By and large, our sport of mountain biking is rooted in racing. In seeing who the fastest rider is, who’s the best, and the testosterone-fueled draw of competition. Heck, we can even trace the roots of our sport back to Repack, the first mountain bike race.
But mountain biking is so much more than racing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve competed in my fair share of races over the years, including short XC races, a team lap-style endurance race, a 100-mile ultra endurance sufferfest, a series of enduro races, a 5-day ultra enduro stage race, and more. But lately, I’ve grown to abhor racing and all that it entails. Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t race your mountain bike either.
1. It costs a lot of money.
Even if you just look at the entry fees, racing isn’t cheap. While some local throw downs might only cost you $20-$50, high-end races like the Leadville 100 cost $15 just to enter the lottery and if you win, instead of getting free money, you’re automatically charged the $345 registration fee. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of ways I could spend 360 bones.
Above and beyond the simple race entry fee, there are numerous hidden expenses that you might not think about before you sign up to race. Are your tires starting to lose traction in the corners? While normally you might eek out a few extra months from those treads, if you’re racing, you’ve gotta plunk down the cash to make sure you’re rolling on fresh rubber. Chain jumping a little bit? Better get a new one installed, along with a cassette, and oh, you need new chain rings, too. While you’re at it, you better have the mechanic do a full tune-up so that nothing else goes wrong on race day. What about fuel? Can you take a leftover turkey sandwhich out on the race course? No, that’s too hard to eat… better drop $2 per energy gel to keep you going. And the list goes on and on…