Lately, I’ve been trying to recruit some folks from the city to go ride mountain bikes. Not fire road burns, but honest singletrack trail mountain biking. It’s an amazingly hard thing to do.
I ask, “Would you like to go ride mountain bikes with me?”
They say, “Maybe, I usually ride over the bridge to the Headlands. Is that what you are talking about?”
(Bad sign already. Riding over the bridge on a mountain bike is just stupid. It’s a suck ride but once you get to the other side, all there is is the Headlands, which is one of the suckiest place to ride dirt in the bay area.
I say, “Actually, I’m talking about riding some singletrack farther north. Have you ridden trail before? Do you own a mountain bike?”
(Things sounded bad with the Headlands comment. I need to get some facts)
“Of course,” they say and then they proudly say, “I actually have a cyclocross bike that I like to ride in Golden Gate park”
“Oh,” I say, then I try to change the subject to something like the weather or beer.
Listen up folks. Cyclocross bikes are not mountain bikes. Riding a cyclocross bike, no matter where you do it is not a mountain bike ride. It is truely insulting to a mountain biker when this rouse is attempted. It’s almost always done by the most clueless of folks.
A cyclocross bike is used to do a road bike ride on the dirt. They can go down a trail, but the rider is forced to ride like a complete moron. Imaging taking a Toyota Corrolla out on the Rubicon. Pretty stupid, eh. Well that’s what cyclocross bikes look like on singletrack.
Mountain biking is pretty darn fun. I don’t think that many people in the city have ever really tried it. It’s a shame. I think that some folks would really do well by selling their ‘fixies’ and cyclocross bikes and invest in a quality road bike and a decent mountain bike.