Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, freeride and dirt jumping. However, the majority of mountain biking falls into the categories of Trail and Cross Country riding styles.
The sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance. Advanced riders pursue both steep technical descents and high incline climbs. In the case of freeride, downhill, and dirt jumping, aerial maneuvers are performed off both natural features and specially constructed jumps and ramps.
Mountain bikers ride on off-road trails such as singletrack, back-country roads, fire roads, and often venture to ski resorts that stay open in the summer for such activities. Because riders are often far from civilization, there is a strong ethic of self-reliance in the sport. Riders learn to repair broken bikes and flat tires to avoid being stranded. Many riders carry a backpack, including water, food, tools for trailside repairs, and a first aid kit in case of injury. Group rides are common, especially on longer treks. Mountain bike orienteering adds the skill of map navigation to mountain biking.
One of the trends to look at is the number of Americans who commute to work on a bicycle has grown steadily since 2000. 47 percent on average but by as much as 80 percent in bicycle friendly cities like NYC and San Francisco.
E-bike use in the US is forecast to grow. With breakthroughs in battery technology, lighter and cheaper bikes, along with forecasts for increased gas prices, the US is poised to experience similar growth in E-bike sales as Europe did in the last decade.
One of the biggest reasons for forecast growth in E-bike adaption is the increased investment in bike infrastructure around the country. Cities and towns have begun to see the importance in alternative transportation and have invested in bike paths, trails and shared roadway for bicycles.
E-bike sales are expected to grow by 22% in North America by 2018. The question isn’t if America will see an e-bike boom, but rather, how soon.