Improve Bike Handling1 of 9
Mountain biking is the ultimate way to increase your bike handling skills. The varied, technical terrain helps develop quick reflexes and a light-on-your-feet pedaling style. These two skills translate directly to road cycling and are especially valuable on high-speed descents.
Add Some Variety2 of 9
Sure you can switch up your route on your road bike, but mountain biking comes in all shapes in sizes. Whether you're into cross-country, downhill or freeride, mountain biking has something to offer all road cyclists—and can be a welcomed breath of fresh air when you're deep in a training block.
Say Goodbye to Cars3 of 9
Sharing the road with cars is not only inconvenient, it's simply more dangerous. While it's not without its own set of hazards, mountain biking is a great escape from sharing the road with cars. Plus, you won't be breathing in emissions directly from the source.
Boost Explosiveness4 of 9
Most road rides feature long, sustained efforts, but mountain biking requires rapid changes in speed due to the varied terrain. The power and strength required to climb the next hill or accelerate over an obstacle will translate to more pep in your sprint on the road bike.
Gain a New Perspective5 of 9
You've likely ridden all your local road routes multiple times, but you may not have ventured out into the hills. These single-track trails are a fun way to see your town from a different, less trodden perspective. This new sense of exploration can help renew and revitalize your relationship with cycling as a whole.
Connect With Nature6 of 9
A little dirt never hurt anyone—especially when it comes to mountain biking. Enjoy wildflowers, local fauna and scenic vistas while simultaneously getting a solid workout. Err on the side of caution, though. It's best to give critters their space when in their territory.
Find New Friends7 of 9
For obvious reasons, road cycling seems to attract more Type-A personalities. If you're looking for a fresh new perspective on the sport, befriend a mountain biker (or join a local club). They're likely to be extremely laid back and are looking for a genuine good time on two wheels. What's better than that?
It's Just Plain Fun8 of 9
The swooping descents, technical terrain and fresh air during a mountain bike ride can bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened road cyclist. Dust off that mountain bike hanging in your rafters, grab a buddy and hit the trails one afternoon—you'll be pleasantly surprised with how much of a workout it can be.