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  1. #1
    Genius
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    Mountain Bike in the Flatlands?

    How does one mountain bike in the flat lands, where there are no mountains? I was reading up on a guys epic mountain bike ride in Kentucky.... another in Mississippi, and I don't get it. Isn't it kinda like trying to be a surfer in a land locked state in the desert southwest? I don't want to discredit anyone's "Passion" for the sport but it just seems strange to call it mountain biking when it is flat like a sidewalk.

    Someone help me out here. Not looking for a debate. Just some insight.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Long Island is pretty much a sand bar, but it has a pot-and-kettle landscape in spots. For me, it's the line selection and handling puzzles that make MTB. That only takes woods, or a gulch cut by a river, some little hills deposited by a glacier.

    I'm lucky enough to have vert where I live, and I certainly change my riding habits as my circumstances change. But if I lived in Mississippi and there's a trail on it, I imagine I'd visit Woodall Mountain now and then, climb the 807', and point my bike at the bottom with a smile.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    In SoCal there are two basic kinds of trails: long steep uphill and long steep downhill. They come in pairs. Some are lift- or shuttle served. However, from time to time, I ride in the desert, which is flat. It does not have the pain of a brutal climb or the rush of a fast descent. However, it requires skill and finesse to negotiate a route and it offers great scenery and solitude. Those make for an epic ride.

    I periodically get the luxury of riding in Florida in a bike park. No one climb or descent is more than 15 feet. But in my book it is as epic as anything. The lack of mountains is overcome by fast flowy trails through the woods, by a washboard of short climbs and descents akin to a giant pump track, and by scenic trails through green pastures. Epic-ness is in the eyes of the rider. But, if you need adrenelin for a ride to be epic, stick to lift serve.

  4. #4
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    Some of the most fun I've had riding has been on the fast flowy trails of Scottsdale and Bend OR. And the Phils trails in Bend . Not a ton of footies but .... some times you don;'t need them.

  5. #5
    I didn't do it
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    Just about any "flat" area has interesting terrain. Small gullies, ups and downs, etc. There's good riding to be found anywhere you go.
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  6. #6
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    Where I live is depressingly flat. I come from the state that's named after mountains but had to relocate to the upper Midwest. Eventually I'll go back to where the terrain isn't so mind-numbingly boring. For now, I, and lots of others, make the best of it. No mountains, but twisty turny trails cut through woods along rivers and through hilly areas can be challenging, fun and just as dangerous. No epic panoramic views around here, no long brutal climbs or long fast descents (like others already said), but I've found some pretty tight technical stuff that keeps me on my toes and makes for a good workout.

    Just the other day I was also thinking it's kinda silly to call it "mountain biking" when indeed there are no freaking mountains anywhere near here. Off-road seems like a more accurate term I guess, but that's just semantics.

  7. #7
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    I'm not trying to convert anyone, but for me riding flat areas is alot more challenging and rewarding on a single speed. It makes smaller hills alot more challenging.

  8. #8
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    there are some great trails in some of those so-called "flat states".

    if the mountain snobs continue to call us flyover country, that's fine by me. that means our trails will be less crowded.

    I've ridden in mountain states on both sides of the country as well as Hawaii, and yeah, there are great trails there. it doesn't mean I don't have just as much fun riding at home, too. if I didn't have fun riding at home, I'd hardly ever ride at all.

  9. #9
    Air Pirate
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    You have ethical difficulty calling it mountain biking when there are no mountains, perhaps you should use the marketing moniker from the 80's: All Terrain Biking. I remember many brands were selling ATB's during the early days of the sport (possibly a legal issue with the name Mountain Bike, since Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher were using that name for their company).

    Or you can simply call it off-road or off-pavement biking? As CK, Fisher, and Ritchey discovered, mountain biking became a generic term pretty quick. I think it is okay to call it mountain biking even if there are no mountains around you. Instead of referring to the locale in which you ride, consider it a reference to the type of bike you are riding, that which was originally called Mountain Bike (before any purists get upset, yes...I know the "original" mountain bikes were termed "Clunkers"...but those converted paperboy bikes and beach cruisers were not what the cycling world copied in style and name when the sport exploded out into the world).
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  10. #10
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    Mountain Bike in the Flatlands?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    How does one mountain bike in the flat lands, where there are no mountains? I was reading up on a guys epic mountain bike ride in Kentucky.... another in Mississippi, and I don't get it. Isn't it kinda like trying to be a surfer in a land locked state in the desert southwest? I don't want to discredit anyone's "Passion" for the sport but it just seems strange to call it mountain biking when it is flat like a sidewalk.

    Someone help me out here. Not looking for a debate. Just some insight.
    You've obviously never been to Kentucky or possibly outside your home town. Almost nowhere is it flat as like a sidewalk. I live in IL. Which seems flat, but we have some trails here that will put a hurtin' on you. So, no you don't need the Rockies to mountain bike. There are some pretty big hills out there too.

  11. #11
    I like bikes.
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    I enjoy rather flat flowy trails as much as bombing down a mountain.
    I guess you could call a bike offroad rather than mountain. it's merely the style of the bike more so than the actual use of it when you own it.
    Karakoram...ZS44, X-Fusion, Freq i23, Tioga's, Shadow & XT,Shim Hydro 180/160, MG-1 pedals & more.

  12. #12
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    Mountain Bike in the Flatlands?

    I have found the solution to this di-lemon. There is no clear definition to hill or mtn so it turns out we all ride mtn bikes on mtns. Some are big and some are small.
    http://www.howitworksdaily.com/envir...me-a-mountain/

  13. #13
    Token Hillbilly
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    I'm surrounded by rice field after rice field in Mississippi river delta land, but there's ridges to be found and plenty of state parks that have, and will continue to show me how much of a wus I am.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  14. #14
    Genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russhole View Post
    You've obviously never been to Kentucky or possibly outside your home town. Almost nowhere is it flat as like a sidewalk. I live in IL. Which seems flat, but we have some trails here that will put a hurtin' on you. So, no you don't need the Rockies to mountain bike. There are some pretty big hills out there too.
    Intriguing. What would you say are some trails in IL or Kent that would put a hurting on a seasoned rider from the "rocky" part of the Rocky Mountains? Although I perhaps sound naive, I travel quite a bit and take the bike as much as possible. I have tried riding in Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio.... etc and it was a waste of baggage fee. Now, Russ, keep in mind I live at 6000' and am one mile from the base of an 11,000' mountain with a few 13er's in the area. With the chunk around here 150mm is considered an xc bike. But in all honesty would like to give what you recommend a run so..... Your turn. Go.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  15. #15
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    Only Elitists worry about what other people are riding and whether it measures up to elitist egos.

  16. #16
    Genius
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    Actually, I though it was a fair question. Russ says there are trails in the plains that will put a hurtin' on a rider. Where are they? When in the area I would sure like to try them instead of leaving the bike at home when I am there.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  17. #17
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    Just leave the bike at home.
    Those who bike off road where they don't have mountains are below your elite status, and their dirt sidewalks are not worth your time or baggage fees for the bike.
    But you already decided that, right?

    The insight for you is like surfers on the North Shore in Hawaii view people who only have small waves as paddling the board around in a swimming pool. The small wave people are still surfing, just on smaller waves.

    I figure you are just trolling, though.

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