Too much of what the average person sees in the media about mountain biking portrays the super fit, dripping with sweat, in their Spandex-accentuated buns of steel; or the pro young bucks, flying off cliffs, with their Red Bull-infused nerves of steel.
And even mountain bike bloggers like me contribute to the problem.
Several of the comments in the Facebook discussion thread I started (publicly viewable) referred directly or indirectly to the image they have of mountain biking that discourages many people from trying it.
In the online discussion threads (see the list in part 2), many people mentioned the fear of injuries from falling as a reason for not considering mountain biking.
I touched on it in that post, arguing that beginners should not have to accept falling as a necessary part of recreational mountain biking on flat, wide, smooth, obstacle-free dirt trails like the dirt double track trail along the MN River Bottoms between the Mendota and Cedar Avenue bridges.
I asked the question here on my blog last week: Why aren’t there more seniors mountain biking? I’m trying to understand what’s behind the relatively few number of my age-related peers (AARP crowd, baby boomers, seniors, geezers) who are out there mountain biking regularly.
This morning, I met and had coffee with two of the guys who’ve been participating in the MORC discussion, Tim Walsh and Dean Davis. Tim is 64 and has been mountain biking for 30 years. Dean is about to turn 66 and starting mountain biking last year.
After a couple hundred online comments, plus my conversation today with Tim and Dean, I’ve got a somewhat better understanding than I did a week ago about seniors and mountain biking. There’s a lot to sort through and explain so I’m planning a series of blog posts, each one tackling a factor or issue related to seniors and mountain biking and what could be done. Continue reading Why aren’t there more seniors mountain biking? Part 2→
It seems to me that relatively few of my recreationally-active, age-related peers (AARP crowd, baby boomers, seniors) are mountain bikers. I just don’t see many out on the MORC trails in the Twin Cities area where I mostly ride. (I don’t have data to support my hunch so if you’re aware of any that would support or contradict it, attach a comment or contact me.)
Skiing seems to be a close cousin to mountain biking, with elements from both cross country and downhill skiing. And when I’m XC skiing or snowboarding here in the Midwest, I see plenty of seniors.
I’d like to author an in-depth blog post about this and follow it up with another one on what could be done. But I need some help.
What might be the contributing factors to the lack of mountain biking seniors? Fear? Cost? Areas to ride? Image?