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?
How many of those 42,000 mountain bikes would be Huffys and other 'Bike Shaped Objects' from K-mart etc? I'm sure a lot of people buy low end mountain bikes (even those in the $300-500 range) with the sole intent of riding them on the road or commuting. A lot of those bikes even come with warning stickers not to ride them off road!
Hey, stop stealing our riders ;) But if the roadies want to race MTB - come on down!
If 10% of those 42,000 were riders that wanted to ride single track (my definition of MTB'ing) then thats still 4200 riders and if 10% of those raced that'd be 420 extra riders racing per year. Still not sure where you all are!
Haha actually I'm wondering why we haven't gotten more MTB racers doing CX! Considering there is an AMBC race only once per month, I would've thought the CX races would be a good addition (they were also scheduled deliberately to avoid clashing with AMBC races).
One of the problems I think is that single track, for most people, is actually pretty hard. I remember when I first started riding single track I would look at some stuff and just go "how on earth can anyone ride that?!". With time, I got a little bit better and was able to ride more. But I think most people won't get past the "how on earth..." bit.
(Side note: this might be why CX might be more appealing to less experienced riders - the track itself is easy, almost anyone can ride it, but those with technical skills will be able to ride it a lot faster)
I never thought of it like that, I have often wondered about this whole cx thing and thought "why dont they just ride MTB? For myself I love the single track, but only having one family car means that my riding time is easier to schedule if i dont have to worry about driving to the trail head first. On my roadie i can leave from my door and return to my door, I know i can do that with a mtb but it takes a lot longer to hit the trails. Its also easier to ride solo on a roadie and when you work anti social hospitality hours getting ride buddies can be tricky.
I'm one of those 42,000!!!
I bought my MTB in mid 2008 for the reason of commuting to work and to get fit (and to replace the crappy $100 MTB i bought from a department store). I bought an Avanti Atomic and after I purchased it decided it needed to get out into the trails. I tagged along on a weekend Bike SA organised ride at Kuitpo Forest then registered for the 2009 Outback Odyssey. I thoroughly enjoyed that 2 week adventure and continued to use the bike for commuting.
Eventually I came over to the bitumen side and bought a roadie in late 2009 and whilst I use the roadie for commuting as well, if the weather looks to be a bit nasty, I'll still opt for the MTB. Due to a lack of annual leave I wasn't able to participate in this years Odyssey but was allowed to be a ride marshall for the first day from Adelaide to Lobethal. Even though it rained occassionaly I loved being out there in the dirt and mud.
I have always had an interest in getting out onto more trails with the MTB but have found my other commitments ie family (I'm a single Dad, so have the kids every 2nd weekend or so), work (shifts) etc makes me very time-squashed, even for roadie rides.
I have bought the kids a decent bike each but my youngest isn't exactly the keenest rider (she loves the flats, doesn't really like anything involving hills) whereas her older sister loves riding - even completing loop 2 of GS3 with me recently.
So, where to from here???? As I've mentioned my other commitments prevent me from doing a lot of rides - not wise to palm the kids off to their Nanna so Dad can go riding. I try to encourage the girls to go on group rides, ie Amy's Ride, Gear Up Girl etc but other than those, not sure they (nor their bikes) are up to XC racing.
Im a mtber. I ride every Tuesday night and every Sunday morning.
Id really like there to be more legal trails. There is some awesome riding around Adelaide and its wrong that I have to break the law to ride it.
Slammin!! I have seen that name on the amb forums!
Just to give a newbie point of view.....
Purchased my first semi decent/usable mountain bike late last year.
Prior to that was just the once every 3-4 monthly casual ride. I now try to get out on most weekends and use a new roadie 2-3 times during the week.
I dont think Id ever get into full blown xc racing, but there is a pretty big jump from the casual fire trail type ride to some of the single track more experienced people like yourself do.
Unlike road riding, some of the xc stuff requires a fair smattering of skill. (hound me down roadies)
Some of the single trail Ive gone on, Ive gone 'WTF! there is no way Im walking down there let alone riding a bike?!?!?'
I think the big jump in skill requirements would put a lot of potential MTBers off.
Is there a solution?
yes there are some green trails but I think it would be good if someone like the amtbc did 'come try days'
I have seen there are some commercial skills type days offered by some companies, and I must get to one someday, but Im sure some 'mentoring' or 'tutoring' would go a long way to boosting participation.
Like I said I'll never be a XC racer - but I wouldnt mind doing a 'slow newbie pace' lap around some of the tracks you guys race on.
Maybe the weekend after an event? Again its hard to gauge interest, and obviously some members would need to put time in, but it is just a thought.