Words by Dave Anderson, photos by Sim Mainey
I keep reading this statement in reaction to news of a new high-end bike, chi-chi component, or a piece of clothing that dares to have some colour to it.
“Mountain biking is the new golf.”
It’s the cry of the website pundit, stuck firmly in a rut of their own making, awash with a feeling of nostalgia for some long gone ‘golden age’ and seemingly fearful of change. Like The Muppets Statler and Waldorf – heckling from their virtual balcony seats and proud to be part of the online peanut gallery. Happy to have not seen the point of nine speed cassettes, then two-by-ten, then one-by drivetrains, skills coaching, dropper posts, Enduro, more than 120mm of travel, changing tyres, progress.
The mentality of that’ll do, no need to improve – at least the Luddites were trying to save their jobs, this lot are just trying to save a notion that things were better ‘back in the day’.
Meanwhile out in the woods we’re all just getting on with getting on. New bikes, new geometries and new technologies allowing a reinterpretation of the familiar – new lines, new trails and challenges to ride. Loving the opportunities provided to push the limits of traction and technique. Everything just keeps getting better and there doesn’t seem to be a plateau in sight.
If you’re worried that mountain biking is the new golf, you need to step out of the ghetto you’ve created. The golden age is right now, and it’s only going to get more golden. Quit worrying about what everybody is riding and just focus on the ride ahead.