how did you get into mtbing?

Home Forum Bike Forum how did you get into mtbing?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 80 total)
  • how did you get into mtbing?
  • Mr_Krabbs

    for me it was about 15 years ago when i started working at the hospital as a summer job. a couple of the guys there were really into it. i played football and rugby through the winter and was kind of looking for something to keep me fit in the summer as pre season training used to hurt like hell if you hadn’t done anything all summer, and i found it was quite enjoyable too. up until about 5 years ago i would only ever ride through the summer to keep myself fit. but as i got older my knees couldn’t take the strain, i gave up rugby, and kept playing football, but monday’s became unbearable as i could barely walk. had it not been for age and knackered knees i would probably still just be a casual summer rider. i enjoy mountain biking, but miss the team sports too, only because mountain biking doesn’t have that scoring and final whistle moment.
    so how long have you been riding and did you gravitate from another sport?

    Premier Icon igm

    Hill walking in England was too tame. I used to enjoy two or three days plus carrying everything, camping where you stopped type walking. Yorkshire is too full of tea shops and pubs for that.

    Somehow doing it on a bike works

    Premier Icon CHB

    Never had a proper bike as a kid (made up for it since!). I bought my first proper bike, a 1992 (1993?) Marin Palisades with luminous yellow forks for £350. Never looked back since and have always considered myself a cyclist ever since then.

    Premier Icon ton

    in 1985 i went on a outdoor pursuits course/holiday in northumberland.
    on the course was a lad from london called andrew brown, who later in life wrote a cycle touring book (discovery road).
    any way, he worked for B.P with either nick or richard crane who had just done bikes up killimonjaro (sp?).
    out come was we went and bought a muddy fox explorer each.

    but i had been riding the rough with the ctc since i was 11 yrs old on a old carlton coursaire with cx tyres.


    for me it was only the year before last i got into it to keep fit for racing motocross.good cardio in the week,teaches you bike skills and body positioning,once your used to something so light.and now i just do mountain biking because i love it that get your thrills right out you front door instead of travelling miles.oh and you can actualy enjoy the meaning to get my arse thrashed at the od event this year.mountain biking today with mates and tommorow with the girlfriend.get in!


    Got my first MTB in mid 80’s while still at school but on passing my driving test pretty much stopped. Didn’t have a bike till again till early 2007 when a mate i used to ride with while at school got into it again and convinced me it was a good free way of getting exercise ( free, yeah right 🙄 ).

    Now i can’t believe or understand why i ever stopped 😀


    For me it was to access more distant hills, specifically the Cairngorms from the south. I’d turned my nose up at them to begin with, but saw the light in 95. Since moving to Highland in 2000 I’ve done little mountaineering, but visit the same places on my bike now. Garage full of climbing/ice climbing/telemark gear … oh and bikes!


    A very good and dear friend of the family, his best mate owned a bike shop, real old school. From about 10 years old until 17 (which was my last one, as our friend sadly passed away and the bike shop owner had retired).

    I had a new bike every year, mixture of bmx, road, grifter, chopper, you name it…I didn’t get into MTB until I was 19. Had a scare on a road bike and decided to try MTB. Never looked back…..

    Still have a road bike, but not the same and it hardly gets used…


    Bit like Swayndo. Once you’ve walked in to Derry Lodge 5 times you begin to see the sense in some sort of wheeled transport 🙂 For years, the bike was really just a means of accessing some remote glens. Now I do more biking than walking.

    Went to get my tent repaired in Exeter, then repairer started telling me about how his new product launch – saddle packs etc. for *mountain bikes* was stopping him doing all his repairs.
    Mountain bikes Whazzat????
    He explained and it sounded totally insane. Uttely daft. A Very Silly idea. This must have been summer ’88, and the tent maker started up Freedom Bikepacking, which for a while produced brillaint innovative and well made packs and panniers ( later to be sold on….)
    Some months later I started doing up an old ‘shopping’ bike to go out with gf on her horse and realised it didn’t stop when I wanted and I’d worn out a set of pads on a few mile trip. Then saw first edition of MBUK…. and started saving. Got my first new bike ever in April ’89, nearly went for a Muddy Fox but then swerved at the last moment and got a Specialized Hardrock – thank goodness! Probably mty second trip saw me at Haldon, looking at a near vertical track and I saw 2 others – riding in longish cags and wellies!!!! They were obviously experienced, totally into it, and remember – there simply wasn’t mtb specific stuff then, you had to improvise. I might have been in my Barbour for the first and only time!! ( sweated like a pig and was wetter in it than the rain had been outside of it!)
    But it felt good. I remember a long time later actually getting down the sttep slope about 7.30am one wonderful morning….
    …and so it begins!!!!!!!!!!

    Premier Icon sturmey

    I was into bmx in 1986 but my brother went to school with Brant and he had just got one of these funny mountain bike things my brother had a go on it and bought a muddy fox courier. Then later in 1987 I went to the Himalayas with the Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society and there were 3 different groups on the expedition, walking, mountaineering, and mountain biking. I didn’t get selected for the biking but before we split up to do our seperate activities I borrowed one of the guys bikes for a couple of hours and was hooked. During the ride the crank fell off but thats another story to go with how they kept the bikes running for 4 weeks.Never looked back since. I think the report of the expedition is held at Leeds library. Ton I remember the crane brothers doing there expeditions and was inspired by them also.


    i think it was ‘cos a triathlon training partner back in the early 90’s bought a raleigh glued alloy frame mtb and i thought it looked super-cool, so i bought one too, then had to take the damn thing off-road ‘cos that’s what it was designed for.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    When I was a student I shared a house with a bloke called Brant.

    No idea what happened to him.


    I think it was 2004/5 for us. Went to the Lake District on a break from Uni. We hired a couple of Dawes bikes in Grizedale forest. We thought these were proper mtb bikes too! They had V-brakes and front suspension after all!!!?

    We scared ourselves bombing the fireroads and when we got back home we went and bought our 1st proper bikes, i had a Trek and she had a Dawes. Neither lasted a year!! We both bought full-sus Marins asap. She has just bought a Yeti 575 whilst i now have a Orange 5.

    Thats £300 bike to £2500-3000 bike in about 4 years!!!!!!!!!! Oh well, wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.


    Late 80s for me. It was a natural progression. I’d been riding all my bikes off road for as long as I could remember. Always on technical singletrack or bomb hole type BMX tracks created in local parkland. I remember buying MBUK #1 and decided to upgrade from my Raleigh Burner to a Ridgeback 600. The rest is history.

    Premier Icon miketually

    My younger brother and dad started riding up in Swaledale every Sunday morning round about 1990. My brother had a pink Shogun and my dad a Trek 853 Singletrack. My brother’s Shogun got nicked and he got a 1991 GT Outpost with the insurance money. My brother couldn’t make it one week, so I borrowed his bike (which was, luckily too big for him) and went with my dad. I loved it so, when my brother upgraded to a Diamondback Ascent I bought his GT Outpost off him and we all started riding together, which must have been in 1992 so I’ll have been 14 or 15.

    All our bikes were rigid with cantis, silly-narrow bars, clips and straps and nose-down arse-up position.

    Standard riding kit was hiking boots, tracky bottoms, lumberjack shirts and dark green non-breathable waterproofs. We soon got all techy and got Lifa tops and Tracksters.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex

    the only shop in sunderland that used to sell proper skateboards, which i used to ride, was darke’s cycles… one of the staff there was a certain jez avery, and one day he and a couple of his mates turned up at south shields skatepark. jez was jumping right across the middle of the big doughnut bowl on his pro-flex, and i was watching him thinking “that looks like fun”… so i went off and bought a trek 830.
    had a few bikes in the years after that, and rode a few times back in the north east with my mates and one of their pals, a then unknown jason mcroy, but gave up in the early 90s as my knee got wrecked plus the band i was in at the time was taking up more and more of my free time.

    got back into MTB again about 4 years ago after a brush with death made me realise i was a mess.

    In the early 70s my brother, my mates and myself used to mess about riding bikes off road. The favourite bike was a single speed BSA with 24 inch wheels, we used to fit motorbike trials handlebars strip everything off that wasn’t neccessary and file knife edges onto the pedals so you could get some grip in the mud. There were no offroad tyres so we used to get a junior hacksaw blade and cut alternate tread blocks off the widest tyres we could find (old Palmer tyres were the best). I got very good at hammering dents out of my steel rims and banging the pedal crank cotter pins in with shims made out of beer cans to take up the slack. Riding gear was jeans (cut off in summer) and Dunlop green flash pumps.

    The first mountain bike I ever saw was a MBK 18 speed which my brother bought he had to go to Birmingham on the train to buy it because no one in the north west sold mountain bikes. My first mountain bike was built by a local guy who used to build frames in his shed. you just got the bare metal frame which you had to paint yourself I painted mine British Leyland Apple jack green with extra paint dribbles which was possibly the most revolting colour I could have chosen.

    I have had a mountain bike of some description ever since there have been periods when I have gone a long time between rides but there has always been a bike.


    My brother was the keen cyclist in the family. After a few years road cycling he bought an ’88 Rockhopper comp and started discovering just what these new bikes were capable of.

    At the time, Andy Stephenson’s Biketreks was trading out of a shed in Elterwater. i hired my first mountain bike- an ’89 Kona Firemountain and loved it. At the end of the ride I bought the bike.

    Zefal clips with fluorescent pink straps, hitec trail boots and Ron Hills. Trying to get as muddy as possible…


    ticked the wrong box on a consensus form, its been all downhill since.

    Living in London in the late 80’s I used to cycle everywhere and it never even occured to me to get a car.

    For my 18th in 1987 my parents bought me a Marin Pine Mountain which I put slicks on and used as an ‘urban’ bike for a couple of years but then used for its real purpose when I moved away from London.

    It just grew from there.

    I’m 40 today and that bike was still the present I’ve ever been given

    My dad was into RSF stuff in the 50’s and so as soon as I started riding a bike in the early 70’s I stated going off road on a modified roadbike. then my dad bought a mountainbike in the late 80’s / early 90’s to get to the more remote Munros and I had a shot on it. I was amazed how much easier offroading was on wide tyres with low gearing so I got one.

    My dad took a 29er singlespeed* across black sail pass in the mid 50’s

    *known as a bike in those days.

    Just glancing down this thread after I’d had my say ^^^ up there somewhere….. and an obvious thought stuck me.
    Isn’t it interesting – we all seem to have discovered it fairly early on it its’ ‘life’ as a sport *and* then stuck with it ’til now at least!
    Reading various recent MBUK’s, some of the original people who were ‘known’ as top racers/explorers/prominent people in our sport when I started up in ’89 are still at it too.
    I think that’s unusual to have such long term committment to such a thing.
    Must be something in it!
    ( …and don’t forget Raleigh’s take on it all in ’89 ” it’s only a fad, it will *never* last!)
    Just an observation…..


    Ridden bikes on and off since I was a kid. Used to ride Fixie in the 70’s Did a lot of distance running in the 80’s. A mate was short of a team member for a mountain biathalon in Scotland and I stepped in. I was on a Raleigh Lizard that I bought for £30 off another mates son. Soon realized when I got to the start that the bike might not be a “proper” mountain bike. Anyway I survived and was hooked.Gradually stopped running altogether in favour of biking. Went back to Scotland last year and did the same race, now has a full MTB category and managed to win my age group. Still completely hooked, thinking of making a return to Fixie as my next project.


    I’d been a keen hillwalker in the Scouts. When I was in first year at art school in Edinburgh in 1982 I bought a copy of a madison mail order catalogue which had the first mountainbikes in it. I couldnt believe that they were more expensive than the road bikes. A couple of years later I got a summer job in a bike shop. My Colnago road bike got stolen, and I bought the first Rockhopper to come into the uk.

    The bike shop attracted similar types and I still ride with some of them 25 years later.

    Been riding 2wheelers since i was 3 (1985)and always been into bikes got my first proper mtb a dawes with 40mm forks when i was about 12 never looked back riding the flats of delamere and now the peaks


    When I was 14 my dad bought me my first mtb, it was a hi-gear something or anther. Nothing special but was a second hand fully rigid machine from Brizzle that was made from reclaimed bits of tank from WW2. Went to cyclemart one day to buy a new front mech and shifter as that’s all it was missing and was told baout some local races. Was doing my first race within a couple of weeks of owning my first mtb and did quite well. About the same time my best friends also had their first mtbs and we all did the race together. Fom this point freindships with each other heightened and I couldn’t leeave my bike alone for longer than 24 hours

    What Swayndo and Druidh said. The walk out from Derry Lodge at the end of the day with all the bikers flying past you was just too much. I noticed the number of people biking in and out got more each year we went up.

    Then started using the bike as an end in itself both in Scotland on holiday when it was too dreek to do a good walk, and started doing more at home, mainly as a way of halting the advance of middle aged spread. Did anyone else get to the point when you trot down the stairs and suddenly notice your stomach is moving in different phases to the rest of your body.

    When we moved up to highland Perthshire intended to do even more walking, but found that kitting up for nights out with tent etc was just screwing up an already buggered knee. Then met some local bikers and the rest, as they say is history. Lots of expensive walking kit sitting in the utility room not being used.

    Anybody else find that you join a bunch of riders better than you, and suddenly you are the main entertainment by providing endless examples of new ways to crash/fall off the bike? Hasn’t half made me a better rider though

    Premier Icon Bushwacked

    A friend’s wife is an ex-pro from NZ and she used to talk about riding and competition when we lived near them. When we moved and they visited once we were up on a local hill and she was raving about how good the trails looked round our way.

    By coincidence I had signed up to do a sprint triathlon about that time and I bought a Spesh HT to do it on. After the event I tried it out on some of the local hills not really knowing what I was doing or how much I could do – tried to get up a steep hill, thinking I was fitter and the bike was more capable – ended up walking and almost passing out by the time I got to the top – but the descent was awesome and I was hooked.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn

    Was off work with shingles when I was 18 in 1990.
    Saw one in a shop which also sold model cars & thought I’d have one.
    19 years & 10 bikes later, I still have 5.
    Also the reason I’ve settled in Hobart, 1200m mountain over the road covered in trails.
    Most of my friends are riders as well.


    I was walking round cannock chase with the family when i noticed a small track going into the trees it was tight and twisty and i thought it was just a short cut for the kids or something. I started walking up the trail and came across some bikers who informed it was a mtb trail i.e follow the dog, i liked what i saw, within two weeks i had ordered my first mtb from swinnertons now im totally hooked.

    Premier Icon smartay

    As a teenager I always did mountaineering both in Snowdonia and the Lakes, When we got hitched, prior to starting a family we had a Springer Spaniel. As you are probably aware these little chaps are charged with loads of energy, so as away of exercising the dog away from roads etc decided to buy “an off road bikes”, this is back in 92

    This dovetailed in nicely with dog/ walking etc.

    Now the springer has gone, chasing rabbits in the sky, we’ve now got a Labrador. we’re still “mtbing” but relatively little mountaineering.

    So the bike thing really started as extension of the hillwalking thing!!

    Premier Icon brant

    I was raised until the age of six in Goole, near Hull, which is very flat. My Dad was a teacher, not terribly well paid, and we didn’t have a car, so our family used to go most places locally on bikes – I remember being dropped off at school on the childseat on the back of my dads bike – a fixed wheel Carlton.

    We moved to Bingley in late 1976, and in early 1977 that winter it snowed. A lot. My dad got my bike, which was some horrible RSW14 small wheeler, and rode the six miles to his school on it. He quite enjoyed it, so started riding his fixie again, and got more and more into bikes.

    At the same time, we were always a very outdoorsy sort of family – hill walking and stuff. I used to do all the sort of outdoor pursuits stuff. So it was natural really that as mountainbikes started appearing in ’85 and ’86, I ended up with one – it was a Muddy Fox Seeker, bought from Two Wheels Good in Leeds.

    Two Wheels Good was an epicentre for mountainbiking in the North at that time, with John Stevenson (MBUK,, BikeRadar, and returning Editor in Cheif of Cycling titles at Future) being a staff member, and Andy Morris (taught by Jeremy Torr) making hand built frames for Lester Noble (then Tushingham, later Orange) to race on.

    John along with Harvey Jones (now MD of Wiggle) started the Yorkshire Mountainbike Club. We used to do group rides on a Sunday that Tim Flooks would drive up from Somerset for!

    Crazy days.


    I met GF at uni in October 93 and soon realised if I didn’t try mountain biking then I wouldn’t actually see that much of him, so easter 94 I bought (or rather persuaded my dad to buy me) a 2nd hand Kona Explosif.

    When my older bro had his Raleigh nicked in 1990, we went to JE James for the replacement and I ended up with a Diamondback Topanga. After moving east to Lincoln, I used to go round with a bunch of mates tearing up the common and parks and round the local quarries – we even did a bit of dual slalom!

    After doing the off-raod coast to coast in 96 (still on the rigid topanga) things got quiet (discovered beer and girls) until uni is Sheffield where the Orange was bought and we got the train out to the Peaks loads.

    Spending on bikes as logarithmically increased every year since!!


    Always had bikes as a young’un and did a bit of junior road racing/tt, first time on mtb was in the lakes on holiday with a couple of mates when we hired them from a shop in Windermere, wasnt that impressed!
    My brother got a Mudddy Fox (courier I think) in 1987, I borrowed it a few times, and deciced to join him.
    An afternoon in Peter Darke’s in Sunderland resulted in the purchase of a Saracen Tufftax. The choice was between a couple of Saracens, a couple of Muddys or a Gary Fisher(seemed very exotic!)
    And it all went on from there…

    Used to ride a road bike as a youngster but gave up at age 16 when I got me first moped & then moved on to cars etc. Fast forward to age 39 & bought my first MTB as a way to get fit again with the big four Oh just round the corner. I got a Raleigh Max full susser & rode about 4,000 miles on it in 4 years mostly on tarmac with the odd foray down cycle trails i.e. Camel Trail & Granite Way. My LBS used to try to convince me to buy a real lightweight MTB & in the end I bought a Spesh HT. As I now had a real MTB I decided to try riding on Dartmoor starting from Princetown down to Burrator & back, I scared myself half to death on this simple trail but I was hooked on the adrenaline rush from riding over such rough terrain & surviving. I’m now a regular weekend warrior & I’ve added a full susser to my stable.

    Premier Icon snowslave

    I was involved in a car crash and was in a coma. you know they say you see a lovely warm bright light that you are drawn towards. Well that happened to me. It was dead weird. I was drifting outside my body, I could see the doctors and nurses all doing stuff to my body but it didn’t seem to matter, I wanted to leave them to it. I saw the white light and was drifting towards it almost ghost light, it just felt so peaceful. It kind of turned into a tunnel, and I drifted faster and faster towards the source of the light. Just as I thought I was going to pop out of the tunnel, this bloke with a beard appeared (if you imagine what Moses might have looked like, he was a bit like that, all dressed up in kind of swirly sheets and stuff). Anyway he told me my time was not up yet, I should go back and ride mountain bikes.

    So I did.


    I’ve just always rode bikes all my life.

    Had a BMX when I was about 8 or so, then got a ‘mountain bike’ when about 11. Had one ever since (21 years).

    I’ve had patches where I haven’t been out for a few months, but always come back to it.

    Premier Icon jimmy

    umm, mountain bikes were the bike to have when I was about 13. I managed to swing a Raleigh Lizard for my birthday and while the others rode to the park and hung out, I started riding down to the woods and doing ‘proper rides’. Loved it, never stopped. Tried loads of sports as a kid but MTBing stuck for ‘fitness and fun’

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 80 total)

The topic ‘how did you get into mtbing?’ is closed to new replies.