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Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.
Aron Bosworth | 08.01.2019

What does a year of new adventures look like? And how might those adventures change throughout the months and seasons in a calendar year? With our 12 Months of Adventure content series, we'll be diving into exactly that.

For each month throughout 2019, we'll be highlighting a different outdoor activity and inviting you to follow along and take on a new adventure (or 12). Tapping the expertise of our knowledgeable Contributors, we'll be providing educational resources, how-to tips, and trip ideas and excursions—so you can get out and start racking up adventure time, pronto.

 


Cruising It's Business Time in Whistler, B.C. Duncan Sadava.

 

August: The Month of Mountain Biking

July: Paddlesports | September: Hiking + Backpacking

 

Mountain biking, like many adventure sports, began as a fringe activity. Little did those early gravity-inspired visionaries know, who set out modifying old cruiser bikes for a new dirt-focused application, just how popular mountain biking would become. Fast-forward 40 years, and mountain biking has surged into the mainstream, with a well-oiled and mature industry behind it. There’s now a broad range of mountain bike categories, geometries, wheel sizes, and builds, each serving different rider interests and needs. These range from climbing-focused and playful short travel suspension cross-country bikes to burly long travel suspension enduro and downhill bikes made for extreme descents, as well as bikes for just about everything in between.

Thanks in many cases to the perseverance of local grass-roots mountain biking organizations, mountain biking has also become more accessible in recent years. New and improved trail networks and bike parks have been springing up all over the place, and not just in areas that have mountain topography. Sure, there’s killer mountain biking in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, California, New York, Vermont, and other mountainous states, but there's also incredible riding in Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and just about everywhere that has trails. Depending on where you call home, mountain biking may feel like a far-off reality, but it’s probably a lot closer than you think.

Yes, the draw is real. Mountain biking opens up an exciting world of outdoor exploration and trail experiences. Whether you’re out for a casual family ride at a state park or looking for a white-knuckled adrenaline rush, riding mountain bikes allows you to get out farther in nature, fly through and float over terrain as if on skis, and to do it with an exciting pace when desired.

That’s not to say there aren’t other considerations, as there most certainly are. The sport has serious injury risks. There’s an important etiquette to follow on trails, including when not to ride due to prolonged wet weather and destroying/tearing up trails. Trails need to have stewardship and some TLC, which is often best facilitated through getting involved with local mountain biking organizations (ask your local bike shop). And while there are some great value bikes out there, the cost to buy a nicer mountain bike these days can be prohibitive. Note you don't have to buy a bike to have fun mountain biking either; many biking shops offer mountain bike rentals. Depending on how much you ride, you could easily rent 15 times a year and save money compared to purchasing a new bike.

For a few select areas that remain dry and snow-free in winter, mountain biking can be a year-round pursuit. But for most areas, rain, snow, trail closures, and the shorter days during winter limits when we take out bikes. For most of us, mountain biking is seasonal with August falling in the middle of a season that typically runs from spring through mid-fall. While it may be a bit dusty out there right now, we are in prime mountain biking season! Whether you’re a seasoned rider or someone considering just getting into the sport, we invite you to explore the mountain biking resources below. Hope to see you out on the trail!

 

How Tos, Tips, and Gear

Adventure Recommendations

We hope you get inspired by 12 Months of Adventure and are able to take on some new adventures this year. Don't forget to let us know about your spring photo adventures by tagging your photos #12MonthsofAdventure on Instagram and by adding a comment/photos in the comments section below. Happy trails!

The 12 Months of Adventure:

From mountaineering to outdoor photography, from paddling pastimes to environmental stewardship, 12 Months of Adventure aims to cover a breadth of interests that connects everyone in a deeper way with the outdoors. Follow along each month with a new 12 Months of Adventure focus:

  1. January: Snowventures
  2. February: Adventure Training/Fitness
  3. March: Photography
  4. April: Mountaineering
  5. May: Running
  6. June: Vehicle-based Camping
  7. July: Paddlesports
  8. August: Mountain Biking
  9. September: Hiking + Backpacking
  10. October: Wildlife + Fishing
  11. November: Conservation, Stewardship + Volunteering
  12. December: Skiing + Snowboarding

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