“A muddy bike is a happy bike.”
— From a friend, Andrew, who loves to mountain bike.
Many mountain bikers, veterans and newbies alike, don’t like mountain biking on muddy trails. I, for one, hated mud before. Actually, before I join a mountain bike group ride, I always asked the organizer what’s the condition of the trail. If it is muddy, I would always skip the ride.
However, as I progress in mountain biking or as I develop my skills and strength, I realized that muddy trails are part of this amazing sports. Yes, it is. And you can’t take that away from mountain biking if you really are into it.
If you really love mountain biking, you have to get used to mud or muddy trails. You have to get used to being dirty all day long. And you need to learn that pushing your bike is part of it.
The question is “is it fun mountain biking on muddy trails”?
The answer depends from one mountain biker to another. It is still one’s preference. However, for me, it’s a big YES! But not up to the point that all you do is push your bike from the trail head to the trail end. That’s not fun. That’s not mountain biking. That’s trekking with your bike.
I don’t mind pushing my bikes. I don’t mind sitting on wet grasses. I don’t mind mud splashing on my face, just not on my mouth (haha!). I don’t mind washing dirty jerseys and shoes after the ride. I don’t mind what other people would say if they saw mud all over my body.
Whenever I see mud all over my bike, I feel like I accomplished something. I see it as a trophy of what I’ve been through because we all know that it is not easy mountain biking on muddy trails.
Why bike on muddy trails?
- You don’t have much choice. If you really are into this sports you have to accept it. Mud is part of any outdoor adventure like mountain biking.
- Philippines is a tropical country. Hey, we don’t live in the dessert where it is always dry. We have rains and/or typhoons almost all through out the year. It is a fact. When it rains, our trails become muddy unless you can build huge roofs over your favorite trails.
- To develop your confidence. It is harder to bike on muddy trails specially if you do not have good mountain biking handling skills. Mountain biking on muddy trails also helps develop your confidence in handling your bike (in my opinion). I’m not saying this the only way, but I find it helpful.
- Upper body workout? No, this is not the ideal upper body workout. And I’m not saying you do this every time. But I think, somehow, you’re working your shoulders, arms and back if you’re pushing your bike on muddy trails.
Why not bike on muddy trails?
- Costly. I mean to say, mud can enter even the smallest opening or hole in your bike more specially on the moving parts. Therefore, it could speed up the life of your bike’s components like the rear derailleur (RD), chain, hubs, bottom brackets (BB) and even fork.
- More risky. You are more prone to crashes or falls and therefore, you are more prone to injuries. I’m not saying that you should always push your self to your limits. Just always remember “when in doubt, dismount”.
- I don’t know. Perhaps you can fill this up and share your thoughts?
So would you still mountain bike on muddy trails? See the pictures below and tell me if it’s not fun.