As far as anyone can remember, riding a bicycle has been part of everyone’s childhood. Remember that first time you had a go on one; it felt like a mountain of an achievement. Now that you have the power and the limbs for a more enhanced kind of cycling, that mountain is now actually a part of it. It is an entirely different kind of adventure as you traverse through challenging trails and breeze through sublime and captivating nature preserves. But where did this popular sport come from? Who are the individuals that have attributed to the sport’s popularity? Here are 10 facts to captivate your interest.
- The history of this extreme sport goes way back to 1970 in California, USA. It was on Mount Tamalpais that made that mark of being the origin of mountain biking. Founding fathers of this sport were considered to be Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Keith Bontrager, Charlie Cunningham and Tom Ritchie. Using coaster brakes on converted cruisers, the first prototype of mountain bikes were all downhill purposed. Meaning they never rode their bikes uphill, they had to transport them up to the starting point and ride them downhill. These 5 individuals had to improvise a lot, things such as installing balloon tires that could adapt to any road conditions, and repacking improvised coaster brakes with grease because they had the tendency to overheat. Later on these 5 founding fathers further developed the bikes and opened a shop.
- Bart Jen Brentjens of the Netherlands won the first mountain biking event at the Atlanta Olympics.
- The different variations of the sport are; cross country, winter downhill, free ride, endurance and extreme. These different disciplines of mountain biking provide a wide variety and possibilities to tailor fit an activity to a riders specific adventure and adrenalin rush requirements.
- In 1995 downhill was introduced to the first ever Extreme Games.
- In 1997 during the Winter X-Games, it was also one of the featured extreme sports.
- Braking in this sport requires the use of your head. No it doesn’t really “use your head” per se. It means that braking is a skill that is developed through the proper knowledge of techniques that are applied to the art of safe stopping, and braking to avoid crashes and other possible risky scenarios.
- The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). A non-profit organization that was formed in 1988 is an advocate in the enhancement and preservation of trails for bikers all over the world. To date, IMBA is affiliated with associations worldwide with Australia having one of the most memberships. IBMA educates on trail care, trail building and planning. It has been one of the most reliable sources of trail recreation.
- The World’s Highest Trans Himalayan Mountain Bike Race is held in the Tibetan part of Mount Everest which has an altitude of 17,160ft.
- The longest mountain bike race in the world was a ride from Canada to Mexico. With 2700 miles over the continental divide in the Rockies.
- Sam Hill, an Australian professional mountain biker (downhill competition) is the youngest Australian to ever win a world championship title. He won his first championship title at the age of 16 coming third at the Vail World Championships in 2001.