At the moment, I am filled with a bittersweet sensation: sweet because I found an awesome new form of fun on two wheels, and bitter because I only really got into it in my last year at MIT. Honestly, MTB-ing is so much fun and I would urge all the other team members to give it a try at some point. It’s a great contrast to riding on the roads since you get to get away from all those grumpy Boston car drivers and see some of the great trails New England has to offer, and it is fun to challenge your bike handling skills on different terrain. I certainly feel like it’s made me a much more competent rider – if someone goes down in front of me in the race, or I suddenly need to ride off-road to avoid a crash, I don’t feel like I’m going to freak out and slam on my brakes (which I probably would have done a couple of years ago), and half the challenge of staying safe in road races is not just about whether you avoid crashing out yourself but how you respond to things happening around you.
So if you take away once piece of wisdom from this blog post – try MTB-ing! It’s now really easy to try even if you don’t have your own bike, since MITOC rents out bikes for as little as $15 a day: http://mit.edu/~mitoc/www/