Cruising down the flowy tracks of T-15* on borrowed bikes, to almost flying over the handlebars after hitting a protruding root on a downslope, was what lighted up the curiosity bulb in our heads: Was it time to leave the comfort of the smooth tarmac roads and hop onto the lesser known trails in Singapore?
*T-15: Track 15 is a trail connecting Bukit Panjang to Mandai.
How would it feel like to manoeuvre through single tracks and fire roads, or shred through a rock garden?
Coming from a road cycling background, the novelty of trying out mountain biking has awakened the little thrill demons in us.
In partnership with Specialized Singapore, SportsIn Cycling will be bringing you fresh and exciting mountain biking content this coming year, featuring two roadies on a journey to explore a whole new world of mountain biking.
“We define the term ‘Hero’, not by the number of podium spots we get in races, but by the success in daring to venture into the unknown, facing our fears, and our achievements in tackling something that we have never done before.”
Humans love novel experiences. We are always searching for something unique and fun. If you are a road cyclist and thinking the need to break up the monotony road cycling, mountain biking can be a great frontier.
The ever-changing trails will force you to pay attention, and the sheer elation of making your way through countless obstructions is bound to leave you reenergised and refreshed when you return to road cycling.
We feel that all roadies should give mountain biking a go. Here are four reasons why:
1. Fresh Air And Serenity In The Trails
When you are in the trails, you are shielded away from the noise, traffic, and exhaust from vehicles on the roads. Say goodbye to impatient and reckless steel beasts zooming past you at high speeds.
“Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant.”
Mountain biking is the best way to immerse yourself in nature. Listen to the voice of nature instead; the melodious singing of birds, the distinctive sound from cicadas, or even the rustling leaves underneath your bike.
2. Mountain Biking Will Make You A Better Road Cyclist
a) Your bike handling skills will improve.
Most of the time, roads are predictable. However, things are very different off-road. You are thrown into an uncertain terrain – unbeknownst to you how many roots or logs, how many switchbacks or uphills you have to pass. Surfaces might be loose and slippery too.
Maintaining your composure on the bike while riding over uneven terrain takes balance and coordination. All of these skills will translate into a big boost to your bike-handling skills that carries across to the road.
Besides, being equipped with the fundamental mountain biking skills such as knowing how to bunny hop and manual will help a road cyclist get over potholes easily when riding on the road.
b) You will get fitter, faster.
Riding on a road bike improves your cardiovascular fitness, as you are spinning at high cadence over a long period. In contrast, mountain biking requires dynamic fitness – from quick bursts of power to sustained cardiovascular output.
Furthermore, mountain biking helps in building your explosive power. Riding on the trail requires rapid changes in speed. The capability to power across the next obstacle can lead an improved ability to pass or overtake other cyclists when road cycling.
3. It’s Not As Scary Or Dangerous As You Think
It is true that as a beginner, hitting a tree or getting thrown over your handlebars are instances which are common and unpleasant.
4. It’s fun!
Mountain biking brings people together to create memorable experiences in beautiful places.
In mountain biking, it’s all about having fun in the trails, as well as enjoying the company of your mud and sweat-covered friends.
Mountain biking is a sport that is good for both your body and mind. You don’t have to be good at it. It’s all about experiencing the thrill of it and having fun. Do not let the fear of getting yourself injured or failing stop you from trying.
By documenting the journey of two road cyclists from “Zero To Hero”, we hope that you will be inspired to get on the trails and have fun too!
Stay tuned to our next article where we will talk more about our bikes: Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5.
You can find Specialized mountain bikes and equipment at the following store in Singapore:
Shop Address: Block 28 Sin Ming Lane, #04-133, Midview City, Singapore (573972)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 3.00 pm – 9.30 pm
Telephone: (+65) 6659 0903