Mountain biking is the newest style of bicycling when compared to all things bike related, but even mountain biking has split into distinct styles in recent years. As residents of the Midwest, we don’t have “mountains” exactly, but we have plenty of elevation change to experience the ups and downs and roller-coaster thrills. Organizations like IMBA have done a great deal to support the growth and development of sustainable trails and biking opportunities in the US – this has led to an explosion of trails and experiences for every level of rider. In Wisconsin notable trails include Levis-Trow, Rock Lake in the Chequamegon National Forest and more; in Minnesota, Lebanon Hills in the Twin Cities, The Cuyuna Lakes MTB trails and the soon-to-be-open Spirit Mountain Flow Trail are a few of the many options available to mountain bikers.
Here, a rider tries out the Flow Trail at Spirit Mountain: Trails are designed for riders of all levels, and it only takes a little time on the trail to develop the skills for more technical areas. What better way to enjoy the outdoors?
Why We Ride
The reasons to mountain bike are many; trails are well clear of vehicle traffic, it’s fun to explore, greater chances to see wildlife, the varying challenge of trails, and on a hot day it’s cooler in the woods! Mountain biking is social in a way that road biking is not – because trails are typically narrow, you spend a lot of time single file – but the option is there for rest breaks to talk, grab a drink of water and enjoy the day. Mountain biking can be as casual or competitive as you desire, but you can always be challenged at a level you still feel comfortable with.
One thing is for sure – when it comes to getting out and enjoying, getting out and getting home is the second part of the equation. Be prepared on the trail with food and water, as well as the essentials to get your bike going if you get a flat.
Items to Carry:
In the next installments, we will discuss why you ride and what mountain bike might be right for you. With many options available, you are sure find a bike that will allow you to get out and enjoy the dirt!