Many extreme sports take place in the relative cleanliness of a park or city, taking advantage of the order and structure there. Others happen in the water or in the snow, also fairly clean places, so to speak: just wet. But mountain biking gets you right into the middle of the dirty, messy wilderness as you hurtle through mud and trees and the mess of the woods, and so it makes for a spectacularly visual experience that you might not get in other sports.
Watch these 4 mountain biking videos to see what it’s like to fly through the mud firsthand.
The Vicious Path
In this mountain biking video, an incredibly skilled biker goes hurtling through a forest where the conditions are moist enough that everything seems soggy and damp, but dry enough that he’s kicking up dirt with his bike as he flies along the path. These are great conditions for biking: the mud and dirt is, for the most part, caked perfectly for a skillful rider to get enough speed and agility, but still challenging enough to assure that this is no stroll around a city. At parts, toward the edge of the path, you can tell the conditions get stickier, but that doesn’t slow this Adrenalist down.
Through The Woods at Hastie Park
This mountain biking video shows a rider diving directly into wet, muddy conditions. When there are puddles along the path and morasses you can get stuck in right where you’re riding, the challenges of riding become different: all of a sudden, you’re not only trying navigate the challenging topography of the path; you’re also working hard not to get any part of your bike stuck in a nasty situation, which can send you flying very quickly. You can see in this video exactly how this works: at first, on the thinner path, the rider is moving along much slower, with less room for error. But once the path widens, and there’s more room for him to avoid the mud and slop, he takes off.
A Test Of Fate
Of course, dirt and mud aren’t the only things that make a ride difficult. Unlike the above mountain biking videos, these riders don’t just face mud but the forces of gravity. They fly down an incredibly steep and treacherous hill, with only the mud and dirt that they’re blasting through to keep them clinging to a solid surface. The drier and rockier the conditions in a ride like this, the more of a chance that they can end up skating their wheels and losing control of their bikes. The happy medium a rider is looking for, particularly in downhill riding, is somewhere between disgustingly muddy and bone-dry — enough wetness to help make sure nobody’s flying off their bike, but not so much that you can’t get any speed or movement on the ground.
Assault On The Trails
One of the stereotypes about mountain biking is that it’s the boring and staid cousin of BMX biking, or road biking. If you’ve watched any of these mountain biking videos you know this isn’t true, and you can point your BMX friends to this footage if they still have their doubts. These mountain bikers bring the thrills of BMX to the wilderness of the woods; ramps, stunts and all. Here, a bunch of riders take their bikes and start tricking off ramps, obstacles and the natural trails of the forest. They shred through thick tracks of dirt and mud, flying high and landing right back down into it. BMX stunt biking is designed with this exact purpose in mind, but in the woods, your dealing with whatever nature throws at you.