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Pinkbike Poll: If Mountain Bikes Had Never Existed, Would You Still Be a Cyclist?

May 24, 2024
by Jessie-May Morgan  
This Raleigh has lived a life

If mountain bikes had never existed, would you still be a cyclist? Honestly, I'm not totally convinced that I would be.

Though I grew up riding bikes, I never really got over the discomfort of the physical exertion associated with it until I discovered actual trail riding. I wasn't sufficiently enamored by the challenge of riding up hill, or long distances, to go riding of my own accord regularly, until it became clear that there was a thrill to be had at the end of it - like a Type 1 thrill - none of that Type 2 codswallop. It was an easy way to release adrenaline, and the pain of going up hills was worth it. My love for mountain biking grew out of the ever-present possibility of progression, riding new trails and features, or riding old trails in ways I hadn't previously considered.

I have of course used the bicycle as a tool for commuting to work or the pub, but I never really considered that sport - it was more just a means to an end. During a two year stint of training, I did resort to road cycling, and have even recently dabbled in a bit of gravel riding, but neither deliver anything near the satisfaction levels of ripping down trails.

If mountain bikes had never existed, I'm not sure I'd have taken up any of the other cycling disciplines as a sport, or with anywhere near the levels of enthusiasm I have for mountain biking. And that's not because the opportunity wasn't provided - I come from a family of cyclists (mostly road) and was afforded plenty of opportunities to try it all.

I feel differently now, of course. I developed a much better appreciation for cycling for the sake of cycling. And, if mountain bikes ceased to exist tomorrow, I would still ride bikes. Ahem. Gravel ones with suspension forks.

What about you? Does generic cycling do it for you, or would whitewater rafting / freeskiing / ice climbing / insert other high-risk sport here / have become your special interest if mountain bikes had never been invented?


If mountain bikes never existed, would you still be a cyclist?



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jessiemaymorgan avatar

Member since Oct 26, 2023
75 articles

245 Comments
  • 397 7
 I consider myself a risk taker and adrenaline seeker but not crazy enough to do road bike, I'm not on that life risking level.
  • 30 3
 I tried owning a curly bar bike and sold it a year later, too many mirrors brushing my shoulder
  • 134 3
 I feel much safer doing an eight foot drop at the bike park than riding to the closest grocery store.
  • 21 0
 I’ve added one to my stable. The adrenaline of a car door adjust is on par with a blind drop with a stationary object on the other side.
  • 21 2
 This would be funny if it weren't 100% true.
  • 79 7
 Road cycling: all the risk and misery of mountain biking, without the adrenaline rush or fun
  • 23 3
 Agreed, and it's the control of that. With mountain biking, you have control of all the risk and results. Road biking, you have none of the control of the risk or results.
  • 11 5
 I used to live in a place that had great bike paths and bike lanes and I could commute with minimal traffic. It was great. I hear now the bike paths are over ran by the homeless and I'm not sure if dodging traffic or needles is more scary.
  • 38 12
 @arrowheadrush: someone who's never hit 55+ mph descending a mountain road.
  • 61 27
 @ReformedRoadie: a roadie and not being able to take a joke, name a more iconic duo
  • 25 0
 After I got hit for the second time commuting my wife made me take out a big life insurance policy. Funny how she added a bulldozer blade to the front of our minivan around the same time. Hmmm.
  • 10 3
 @ReformedRoadie: Passing cars when descending is a wild feeling. The 160mm rotors are not enough.
  • 6 1
 @arrowheadrush: gotta disagree slightly. More misery.
  • 8 0
 I commuted by bike when I lived in Vancouver and I really enjoyed it. Lots of bike streets, dedicated lanes, etc. Never felt at risk of being hit by a vehicle. Moved to interior BC city and almost died multiple times riding to work within a month. Zero bike infrastructure. I only mountain bike now and my road bike has sat on the trainer since 2017.
  • 9 0
 @dirtmakesmehappy: 160mm rotors?? still on rim brakes on the road...
  • 7 1
 @ReformedRoadie: then you’ve got 650b rotors
  • 12 1
 I lived in Boston for two years and did city riding on the roads with crazy city drivers and busses. City biking was some of the most adrenaline filled riding I've ever had.
  • 2 0
 I road a road bike from downtown London to Richmond park and back a couple years ago. That was an adrenaline experience.
  • 4 1
 I have done a lot of road riding. I now ride a gravel bike which allows me to ride further over away from the traffic.
  • 3 4
 @arrowheadrush: but more drugs
  • 6 1
 @Sscottt: I try and ride a bike in every city I visit. In Boston I asked, "what are the drivers like?" and the answer was "Not overly aggressive but not very bike-friendly" which seemed accurate. I'll take that vs. Calgary's dumb, male F150...
  • 17 0
 People not feeling safe to ride bikes for getting around on roads is why the world needs more protected bike lanes.
  • 2 0
 @Sscottt: as someone who has lived here for 14, I’d say that cycling through Back Bay or South End is like playing Crazy Taxi.
  • 6 1
 After I read the PB article about the roadie who got hurt really bad from a hit and run, that reinforced why I ride in the woods. Hopefully that guy is recovered and got justice.

Trees don’t hit me, I hit them. I’m sticking with mountain biking. Just saying.
  • 4 0
 I've been toying with the idea to get a gravel bike, but the risk related to cars on our roads - even the dirt roads - is something I cannot convince myself to take on... Give me a double black trail instead...
  • 4 0
 @dirtmakesmehappy: I felt like I did not trust the cars and they didn't trust me and that lack of trust is what kept everyone safe. You really have to constantly be in the zone and hyper aware of your surroundings. It's the same sensation as riding a mountain bike downhill or bombing down a gravel road.
  • 3 0
 @gbeaks33: this is completely true. It's counter-intuitive when you trll non-cyclists but city riding is far less scary!
Traffic is generally slower and heavier , there are more other cyclists and drivers are more accustomed to looking or expecting cyclists.
Move out of city areas and the exact opposite of these things makes it far more dangerous.
  • 4 0
 I'm going to Amsterdam and The Hague this Monday for 2 weeks and will be riding beater bikes in the streets as much as possible. I read that no one wears bike helmets in NL because they don't want to convey that cycling might be dangerous to potential cyclists and that drivers are fairly conscientious because they are also cyclists. We shall see.....
  • 2 0
 I was a casual road cyclist until I became a mountain biker and gave up life on the road. But road cycling would never have held the same enduring pleasure for me that mountain biking does. I'd rather be breathing clean air and having fun with friends in the woods than chugging diesel truck exhausts and dodging aggressive drivers...
  • 4 0
 @suspended-flesh: I spend a lot of time in NL because of work. Only cyclist I've seen wearing a helmet was a roadie, if you’re on a Dutch bike it’s rare to wear a helmet.
One other piece of advice. Whether you’re a pedestrian or in a car, assume cyclist have right of way
  • 4 0
 I live in Sydney, Australia. Home to the world’s worst drivers. I could never ride a road bike here
  • 3 0
 Road biking in murika, it is just a question when
  • 2 0
 @Sscottt: I see you live in West Rutland. From there or living?
  • 1 0
 @arrowheadrush: lolololololol
  • 3 0
 I get roughly 10000 miles a year on my road bike. Add in a couple more thousand on the MTB per year. Commute, workouts, joy of riding, I still love the road. In roughly 100,000 miles of riding I still haven't felt the need to give it up. Matter in fact, I bought a new roadie last year.
  • 1 0
 After being hit twice, I left the road before the third time. I prefer to be in control in the mountains
  • 1 0
 @sfarnum: yep. Seen more ambulances loading bikers in at the intersection 3/4 of a mile from my house than I ever have at the bike park.
  • 1 0
 @Sscottt: I was a bike messenger in Boston for years, 96-05. Adrenaline high for sure. Same time I was getting into downhill. Couldn’t get enough!
  • 1 0
 I might be more prone to falling off a mtb but most landings have a bit of give and recovery is quick. Every single thing you can hit falling off a road bike at three times the speed is an immovable solid object.
  • 3 0
 Commuted to school and work since 1976, crossed continents unsupported and carrying gear, built a Bontrager Crossbike to take into the hills 15 years ago, and started mountain biking in the 80's with thumb shifters and 3X cranks. It's all fun until an idiot in a car risks your life to text or scroll or otherwise takes his eyes off the road. I'm 65, and tomorrow will find me three hours into a trail ride and happy. But, until you've moved your body across countries and for months and months at a time, there's an aspect of cycling that will remain a mystery to anyone who hasn't felt the pleasure of self-propelled and self-determined travel.
  • 1 0
 When I need to go somewhere between 0.5 and 25km (each way), I ride my bike. This includes my commutes to work, the groceries, getting the kids to school back when they needed me to come along and many people I visit or places I go. The car and motorbike are for trips longer than 25km from home. Riding bikes isn't about risk taking. It is by far the most efficient means of transport so it would be silly to pick something else.

By the way, none of my bikes have curly bars. My most recent commuter has an Alfine 11sp hub and it is pretty amazing. I overtake all those pedal assisted bikes unless they're overclocked. Curly bars may be good for certain sports but they probably won't help with proper situational awareness in traffic.
  • 1 0
 @pdxallarounder: They've got left-hand driving over there!
  • 1 0
 @dirtmakesmehappy: permanent transplant. Are you from the area?
  • 1 0
 @Sscottt: From Brattleboro myself. Born and raised and moved for work.
  • 1 0
 Yes, because I have a BMX background...
  • 145 1
 I feel like this is like when your wife asks if you would still love her if she was a worm.
  • 21 0
 And if you answer no, she asks why you don't love her. I always tell mine I love her more then grilled cheese. Just a bit more though, don't want it going to her head.
  • 2 0
 My partner has never asked this however i do feel inadequate
  • 9 0
 If she were a tapeworm, yes because then I could eat more carbs
  • 8 3
 @PHX77: Your wife is inside you? Not judging, just curious.
  • 1 0
 only acceptable answer is to say yes, I would love you, I've always wanted to catch a Zander.
  • 90 2
 Define “cyclist”. I’d still commute. I might bmx. But I’d climb, surf, trail run, and/or ski before I would consider picking up a road bike on a weekend.
  • 27 2
 A bmx rider is a cyclist aswell in my book. It has all the components of a bike...
  • 3 0
 Same. Commuting by bike is a great way to get to the desk, but road cycling has little attraction, unless the trails are wet and the surf is rubbish. I try to find routes with less traffic when I have to..
  • 8 2
 I ride bikes a lot, have for decades, but I’ll never self-identify as a cyclist. Just a guy riding a bike.
  • 4 0
 I’d just ride my road bike on trails. It’s what happens every time I go out on a road ride anyway. I honestly don’t mean to, trails and fire roads are just so much more interesting than a road.
  • 1 0
 Can’t it just be a person who rides bikes and that same person might also ride skis and surfboards and run and swim and etc…cyclist is such a dumb label
  • 5 0
 @Phipu: Was riding bmx in the woods long before mountain bikes existed. I don't think mountain biking would be where it's at today without the influence of bmx riding.
  • 50 1
 If my grandmother had wheels, she would have been a bike.
  • 6 0
 Gino D'Acampo!
  • 32 0
 If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself?
  • 12 0
 I know I would
  • 3 1
 Classic Will Ferrel
  • 5 0
 If the moon was made of ribs, would you eat it?
  • 2 0
 It's a simple question, doctor!
  • 1 0
 Now hold on. Hot dog? Can I add Chili & Cheese? Then, YES.
  • 3 0
 @nyhc00: Also classic Marilyn Manson.
  • 3 0
 Pizza The Hut did
  • 29 3
 Road ride is great for when you only have half an hour on a weeknight and no trails near your house, its better than nothing for sure. Once you have been pushing around the enduro rig for a while, switching to the road bike feels fast af
  • 15 0
 Nothing beats the feeling of all of your power going into forward motion and the speed that you can cruise on a road bike... but the chance of getting mowed down by a distracted driver is what has kept my road bike hanging in my garage for a few years now.
  • 4 0
 @OCSunDevil: same here on the other side of the world. Where I live road used to be very popular, lots of local races etc. Too many people getting run over by distracted drivers (seemed to coincide with the rise of the mobile phone) and lots more truck traffic. Road bike stays on wall now and locals have put effort into building a trail network instead.
  • 4 0
 I don't know; 30 mins on a DJ, BMX, cruiser or PoS commuter bike is pretty sweet...
  • 27 1
 Moto
  • 20 0
 Many of us would still be riding the same way, it would just be called MBMX or something.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10839281

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10839280

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10839286

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10839283

If the roadies in Klunkerz hadnt been so successful at marketing their square version of mountain biking, Mert Lawwills Pro Cruiser probably would have taken off, and we would have arrived at the current version of mountain biking, which is more heavily fun and BMX influenced, much earlier.
  • 5 0
 So you're saying there's a parallel universe in which 26" wheels are the wagon wheels
  • 24 0
 Does BMX not count?
  • 7 0
 Bmx since about 1982, mtb from mid 90's
  • 9 0
 It sure does....
  • 2 4
 @karaoke: yep biCYCLE motocross at least loosely qualifies as cyclist whether anybody likes it or not. Not so sure about pump track riders.
  • 3 0
 @hohmskullkrishten: I'd say it gets cred for being an Olympic sport, but then...so is breakdancing now.
  • 3 0
 I learned to bunny hop on a BMX as a boy, over stacks of bricks in the back garden. It's a skill you never lose.
  • 7 0
 BMX was first, and at nearly 40, it’s still my favorite bike to ride. After I sell off every bike due to old age, there will always be a 20” with right side pegs on it.
  • 8 0
 @fielonator: same. BMX is the obvious answer in a world without mtb's.
  • 1 0
 @bat-fastard: Same ere, though got my first MTB in about 89
  • 20 2
 PB really forgot BMX and Dirt jumping exists, 100% I'd still do it
  • 14 0
 These polls are often a primer for product announcements you guys are chewing on. Are mountain bikes about to be banned worldwide?
  • 4 1
 Ride Bikes Every Day
  • 3 2
 Probably not, but California will let you know when you’re going too fast down a trail with beeps and visual cues.
  • 4 0
 Gravel content inbound
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: Finger on tip of nose!
  • 12 0
 I don't believe there could ever be a world where bikes exist and SOMEONE didn't try to huck it down a country road or a dirt path, and someone else then decides they can do it faster and with more style
  • 6 0
 As soon as bicycles were invented, mountain bikes were inevitable.
  • 1 0
 Technically when bikes were invented all there was to ride were country roads and dirt paths
  • 12 1
 For me, mountain biking has not been about adrenaline since maybe 2003 or 2004. I mountain bike for the joy of being out in nature and for the way it demands almost constant attention, for the fun of picking a line through rocks and roots, for the challenge of trying to make it up technical climbs without dabbing, and for the fun of riding with a friend or two. Hats off to everyone here who catches air and rides the modern way, but I'm just not up to it. I'm not that talented at mountain biking as it's practiced now, and don't care. I love road biking for the fast-rolling wheels, for grinding up long climbs, for the way the miles add up over many hours of riding, for the trance I slip into, for the consistent effort I have to put out, and for the fact that I start almost all of my road bike rides from my front door.
  • 6 0
 The trance I slip into. Isn't that what it's all about. Reacting and not thinking. Whatever it takes to reach that. Road, gravel, mountain bike or even my motorcycle. There is something about the balance point of being on two wheels. They all get me to that point.
  • 1 0
 @Sscottt: it’s called the flow state, and everyone is trying to figure it out. Us riders are lucky
  • 7 0
 I’m old enough to have ridden all sorts of inappropriate bikes around the woods before anyone ever thought about making mountain bikes. Crappy five speed road bikes, folding three-speed shoppers, and finally an BMX! And I probably spent even more time fixing them, or stuffing the tyres with grass (if you haven’t tried it, spoiler alert, it doesn’t work).

I really wish somebody had invented mountain bikes sooner! If they hadn’t, I’d still be riding my three-speed folding shopper around the local trails and hitting sketchy home-made jumps.
  • 9 0
 I was already a cyclist when I saw my first MTB in 1986.
  • 9 0
 If Pinkbike had never existed, would there still be a comments section?
  • 7 0
 You forgot the option of "I always rode my bikes off-road and actual good MTBs just made it so I didn't break shit all the time".
  • 4 0
 Honestly if it was safer to road ride, I would have one. The more I age, it would be nice to take some of the beating off my body, but I guess the flip side is getting railed by a car and being a vegetable the rest of my life.
  • 8 0
 Well I do have a BMX background…
  • 4 0
 I had a bike before mountain bikes existed, I rode a road bike on trails and gravel before I had a mountain bike. I only started mountain biking after doing some touring on some bridleways and paths in UK.
  • 2 0
 Yeah look at history of cycling- people have been riding off road on bikes since the 50s. 20 years before klunkerz. You don't actually NEED a mountain bike to ride off road. Check out the history of the Rough Stuff Fellowship founded 1955. Many of us would still be exploring out there off road if mtbs werent invented. Some might even call it gravel now ... I'm pretty sure RSF wouldn't!!
  • 3 0
 I started riding offroad as a teenager on a 700C city bike complete with mudguards, dynamo lights etc. Trails, jumps etc. Needless to say it took a beating - would probably have stayed on it longer, but think my parents got fed up with the constant repairs and got me a mountain bike. So yeah, I'd still be cycling even with no mountain bikes - I'd be 'mountain biking' on a tarmac bike!
  • 7 0
 Yes, I would still be racing BMX at 60
  • 6 0
 Where is the option for "Then I'd have to invent it"?
  • 5 0
 As a kid, I road my 10-spd bike like I did on my mountain bikes. A bike is a bike and it's better than walking or running!
  • 5 0
 Nothing would keep me off two-wheeled toys.......bring on whatever is available!!!
  • 2 0
 I'm commuting on a fixie.
In a free time when is not enough time, pump track on a dj bike.
Often roadie, somehow I'm avoiding all risks to contact with mirrors as going faster then drivers Wink or country roads for peace.
Definitely love Mountain biking to most of all cycling options but don't mind to run/hike the mountains ...

Forgot the most important, BMX background!
  • 2 0
 I was riding my BMX home from school one day when I decided to take a shortcut through a bush block behind some houses, footworn grassy single track and dry creek crossing. It was the mid 80's and I was only 6, but I thought I was onto something... I just didn't know others already had the same epiphany.
It kind of weird to think of a scenario where mtbing doesn't exist. All we have to ask ourselves is "Can I ride my bike there?" and a new discipline is created.
Something fun to potentially write about is what or how else could we ride?
  • 2 0
 If not for mountain bikes, I never would have gotten back into riding with any passion after losing interest once I was old enough to drive. I'm sure I'd have a bike to ride with the kids around the neighborhood but without the rush I get when I get on my mountain bike and hit the trails... I'd never have experienced the time machine that is mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 Funny how much we have in common with all those who love life on two wheels - regardless of the shape of the bars - yet half the comments are mtn bike or die. Maybe try focusing on our shared passion instead of our differences.
  • 2 0
 Old man from the wool cycling clothes days... I love road riding but the autonomous cars and idiots on their cell phones while driving ruins it. Road racing is quite a rush, but that scene is all but gone in the PNW. All dirt these days... gravel and MTB. I suppose if there were no MTBs, some moron would run me off the road, so I'd still be off roading.
  • 2 0
 I started on BMX as a pre-teen and then did bike touring while I was in high school. The only mtn bikes I knew of where from the small Specialized ad in the back of my mom's Sierra Club magazine. Got my first mtn bike in my early 20's, but I've also ridden on road for as long. Part of what I love about road riding is it makes me feel more like a kid again. I roll out my front door and just ride. It might be a 20 mile ride... it might be a 120 mile ride. It just depends on how I'm feeling that day (and how much time I have). If I want to ride dirt, it means I'm driving somewhere. The latter is also why I don't really ride gravel. I have to drive to get to any gravel roads and if I'm driving to ride, I ride mtn bikes.
  • 6 0
 Hell yeah, bc BMX!!!
  • 1 0
 For me bikes were first for play, then also for riding to my friend’s house, and then for riding to uni and then to work. 95% of my lifetime’s commuting has been by bike. I don’t road ride for fun as I find car drivers erratic and dangerous (I drive too but I think riding a bike changes your perspective).
  • 3 0
 As soon as bike existed, people started to ride on dirt... and I have been riding mountain bike way before I had a proper one..
  • 1 0
 My brother gave me a Nishiki 10 speed before I chose to identify as a "MTBr". First ride on it was up Ogden canyon, then back down on a dirt road that could be considered a jeep road.
Love the feeling of earth under my tires!
  • 6 2
 Classic Pinkbike - bunch of 15 year olds in here making fun of road cycling.
  • 1 0
 always passionate about cycling and then mtb, modern bikes are seriously boring me, expensive with repetitive aesthetics, suspensions all the same and stupid wheels, I wonder if everything had gone the other way and see the real consequences, mtb is life but now they have transformed the good for the worse
  • 6 1
 I'd probably just ride your mom
  • 1 0
 Mmm good question, 2 wheels would definitely still be in my life but probably with and engine, did the BMX thing and loved it, saw an MTB in '89 and the rest is history. There was always motorcycles but MTB is my main thing now, the dirt bikes are gone and the RD 350 LC sits unused in the shed. I commute around on a bicycle as it's healthy and fun but zero interest in big road miles.
  • 1 0
 Mountain biking captured my interest in my early teenage years in the nineties. Bike magazines (no PB at the time!) educated me on what I needed and I got a good entry level hardtail which I used to race XC and DH, trials riding, dirt jumps, and go on amazing trail rides.

Please keep mountain biking affordable and appealing for the new generations. A 35 lbs hardtail with big 29" wheels and heavy/slow tires is not a do it all bike for a teen that can only afford one.
  • 1 0
 I answered “no” because mountain biking is what got me into other types of riding. I don’t think I would have ever moved from downhill skiing to road cycling without mountain biking to get me hooked on two-wheeled sports.
  • 1 0
 As kids 50 years ago we used to strip down our old 5spd drop bar 24" bikes and fit cycle speedway single speed gating cranksets, nobby tyres and run cowhorn bars with just a back brake. Then ride tracks in the woods close to Wharncliffe in Sheffield. So if mountain bikes didn't exist I'm pretty sure we would have invented them.
  • 1 0
 It wouldnt have taken me long to figure putting motorbike riser bars on a bike, messed around with all manner of things on my Grifter, Chopper, shitty road bike, BMX, sisters step through, pedal car, look at the mess of gravel bikes its basically just a bar change, either way inevitably somebody, something would have come along and changed things.
  • 1 0
 Exactly same as @enjoyriding above.

Started racing BMX at 5. In the early 80's. Dirt and airtime will never not be fun (though many, creaking, broken bones make it less likely these days)

Did flirt with road biking for a short while as a teenager in the late 80's and early 90's but it bored the crap out of me.

Then they invented MTB. First suspension was Rockshox about 3in on the HT!
  • 1 0
 My father grew up racing road bikes, he only took up MTB when he moved to the countryside (I was 2) and was still road riding until I was old enough to ride MTB with him. If MTB didn't exist, I'm sure I'd have grown up riding road, although I distinctly remember not being interested in it as a kid, as we were already riding MTB.
Now I don't mind riding road (in interesting places), or gravel, or XC, but enduro is where my heart is.
  • 1 0
 I was riding bikes as a kid in the 70's and 80's with single speed banana seat crap bikes, 5 speeds and 10 speeds, which drove out parents crazy because of all damage, repair, worn brake pads, new tires and tubes (Or try to fix tires and tubes on a 2 cent budget....) that we put out bikes through like going over home made jumps-gap jumps, trails with roots and rocks and whatever stupid ideas we came up with.......we just did not know we were mountain biking?
Till finally the industry changed that (or in our opinion) finally caught up to us........

Got my first mountain bike in 1984......45 lbs of a beast and loved it!
Never looked back!!!!
  • 1 0
 I love enduro and DH and get as much park time as I can each year but I do feel bad for those of you who don't enjoy or won't try the adrenaline rush from a cyclocross race, dodging traffic on a brakeless fixie, or carving high speed descents on gravel or pavement.
  • 1 0
 I'd like another poll option. I began bicycling crazed about BMX. Had I not transitioned into mountain biking, I'd like to think I'd still be riding BMX; but barring that it's not likely I'd be much of a cyclist for the same reasons as this article's author.
  • 1 0
 There is no possible way mountain bikes would not have been invented with bicycles already existing.
As a kid we had BMX then cruisers and those were pretty much mountain bikes for us, for that matter BMX bikes were not just for racing they were transportation and exploration vehicles so mountain bikes, right?
  • 1 0
 ribbony country backroads and hilly neighborhood riding, when I get to do rides like these it does remind me what I like about road riding. And I still like to ride around town for errands and pleasure, but never a large amount of miles. These days every time I'm planning out the riding I want to do on the weekend, it's either gravel or mtb, and if it's gravel it has to have a little mtb in it anyway.
  • 5 0
 Braappppp
  • 4 0
 Ermmmmm #bmxbackground??????
  • 4 0
 I would absolutely have a BMX background.
  • 2 0
 I was burned out from road racing so I bought my first mountain bike in 1985 as a break from the training. Of course I ended up racing mountain bikes.
  • 4 0
 Riding good gravel is fun as
  • 3 0
 Anything with pedals. Riskiest riding I do is on my townie bike commuting to work. I love it all.
  • 1 0
 I ride to work daily on my commuter bike, in two days I ride a Grandfondo around Geneva lake, so I do cycle on various bikes. However, only when I ride my mtb I can feel that special kind of joy
  • 2 0
 I might have carried on with Skateboarding.

Surprisingly I’ve just got back into it after a 17 year hiatus! It’s still bloody difficult
  • 2 0
 That said, I can see myself trying BMX racing or at least riding on a race track. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be good at it, but I would have a blast for sure!
  • 1 0
 B M X

Only because of habit. I feel modern MTB is more BMX than BMX is nowadays.

Racing that is… not freestyle.

So, I would still be a rider. Cyclist on the other hand… loosely, loosely.
  • 2 0
 I got into road riding months ago and now I have issues choosing what to ride every day. A nice problem. Took me long enough to like it though. Hated it as a kid.
  • 1 0
 Does no one here have a BMX background? Long before I got my first mtb in the late 80's I had a BMX bike that I used exactly the same way... exploring old quad trails, foot paths and game trails.
  • 1 1
 Absolutely yes. I got into cycling as an adult after trying a triathlon. I did it on a borrowed Walmart level MTB and loved it. Bought a cheap TT bike that I raced for a few years. Started commuting on a cheap road bike. I didn't try MTB until many years later on a borrowed $400, 40 pound hardtail.

I still think I'm a roadie at heart, though I'm a more talented MTB rider.
  • 1 0
 If I ain't mountain biking then I'd rather slide on my leather jacket and take my Harley for a "road" cruise...

Won't ever see me out road biking in a Lycra onesie that's for sure!
  • 2 0
 I'd just be a flat bar, front suspension, soft tail, large tire, gravel rider.
  • 3 0
 Thank God for Mountain Biking. This is what I love to do.
  • 3 0
 I grew up on road bikes so I probably would be doing that
  • 2 0
 Hooked on bikes since I learned to ride and that was long before mountain bikes were a thing.
  • 1 0
 Riding mountain bikes has given me a greater appreciation for other types of cycling, but if they'd never existed I would not have discovered that appreciation, most likely.
  • 3 0
 I think I would have stuck with BMX and got into moto.
  • 3 0
 I’d just have a much better “bmx background”
  • 4 0
 Tricycle or die.
  • 2 0
 I’d have probably done what we did as kids back in the 80s and just ridden my BMX on dirt tracks instead.
  • 3 0
 This. Got my first BMX in 1987, and have always had one since then (except for a rather terrible 16-year marriage, after which the BMX came back…). I ride my BMX in single track to even the score with my 10yo on an mtb.
  • 3 0
 I live in NYC and thoroughly enjoy commuting in the city.
  • 1 0
 I bought my first MTB in 1984, and rode BMX previously (I know). I've always loved the freedom of a bike - my preference is to be away from paved roads and cars.
  • 3 2
 BMX all day, I ride MTB to chase the feeling of BMX. Societal standards of side-eying adults on "kid" bikes is the main reason I don't ride BMX more.
  • 4 0
 Fuck what people think, do what's good for you.
  • 1 0
 They're just checking if it's the neighbour kid's bike that got stolen. Carry on!
  • 2 0
 Did someone take too big of a bong rip this morning? This is the high-dea of polls.
  • 2 0
 Invalid question. My New England friends just took their road bikes into the woods in the 80's. So MTB b4 MTB.
  • 3 0
 I would create mountain bike...
  • 1 0
 I had to quit surfing and took on gravity mtb just because its the same adrenaline and sensation. Roas cycling would never be an option for me.
  • 2 0
 I’d still be the only kook on a flatland bmx at the skatepark… MTB saved my life
  • 1 0
 With two kids I don't have time now to fly aerobatics, windsurf or snowboard much. Mountain biking scratches that itch; road biking is manifestly uninteresting to me.
  • 1 0
 Aerobatics? The fuel burn alone makes cycling look cheap.
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: Available time is the issue for me. As far as flying goes, gas is the cheap part. Hangar, maintenance, repairs and insurance is what costs.
  • 1 0
 @Mlloyd550: plane rental is killing me working on my PPL. Local strip is pretty cheap for a hanger, dirt cheap for tie-downs (which is a reasonable option in my area). Insurance isn't horrible. Though it'll sting a bit for a while once I finish my PPL and buy an experimental :lol
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: Keep at it and good luck! There are so may really cool experimental ariplanes out there these days.
  • 1 0
 I ride street trials every day. That wouldn't change if MTBs didn't exist. My grocery getter is a BMX and a backpack. 2 wheeled life will find a way.
  • 1 0
 Ridden BMX since 2000 was oblivious to mtbing until4 years ago. I still tell people I’m a bmxer not a mtber, even tho I haven’t touched the BMX in months
  • 1 0
 Not sure if I would have ever started commuting by bike if MTB hadn't instilled a deep love of cycling many years ago first. So my answer is unknown...
  • 1 0
 Assuming it's a road vs. MTB dichotomy, road is way better than running for cardio. The right route in my area is pretty safe too
  • 1 0
 I know opposite of most folks here, but lemme give a shout out to crit racing and cyclocross, plenty of bike handling skills and adrenaline for sure.
  • 1 0
 I mtb-ed back when there was no mtb arround, I had straight bar and 28x1.75 tiyres installed on my "road" bike and did offroad and jumps.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I rode BMX primarily growing up. Road biking suck but I could see myself (as I grow older) pushing gravel bikes to do stupid jibs trailside.
  • 2 0
 Are we counting trials at mountain biking?
  • 1 1
 If you can utilize urban (or natural) features to progress your skill, than you are more of a mountain biker than people who only ride bike park flow trails.
  • 1 0
 A weird perverse world where mtbs don't exist is a world I don't want to live in! That being said, I'd probably ride bmx.
  • 4 2
 Not interest in shaving my legs
  • 3 4
 If you think you'd have to shave your legs to ride a road bike, I guess you're just a conformist. Do what you want.
  • 2 2
 @barp: I get finding a new hobby was just a question, I would suggest finding a sense of humor regardless
  • 3 5
 @draggingbrake: If your sense of "humor" is making jokes about roadies shaving their legs, then you're the one who needs to find a new sense of humor. That's the most cliched of jokes.
  • 2 2
 @barp: As above. Sorry for you
  • 2 5
 @draggingbrake: The feeling's mutual. Making divisive, corny, half-assed jokes and then blaming people for not laughing at them is no way to live. Reminds me of my least favorite, most repugnant uncle.
  • 4 3
 @barp: Feeling isn't mutual...You're the little bitch complaining about jokes. Think it's time to change your tampon
  • 3 1
 And my stance that MTB is a shitty culture continues.
  • 2 1
 @draggingbrake: You're an angry little incel who thinks women are inferior so a tampon is an insult. Fits perfectly with your hatred of leg shaving, too.
  • 2 0
 I'm a cyclist who happens to focus on mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 I got into MTB cause it’s half way between skateboarding and Moto.
  • 1 0
 Heh, not a chance. I much prefer road bikes to the likes of running etc, but I can’t share the road with morons.
  • 2 0
 Was a bike commuter for 15 years before I got into mtb
  • 3 0
 Bmx count as cyclist
  • 1 0
 You are all lyres, other adrenalin-based sports would apply but not remotely cycling FYI.
  • 3 0
 Yes, because BMX first
  • 2 0
 Exactly, bmx style dirt jumping would be the thing just like when I was a kid
  • 1 0
 I would still be hunched over a 20”er and occasional road rides. But sure glad they exist.
  • 1 0
 I started with BMX and still ride BMX. I actually ride my wee bike more than my mtb.
  • 1 0
 I'd be more into rock climbing if mtb didn't exist. Hence why I rock climb a lot during winter
  • 1 0
 I have only owned two road bikes but realized I love mountain biking way too much and would never own a road bike ever.
  • 3 0
 BMX foreground
  • 2 0
 If it hadn't been invented, I'd invent it
  • 1 0
 Been on two wheels since the age of 3. I have the scares to prove it & 55 year old knees that will back that up.
  • 1 0
 I rode on dirt for years before MTB was a thing I would just have continued to ride home builds in the woods.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely. I live in a pretty dense urban environ, and ride my 'ashphalt' rig all the time. Like everyday.
  • 1 0
 "Looks like a madone" - only if...
  • 3 2
 Yes, but not a road cyclist.
  • 1 0
 "No, I would have found other forms of recreation to get out in the woods"
  • 1 0
 My mind just can't handle long straight roads
  • 1 0
 I mostly zone out when I ride them.
  • 2 0
 Long straight and FLAT roads with HEADWIND.
Netherlands and Denmark are a paradise for that type of hell Smile
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: Don't forget the cold precipitation, brother.
  • 1 1
 had i not wasted so many years on road bikes i would have stuck with a fixie.
  • 1 0
 We'll be roadies sniffing each other
  • 2 1
 I have a BMX background, so yes mate.
  • 1 1
 I can't imagine mountain biking not existing and cycling existing, how would that be possible?
  • 1 0
 Cycling existed for a long time before MTB became a thing.
  • 1 0
 If moto counts as a “cyclist” then yeah
  • 1 0
 I would still be a rock climber instead of coming back to MTB.
  • 3 3
 I think there's a convincing argument to be made that cyclocross is, by far, the original mountain biking.
  • 1 1
 I love road riding, but their in lies the problem, I'd have to talk to other roadies. Worst. Group. Ever.
  • 1 0
 Am I a cyclist if I bike to the bar
  • 1 0
 Well I'd still bike to my watering hole.
  • 1 0
 * photos of cyclists on Bwlch Nant Rhyd Wilym from 1919!!
  • 1 0
 I predate 'mountainbikes' but not riding bikes on mountains.
  • 1 0
 Do powerlifting and cycle steroids. That counts, right?
  • 1 0
 When I didn't own a MTB, I rode on gravel. It was 30 years ago.
  • 2 0
 Hell no.
  • 1 0
 (le Sigh) BMX back ground
  • 1 0
 All my friends Yo Marsh get a gravel bike. Me......meh.... .no
  • 1 0
 Yes…because BMX is life.
  • 1 0
 As long as there are bikes that go off of jumps I will ride bikes
  • 1 1
 MOUNTAIN BIKING IS NOT CYCLING
  • 4 7
 If ebikes hadn't been invented I wouldn't be a cyclist
  • 2 1
 You’re an assisted cyclist.
  • 3 4
 Motorcyclist
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