Though not all mountain biking is done on a mountain (some people even go mountain biking in the Gobi desert), we’d argue that the the truest “essence” of the sport is when it is done on the decline and amid the dense foliage of a conifer-dotted peak. Trees aren’t absolutely required, but they help. The trails should be packed earth, not the uniform concrete of the roadway. The sweat and effort as a rider is going full-speed while staying on the bike should jump out at someone as they’re watching.
With the advent of GoPro cameras, POV angles now capture some of the essential elements of the poetry of a bicycle trek down the side of a mountain. The movement of the bikers featured here as they angle through the various entwined turns of a trail is pure in its form. It’s simply the bike, the biker and the mountain. When you strip away competition, brand, gear and the rest of the minutiae, the resulting athlete on the bike is truly an Adrenalist. The essence of the mountain is the antecedent of the unadulterated, unbridled joy of moving and doing. Don’t sit back — lean forward to watch it unfold in motion. You don’t want to miss a single twitch of the biker’s arm on the handlebar or the spray of dirt as they skid through a turn. It’s the essence of the mountain, but also of the mountain bike.