The thrill of mountain biking

To many a bicycle is just a mode of transportation, a more healthy and ecofriendly option. But, for many others, like myself, it is freedom and an escape from reality.

Many will not know what mountain biking is, so I am going to attempt to describe the different forms to the best of my ability. There are three main genres: first, there is cross country. It is a lot more endurance based. You mostly ride flat terrain mixed with up hills and gentle descents. Next up is enduro. Enduro is mainly downhill orientated. However, you must climb to the top of the trail to earn the descents. The trail will contain rocks, roots and jumps. In enduro, the aim is to get from the end of the trail to the bottom of it in the fastest time you can. It’s important to note that the timed uphill is just as crucial. Finally, there is pure downhill mountain biking. This is based around speed, power and technical ability on a short and fast descent. Cross country, enduro and downhill are the three genres of mountain biking –brilliant!

For me, my favourite part of mountain biking is downhill! I have no problem with saying I’m not a fan of cycling up boring old hills.  However, when I am flying down a trail in a forest with trees flying past my side, I am in my element. What I love about downhill is how technical it is. Throughout the trail there are rock gardens (bed of rocks placed on the trail), roots (which are dangerously slippery when wet), jumps and berms (banked corners). The aim of the game is to get from the top of the trail to the bottom as quickly as possible, just like enduro but without the uphill.

My favourite part of downhill is the jumps! For me nothing beats soaring through the sky and letting my creativity run free through trying to jump in many creative and unique ways as well as doing tricks.  My favourite jump is the river gap in Châtel Bike Park, France which is 50 feet!

I first started to ride a bicycle at the age of two, with stabilizers of course! Only a year later I began my father’s lifelong passion of motocross, so I am no stranger to being on two wheels. I have travelled to Wales, Morzine in France and all around England to ride my bike. It is truly amazing what places and adventures your bike can take you on! No matter your age, or physical ability, go dust off your bike and have an adventure!

 Finley Docherty

August-September 2021