When/how did you start mountain biking?

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  • When/how did you start mountain biking?
  • Premier Icon colin9

    Grew up riding BMX, then got a job when I was about 16 and saved up and bought and built up a Mission aluminium trials frame. It was the late 90s and the street trials scene was just taking off. After a couple of years of front hops and static drops I went to uni and met a guy with a Curtis, I swapped the Mission for a DMR Sidekick and we started dirt jumping and general downhill ragging. A further few years passed and I moved away from my riding friends, the DMR was a bit neglected because of beer/girls/cars, and then I moved to Australia and sold the bike. I do miss that bike. Anyway, back in 2009 I was back in this country, bought a road bike for fitness and did a couple of years on it. One day last year my wife pulled her old Klein out the garage (unridden for years) and came back from an off road blast covered in mud and with a huge grin on her face. That very afternoon I went to the LBS, worked through all this new 29″/650b confusion, pulled out the credit card and bought a 26″ steel Sanderson Life build. Rode it straight out the shop in the pouring rain with a huge grin on my face. I’m glad I’m back.

    I blame Orange. Lived just up the road from their original factory as a lad, then we moved to Elland and Orange moved factory to Holywell Green.
    Bought my first proper mtb from them ( via a friend who knew Lester ), a ’92 Clockwork and have been hooked ever since.
    Still riding Orange bikes 20 years later


    Always liked bikes. When I was 12/13 a few of us were always buying new parts for our cheap bikes thinking it would make us better. We use to have competitions on who could wheelie the farthest or track stand the longest. In about 1996 I rode past a local race and stayed to watch. Entered the next one a month later then started riding with a local club. My old friends gave up riding at when I started racing. Now I have new friends and a girlfriend who rides too. 😛


    If I were to include messing about on bikes with cow-horn handlebars, 5 gears and 27″ knobbly tyres in the local woods, doing jumps and making trails that predominantly went down, breaking bikes and getting another frame from the local scrap-yard, then it would be from the early-mid 70’s for me. I’ve never been without a bike since I first learnt to ride. I love the freedom and the being in the now that riding a bike provides for me.

    First ‘proper’ MTB was a Dawes Jackal in 86. Had a few breaks from biking since then, only to take great joy as I rediscover my absolute love for off-road cycling each time I got back on my bike.


    20 years ago I needed to get more exercise. A mountainbike seemed less dull than an exercise bike. Simultaneously several of my friends independently came to the same conclusion and it became a social thing.

    Premier Icon dknwhy

    Got my first mtb when I was 15 so around ’96. A Claud Butler Exon – fully rigid with new fangled V brakes. Loved that bike. Was the first taste of freedom and meant I could go where I wanted.
    Learnt to drive and stopped riding until about 2007 when I borrowed a bike off my father in law and went on a 10 mile ride along the canal to Marple. I was a proper fat knacker and he ruined me. He had a clever tactic where he started fast and then stopped to wait for me at intervals where he got a proper rest and every time I caught up, he set off again.
    Got my own bike after that and vowed to destroy him. Rode loads, got a road bike and dropped loads of weight and now he refuses to come out for rides. 😆


    Always had bike’s and messed around of road. Early 70’s built one up with cycle speedway tyres for riding in the local woods. First proper mtb was in the mid 80’s. Still riding mx then so it was just fo a bit of training an going to the shops. Deff. became a mtb’r in 1997 when I tore my cruxiate ligament and had to give up mx.

    Premier Icon Tracey

    1987, bought a Marin Bear Valley as an alternative to windsurfing when it wasnt windy. Really took over from windsurfing after my first trip to the Alps in 2003.

    Premier Icon Sanny

    Raleigh Maverick back in 87. Great bike. Many happy memories. Before that, I was riding my BMX off road and loving it. BMX action Bike mag first alerted me to them then an article in Cameron McNeish’s Footloose magazine convinced me I needed one.

    Replaced it with an Orange Prestige for my 21st Birthday. What a brilliant pressie from my folks! After that, I’ve worn out and broken countless bikes but am still loving it as much as my first ever foray onto proper trails. When I think of all the friends I’ve made, places I’ve ridden, how I met my wife and that we now have a smashing daughter, mountain biking has been a big deal for me! 😀


    Always had bikes, strange brown, pedal back brake thingy, with white tyres was first, ended badly when I snapped the headtube off. Somewhere along the way there was a Raleigh Commando, bent the forks jumping over a miniture railway at the base of a dry ski slope! Then the Grifter, followed by a racer before the move on my 16th Birthday that changed my Sundays forever……my first ‘ATB’ a Raleigh Massif. This got me out into our local forest and trails and was upgraded by a Huffy and then eventually a real ‘MTB’ in the guise of a fluro yellow Marin…..things were about to get serious now, with club rides, racing, trips into the Lakes and Wales and the obvious move onto a new bike. The GT Zaskar still sits proudly in the spare room, evoking memories of riding when nothing else mattered or got in the way……I’ll leave now to bask in my 26 years of nostalgia

    Premier Icon chakaping

    In about 1988 I bought a secondhand Raleigh Montage off a mate for £150. Think it might have been a 24″ frame (I now ride 17″ or 18″).

    My mates and I started off riding round the wooded bits of the local parks, taking it in turns to hit the bombholes as fast as we dared – then ventured further into the local woods – of which we were lucky to have a lot, considering we lived so close to London.

    I was wearing a C&A ski jacket, jeans and trainers most rides I think, no helmet of course. Then bought some magazines and realised we were getting it a bit wrong, got a train to London and stocked up on cheap roadie lycra and one of those Specialized polystyrene helmets. Picked up a set of toeclips from the LBS/motor factors.

    Next came another s/h bike that actually fit me (Giant Coldrock with Deore and Exage bits IIRC), then shortly after that as I really got into it my first new bike – a 1991 or 1992 Saracen Kili Flyer in “deep purple” – fillet brazed Prestige with Deore groupset – which I started racing when a local series (Marshalls) sprang up in the mid-90s.

    It was nice to have been around near the start of it in the UK and to have seen it grow since, but I am a bit envious of youngsters today who can pick up an awesomely capable lightweight FS-er secondhand for way less than that Saracen cost me in real terms.


    2010 with my sons riding Swinley Forest with Palmer Velo on an Airnimal Rhino. Next came a rigid 29er SS then finally a 26er SS hardtail. Both steel. Teen1 rides a Giant Anthem, which happens to also be my size but not my taste. I commuted and rode road forever, but mtb had to wait for location and age of kids.

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