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Mountain Biking: Misconceptions vs. Reality

Mountain+biking+is+a+great+workout+and+a+lot+of+fun.
Mountain biking is a great workout and a lot of fun.

Mountain biking is a great workout and a lot of fun.

Mackenzie Chavez

Mackenzie Chavez

Mountain biking is a great workout and a lot of fun.

Mackenzie Chavez, Assistant Photo Editor

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After talking to some students it seems like people have a little bit of a misconception about what mountain biking is. Mountain biking is a very active sport that can require lots of skill and fitness, but can also be enjoyed by people with very little experience.

 

Mountain biking originated in the early 80’s and became an Olympic Sport in 1996. In 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association was founded so that mountain biking could be introduced to schools and student athletes across the US. NICA inspired many people in Arkansas and now there are large numbers of mountain bike teams involved in NICA all over the state.

 

Mountain biking is not what many people think. Mountain biking is not just riding up a mountain over rocks. It is a sport where you ride a bicycle off-road.There are many activities you can do such as trail riding, downhill, dirt jumping, cross country (XC), or Enduro. Enduro is a race in which the downhill is timed and is set up in stages.  

 

Mountain biking consists of beginners up to professionals from everywhere. It takes lots of fitness and skill to become a expert level rider. Competitive racers train on hills to add strength and fitness to their legs.  

 

One hill many people ride for training is Cavanal; and that’s right here in our town. You get almost 2,000 feet of elevation gain when riding up Cavanal. Many people come from Fort Smith and Sallisaw just to ride up Cavanal (the world’s highest hill) or other trails here in Poteau.

 

One bike trail some ride is the at the Rotary Outdoor Complex (ROC) and is located across from Burkle Avenue and over the bypass in Poteau, OK. The ROC first was a girl scout camp until becoming a public park. More trails have been added to the first one that was originally there giving this trail about 3.3-4 miles. The ROC has a steep, switchback climb towards the beginning that most people can’t make on their first try. A switchback climb is a mountain that has a zig-zag pattern. The trail finishes with a fast downhill, some small jumps, and a drop off of a rock into a creek.

 

If you are looking for a new way to get active, mountain biking is a fun way to get that exercise you crave.  Whether you go with friends and family or by yourself, you will find that the rush from being in nature and pushing yourself to the next level will be all the reward you need.

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Mountain Biking: Misconceptions vs. Reality