because it allowed me to cover a lot of ground and observe stuff around me.

When I found dirt, XC/trail was the logical progression from road. I know I suck at some (many) technical elements, and I don't care. I found over time that riding road is good for when you do want to think about other shit; find a groove & go autopilot. MTB riding needs a lot of mental attention so is great when you need to shunt other mundane shit into the background.
 

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
Coming back to this thread as it really resonated with me over the weekend

Yesterday was my first ride in 6 weeks, with a combination of being away for work, kids swimming, shit weather and the wife having stuff on means I haven't been able to get out. I've been in a pretty foul, strung out mood for the last couple of weeks and quite frankly just wanted to be on my own for a bit
Despite yesterday being Fathers Day, I got out for a few hours yesterday after spending the morning with the wife and kids. I wasn't fast, but getting out for that time really helped ground me and I came back noticeably less tense and happier than I went.
Just reminds me why I need to keep getting out as often as I can as it does genuinely help me
 

PJO

in me vL comy
Coming back to this thread as it really resonated with me over the weekend

Yesterday was my first ride in 6 weeks, with a combination of being away for work, kids swimming, shit weather and the wife having stuff on means I haven't been able to get out. I've been in a pretty foul, strung out mood for the last couple of weeks and quite frankly just wanted to be on my own for a bit
Despite yesterday being Fathers Day, I got out for a few hours yesterday after spending the morning with the wife and kids. I wasn't fast, but getting out for that time really helped ground me and I came back noticeably less tense and happier than I went.
Just reminds me why I need to keep getting out as often as I can as it does genuinely help me
I haven't been out on the MTB for an equivalent length of time, mainly because I don't like tearing up wet tracks and the associated wear on the bike.
Been doing quite a bit more running and have managed to double the distance I can comfortably run in that time, but damn I'm missing the mountain biking.
I can get the same sense of relief through running and the endorphin high is higher but it just isn't as much fun as hooning down single track working the bike in the corners, jumps and drops.
 

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
I haven't been out on the MTB for an equivalent length of time, mainly because I don't like tearing up wet tracks and the associated wear on the bike.
Been doing quite a bit more running and have managed to double the distance I can comfortably run in that time, but damn I'm missing the mountain biking.
I can get the same sense of relief through running and the endorphin high is higher but it just isn't as much fun as hooning down single track working the bike in the corners, jumps and drops.
I've tried running - I have bad knees so so it's pretty painful pretty quickly - but to be honest I still end up thinking about whatevers bothering me at the time. When I ride, all of my concentration is on what I'm doing so I think thats why I end up feeling better. I just lets me switch off for a bit.
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
I've tried running - I have bad knees so so it's pretty painful pretty quickly - but to be honest I still end up thinking about whatevers bothering me at the time. When I ride, all of my concentration is on what I'm doing so I think thats why I end up feeling better. I just lets me switch off for a bit.
That's the thing about mtb, you let your thoughts wander at your peril when you're riding! It's a great way to be 'present' and live in the moment.
 

crash3

Likes Dirt
I've been in a pretty foul, strung out mood for the last couple of weeks and quite frankly just wanted to be on my own for a bit
I've been enjoying life a lot less in the recent months too, and it's only hit me in the past couple weeks that I've barely done any cardio all bloody winter. Good thing it's warming up and the days are getting longer, as I try to hit some trails before work a few times a week.

Though I'm considering changing jobs to one closer to home that I can have a 30 min bicycle commute to (and a four day work week), so hopefully if that goes ahead my mental (and physical) health will improve a lot.
 

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
I've been enjoying life a lot less in the recent months too, and it's only hit me in the past couple weeks that I've barely done any cardio all bloody winter. Good thing it's warming up and the days are getting longer, as I try to hit some trails before work a few times a week.

Though I'm considering changing jobs to one closer to home that I can have a 30 min bicycle commute to (and a four day work week), so hopefully if that goes ahead my mental (and physical) health will improve a lot.
I'd love to be able to ride before work, unfortunately the trails are ~45 minutes from home on a good day
I've got my roadie at work so trying to get back into that on my lunchbreaks now the weather is better. I've tried riding the 25km to work but it takes too bloody long at the start and the end of the day and I also want to get home and be available rather than needing to have a shower!
I'm really starting to prize my alone time as it's becoming more scarce the more my kids grow up!
 

crash3

Likes Dirt
.... I also want to get home and be available rather than needing to have a shower!
I'm really starting to prize my alone time as it's becoming more scarce the more my kids grow up!
Good work for wanting to get home and be there for your kids man. That's something I'm trying to do too. It'd be real easy to check out and go spend all evening in the shed until the call for dinner, but I think it makes for happier healthier kids (and therefore adults down the track) when parents spend time.

I get what you mean about alone time, and I only have the one kid!
 

Stredda

Runs naked through virgin scrub
I've tried running - I have bad knees so so it's pretty painful pretty quickly - but to be honest I still end up thinking about whatevers bothering me at the time. When I ride, all of my concentration is on what I'm doing so I think thats why I end up feeling better. I just lets me switch off for a bit.
I hate running. It's hard work on the climbs, flats and descents and people look at me funny when I do feet whips off a "jump" :p
 

ozzybmx

call me Cáitín
I don't like tearing up wet tracks and the associated wear on the bike.
Mix in a Gravel/adventure bike for bike paths and gravel and a smart trainer.

I dont ride in the wet at all, wont ride trails if even a chance of puddles and will stick to known well drained gravel if riding after rain.

Destroyed trails, crunchy bike, wear on components, bike and suspension feeling clapped, wet shoes and filthy clothes... fakk that, smart trainer :)
 
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stirk

Burner
@Rorschach I agree with you on a reason to ride a MTB in the bush, it's just so calming being around nature while shutting off the mind and having some healthy fun. Some people can apparently meditate sitting cross legged on their arse but for us it's riding. It's been a very wet winter where I live and I'm grumpier from not getting out on the bike more often. Hopefully the change in season will be favourable to get on the trails more often. Take care mate.
 

PJO

in me vL comy
I hate running. It's hard work on the climbs, flats and descents and people look at me funny when I do feet whips off a "jump" :p
:D I have to confess I have done the occasional foot whip when running in the bush. Only ever when there was no one around though!

I used to hate distance running, was turned off it in high school PE, was always a sprinter.
Then when I did try it a few times later in life it bloody hurt.

When Covid hit, I tried again but this time I did it more regularly and the pain started to decrease and it actually started feeling good. I also like being able to go from my place without any faff only needing a pair of shoes (there's nothing much to maintain).

If you don't do it regularly enough though it hurts, even now if I have more than two weeks break it's harder work. At least 30min once a week and it doesn't hurt anymore, twice a week is better. I can still make the muscles ache if I go harder or longer but the joints are no longer an issue (had to work up slowly though).

The one thing I can say about it is that the endorphin high is pretty damn high!

Still doesn't beat a good single track descent.

Best thing for clearing the head is rock climbing, can't drift away anywhere when your focused on not killing yourself.
 

PJO

in me vL comy
Mix in a Gravel/adventure bike for bike paths and gravel and a smart trainer.

I dont ride in the wet at all, wont ride trails if even a chance of puddles and will stick to known well drained gravel if riding after rain.

Destroyed trails, crunchy bike, wear on components, bike and suspension feeling clapped, wet shoes and filthy clothes... fakk that, smart trainer :)
Something about the idea of gravel biking just doesn't appeal. Maybe it's the lack of flat smooth tracks around here, maybe it's the drop bars and rigid fork with steep HA on a rougher tracks.

I have a road bike and ride it occasionally and have taken it "off road" on smoothish unsealed paths, as well as used my commuter (Surly Ogre) off road, sans rack and mudguards, with 2.5" tyres, but couldn't/didn't "get it". Probably haven't done enough of it with the right gear...
Always felt like I wanted to go faster than the bike would allow so ended up feeling sketchy.
 
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