I've been riding MTB for some years now, but it was only about 4 years ago that I found out about the Adelaide Mountain Bike Club race scene. Not only did it improve my skills on the MTB (and road bike for that matter) but I soon learnt more trails to ride just be being part of the "scene". I'm now part of the committee that runs the AMBC races, so my next question is more than just out of interest......
A recent article stated that 42,000 MTB's were sold in South Australia per year, but I wonder why I don't see more MTB's on the trails? Are they all rusting away in the shed, are they used for commuting only? Has the TDU drawn too many riders to road bikes? Curious to hear from the AC crew on these thoughts, maybe you want to MTB but don't know where to start?
OK, plenty of old MTB's outside pawn brokers and there is the 1000's of unused Kmart bikes out there. Maybe I should reframe my question....
If you have an MTB but don't ride it off road - why?
1. You don't know where to ride
2. You think its too hard
3. The trails are too far away
4. You can't find other riders at your level?
Having ridden for 20 years both road and MTB I have experienced both sports and always come back to MTB as the better sport. Its challenging at a skills level and fitness level, it gets you places that the majority of people in Adelaide have never seen, it makes planning holidays more adventurous. So I do wonder why its not as popular as road cycling?
I ride the MTB off road, but if you are looking for some feedback, i would suggest that although maps are continually improving, some of the trails are difficult to find. Some parks are quite well marked (Eagle) but i found Fox Creek hard to navigate.
On one particular day, my brother and i thorougly enjoyed a LONG downhill at Fox Creek knowing we would have to climb the other side. Once on the other side we were greeted by an equally long and steep (20%) climb which we found near impossible with our level of fitness.
We had gone down the wrong way! Our fault of course and navigation is part of MTBing, but a few more posts to denote starts/finishes would have been helpful.
Ha ha, that's a common mistake made at Fox, there are some loooong steep descents to keep away from, the best trails tend to stay close to the Thomas Hill house and surrounds. Forestry SA are planning on more signs soon - they do a great job supporting MTB, as do the trail fairies that groom these trails.
I suppose one thing with MTB is you have to visit an area more than once before you understand the lie of the land. Persist - Fox is a great place for beginners and experienced riders alike.