Is Mountain Biking Hard and Scary?

“I’ll just fly off the trail.” “I know I’ll smash myself on a rock.” “I’m not coordinated enough.” “I’ll go too fast.”

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View from the top of Elk Camp | Photo: Aspen Snowmass

These are common, albeit misplaced excuses many people make for not giving mountain biking a chance. The irony is that these are often the very same people that enjoy gliding at high speeds down snow and ice-covered mountains in the winter. In fact, skiing and mountain biking are quite similar.

Not sold? Picture this:

  • You start the day in a base area bike shop being fitted for a mountain bike and equipment that best accommodates your size and ability level.
  • You load yourself and your bike into the gondola or chairlift.
  • You step out of the gondola or off the chairlift and grab your bike.
  • After adjusting your helmet and gloves you make your way towards the trailhead.
  • You decide to warm-up on a blue trail.
  • It’s smooth and flowy and takes you through beautiful aspen glades and meadows of wildflowers.
  • You catch a bit of speed and feel the cool mountain breeze on your face.
  • You take a break mid-way down the trail and take in beautiful mountain views.
  • You take the gondola or chairlift back up for several more runs.
  • You end the day in the base area village with a cold beer and a smile.

In addition, the actual learning process between mountain biking and skiing is quite similar, too.

Lessons, lessons, lessons

is mountain biking scary, fastest growing outdoor sport
Photo: Aspen Snowmass

Everyone knows that mastering skiing, no matter your level, requires lessons. Well, mountain biking is no different. Lessons ensure you pick up and implement proper stance, know how to properly brake (as mountain bike brakes are really sensitive) and how to take on sharp turns or corners smoothly. Do yourself a favor and just a take a downhill mountain biking lesson with a pro: not only will you be safer for it, but you’ll progress faster.

Before you know, mountain biking in the summer might even trump skiing in the winter. There’s a reason why this sport is one of the fastest growing in the outdoor industry. In fact, in the past couple years, nearly 400,000+ new people have picked up this adventurous and thrilling activity.

Progressive terrain

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Small, medium and large jumps at Snowmass Bike Park | Photo: Aspen Snowmass

Many mountain destinations and resort bike parks have invested in skills parks or pump tracks that enable everyone from first timers to experts to practice skills and improve. For beginners, these parks have little humps to help conquer fear of air or jumps and wood-plank paths to build confidence in committing to trail features. This progressive terrain allows beginners and intermediates or even anyone who is looking to progress, test their skills out in a controlled, safe environment before they head up the lift or gondola to enjoy the downhill trails.

Ready to ride? Let us help.