Mountain Bike Performance and Recreation

Paul W. Macdermid*

Mountain Bike Performance and Recreation.

The recreational activity of riding a bicyle off-road is very popular, and consequently a major contributor to tourism across the globe. As such the label accorded to the activity, presents the image of an extreme sport. For many, this presents a picture of highly drilled and trained athletes performing gymnastic like tricks; hurtling downhill at speeds >70 km/h or negotiating a short lap numerous times, to prove ascendancy over an opponent(s).

For the majority of consumers/participants the French term “Velo Tout Terrain” is a better decriptor and indicates the fact that the bicycle is being purchased to ride on all terrain surfaces and profiles, by a diverse range of participants.

Nevertheless, just like the world of motor car racing, technological development, physical understanding and skill development focuses on the very small percentage at the top of
the pyramid in order to increase media exposure. The consequential amplification of participation along with technological enhancement affords a bigger polygonal base, ultimately adding depth at the various levels of participation.

The latter has important health implications as recreational VTT provides beneficial cardiovascular stimulus, social interaction, togetherness and autonomy. VTT also comes with the added bonus of reduced risk for repetitive impact related injuries incurred during weight bearing activity but contrary to road cycling, provides sufficient stimulus, via terrain induced vibrations, to promote an osteogenic effect.

As such VTT is potentially useful in alleviating the current burdens of a sedentary society. However, like many similar activities the product purchase comes with a danger warning entailing negative conotations of increased burdens on accident and emergency units via accute injuries, the potential of chronic overuse injuries, along with potential environmental impact disturbances to fauna and flora.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2016; SE(1): Se1-Se3. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-SE1-e001