January 10, 2017 - This week's guest article is from Professional Mountain Biker, Ryan Petry. Ryan is not only an accomplished mountain biker, but also a long time triathlete. He has won many Xterra Races and has had several top 8 finishes at Leadville 100, one of the most competitive mountain bike races in the world. Ryan breaks down 6 reasons why every triathlete should try mountain biking this year.
1. Be More Comfortable on a Bike
No matter how many miles you put on your TT bike, nothing will prepare you for that huge pot-hole, sandy turn or driver blabbing on their cell phone quite like mountain biking will. Mountain biking is all about being prepared for the unexpected at a moments notice. If you can ride a mountain bike you will be much more prepared for these everyday dangers you face on the road.
2. Save Energy by Being More Relaxed
This one goes along with the reason above. Riding mountain bikes requires skills that aren’t 100% necessary on a triathlon bike. Shifting body weight, front/rear braking management, precise shifting, lots of steering, etc. Basically, you end up being very in-tune with your bike and your body. After a few mountain bike rides, descending in your aero bars, drinking water, and opening gels will seem like a walk in the park. Your new skills will also help you to relax more while riding, lowering your heart rate and conserving energy.
3. Discover New Roads
Mountain bikes are the ultimate exploration vehicles. There are no roads too steep or bumpy that a mountain bike can’t handle. With a mountain bike under you, you will feel prepared to take the road less traveled. Who knows, you may discover that these roads may be totally fine for skinny tires. New course unlocked.
4. It’s a Great Workout
Interval workouts take mental energy. They really just aren’t that fun. Riding mountain bikes on hilly single track can be some of the best intervals you will ever do. You don’t determine when to pedal hard, the trail does. Often times just to stay on your bike requires a huge effort. The best part, you don’t realize it is happening until you are out of breath at the top of the climb. Downhill? Recovery. For triathletes being prepared for these unpredictable surges can be the best prep for riding in a group during a triathlon.
5. Sweet Instagram Pictures
If you want to get somewhere that few people ever see, go for a mountain bike ride. Bring your cell phone, take some pictures, and wait for the likes from your followers living in big cities who take pictures of their food to roll in. Inspiring people and making them wish they had your life is the whole point of Instagram anyway, right?
6. No More Wondering if You’re Missing Out
As a triathlete, you are sure to know someone who rides mountain bikes. Some people just really aren’t into the idea of riding off road, between trees, over rocks, on loose dirt. If you are one of those people, that’s fine, but you should at least try it once to be sure you aren’t missing out on something you could end up really enjoying. If you never tried guacamole because it looked gross, wouldn’t that be a shame?
About the Author:
Ryan Petry is a professional mountain biker living in Boulder, CO. He has transitioned from a runner, to collegiate triathlete, to XTERRA racer, to mountain biking full time.