Bikes roll over things. This is due to the roundness of their wheels.
Early in the mountain biking days the bikes were simple and versatile. Suspension had not yet been invented. Technical skills were required for negotiating trails strewn with rocks or roots. As time went on mountain bikes became more specialized. They got better at going fast, they got more comfortable, they handled better. Along the way though both on and off road bikes seem to have gotten more discipline specific. If you want to go road biking you take your aero road bike, if you want to shuttle fast dirt descents you take your long travel full suspension bike. This is all great. But I think there is a style of riding that has become lost due to specialization: The Point A to Point B ride. Road, dirt, trails, paths, singletrack, doubletrack, bushwacking. The point A to point B ride is fundamentally about compromise. There is no perfect tire for covering all manner of terrain. There is no perfect geometry for both road and trail riding. Point A to Point B rides require a certain degree of adaptation and even discomfort from those who undertake them. On the other side of that coin though there is a reward: On these sorts of rides your route is limitless, your terrain variable, and your challenges constantly shifting.
I’ll say it again: Bikes roll over things. If you point your front wheel at a mountain, whether it be covered in dirt or cement, your bike will probably happily follow that front wheel as long as you are willing to pedal and steer.
The Point A to Point B ride is catching back on again. Not just with Rodeo, but with people across the spectrum and geography of the sport. We’re looking up old roads, linking them with trails, and covering plenty of our favorite tarmac along the way.
Photos by Stephen Fitzgerald and Jered Gruber