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What Is Mountain Biking?

What is Mountain biking and how does it differ from other biking? Glad you asked.

Let’s start with the bikes. Mountain bikes are a fun way to be active and connect with nature. Compared to other bikes, mountain bikes have the following characteristics:

  • fatter tires with rugged tread for stability and durability on off-road terrain
  • a more upright cycling position that lets you enjoy the view
  • suspension systems on some bikes absorb shock for a more comfortable ride
  • general versatility to allow you to ride on a range of terrain including pavement, gravel, grass and our favorite, dirt!

Moral of the story, you don’t need to be in the mountains to ride a mountain bike!

Now let’s talk terrain and trail types. Beginners start out on trails that are relatively smooth and flat, overtime and with more experience the ability to navigate obstacles will develop and this becomes part of the fun of the sport. Trails are typically marked by skill level (beginner, intermediate, expert and double expert). Trail markings in the Don Valley are less obvious, so if you are new to the trail system, it’s a good idea to study a trail map such as before heading out.

Singletrack is probably the most common trail type. On easier trails they may be wide enough for two bikes to pass while more challenging trails are typically narrower with sections just wide enough for your handlebars to pass.

Doubletrack trails are normally double the width (or more) of a typical singletrack with enough room for two bikes to ride side-by-side. Doubletrack trails are usually a gentler grade than singletrack and tend to have less-technical features.

Mountain bike terrain parks are popping up everywhere from jump-and-pump tracks under urban overpasses to lift-serviced trails at ski resorts.

The Don Valley offers a variety of different terrain including singletrack, doubletrack and a progressive jump-and-pump track. Don Grom Campers will have a chance to experience a range of terrain suited to their skill level.