Loving the Mountain Bike: Shawn McAfee


Are you Loving the Mountain Bike?  You may have noticed a lack of attention towards this type of cycling here at Loving the Bike, and that’s simply because I’ve been on a mtb once in the past year and a half.  When this cycling website first started, I wanted to make sure we talked about all kinds of bikes….but since I’m a road cyclist at heart, the focus always seems to go in that direction.

So today we’re bringing you a great post from Shawn McAfee of Texas Mountain Bike Trails, and will be sure to have more mountain bike goodness coming at you in the future as well.  Here’s a great read for all of you who are Loving the Mountain Bike, and if you’re not….Shawn explains why you should be.

3 Reasons Why I’m Loving The Mountain Bike, and 3 Why You Should Give It A Try

by Shawn McAfee

You come flying down a steep hillside, dodging rocks and trees. Your chain looks like it’s suspended in a state of anti-gravity as it bounces back and forth, all while careening into a sharp hairpin turn at full speed. You’re caught in a moment where you and your bike become one as the back tire skids sideways through the corner of the turn sending a shower of dirt, mud, and rocks that spray across the side of the trail.

There are hundreds of reasons that I love mountain biking, but far and away the top reason is the rush of adrenaline you get in a moment like that.

You feel invincible, super-human and unstoppable. You feel like you can conquer not only the trail, but also the world.

It’s funny how missing a tree by only a few inches while moving at 20mph will do that to you.

I also love being rewarded at the top of a punishing climb with a breathtaking view of a lake or the surrounding land. Just being able to escape the concrete jungle we all live in and returning to nature is incredible.

And then there is the community that surrounds the sport. This is a community of laid-back people just out there looking to enjoy the ride. Sure there are plenty of racers training for events, but even they are pretty low key. A lot of these racers will even pull up a hammock or grill you a burger during their 12 and 24 hour races. No way you can get more laid back than someone taking time out of their race to grill you some grubb.

These reasons I am drawn to mountain biking create a passion inside of me, and not just a little passion, but an incredibly-massive passion that keeps me awake at night.

I spend nearly my whole day talking about mountain biking, writing about mountain biking, and sharing my love of MTB with anyone that will listen. Co-workers at my day job are sick of hearing about it. But they are starting to break down and they all want to join me.

That is the epic thing about passion. Passion is contagious.

And I know that I’m not alone. Just check out a few of the stories about how mountain biking has changed lives and you will see a community of passionate riders just waiting to share their love of the bike.

My hope is that my story alone will make you want to give mountain biking a shot. But as an added bonus, I have three reasons that you should absolutely give mountain biking a chance.

1. Switching up your riding styles and adding in some variety will help you prevent burnout and fatigue from only riding your road bike.

2. Mountain biking improves your core disciplines of bike handling, balance, and reaction time. Improving these things will make you safer and faster when riding as a commuter or as a roadie.

3. Aggressively attacking quick, steep and intense climbs will give you many of the same results as sprint or interval training on a road bike.

Ultimately, what matters most is that you stay focused on what’s right about being on a bike overall.

Whether you get out on a road bike, a mountain bike or on a unicycle, you should always be sure to love what you are doing and to keep a smile on your face… unless you’re fighting up a hill. Then a grimace or scowl is more than acceptable.

Shawn McAfee helps mountain bikers improve their skills through mental and physical tips, advice, and guides. He is a long time-cyclist, the owner and author of www.TexasMountainBikeTrails.com, and an adrenaline junkie.



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25 Responses to “ Loving the Mountain Bike: Shawn McAfee ”

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  2. Clive Chapman on March 8, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Preaching to the choir mate! 🙂

  3. Dutton Cycles on March 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Good job on this post.  We love seeing people so passionate about their type of riding.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you! I love all riding, but one style just happens to lead the pack.

  4. Jjrichards on March 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I agree with your reason for loving the mountain bike for sure.  It is such a rush and I also encourage everyone to try it out.  I ride my road bike as well and find it so nice to switch it up with my trail riding.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for the support! 

  5. Sonny Williams on March 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Props to my mountain biking brother! Awesome job Shawn.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you Sonny! I can’t wait to dig in to your post next month!

  6. Vegan Cyclist on March 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Great post….everyone should at least try Mountain Biking. 

  7. Kelli Jennings on March 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I love all things MTB too, and love the post.  Thanks Shawn!  And, it’s always fun to mix it up…road, trail, single speed… Always something to look forward to!

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

      I have yet to try Singlespeed, several of my riding buddies live by it though. Thanks for the support Kelli!

  8. Me on March 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Love the picture of the “punishing climb” you have there. Is that the most serious hill in all of.. Kansas? 😉

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      You have to watch out for those prairie dogs 😀

  9. Roger G on March 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Yes I agree, these are three great reasons to think about getting on a mountain bike.  I also like that I’m able to ride without traffic and stop lights when I’m riding the trails.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Roger, those are 2 more great reasons to ride MTB!

  10. Eric on March 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

    To be honest, Darryl I don’t usually read guest posts on your site but I did this time.  I’m glad I did and I wanted to let Shawn know that this was a great article.  Now I see that I better start reading any other guest posts you put up on this site.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Powerful words Eric, thank you so much for reading. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

  11. Jeremy on March 7, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I could really feel your passion coming out in this story and I found it quite interesting to see why you like mountain biking so much.  I am mostly a road rider, but have been wanting to get out on the trails more often.  Thanks for giving me the push that I needed to get out more.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 9:02 am

      You’re welcome Jeremy, I really appreciate the compliments. Look me up if you ever have any questions or are in the DFW area to ride.

  12. Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Thanks Darryl for the opportunity to write for your blog. This was one of the most fun pieces I have ever written!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on March 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      You’re very welcome, Shawn.  I think this is a great post and I’m so happy to share it with our Loving the Bike readers.  I love your passion and I definitely need to get out mountain biking with you one of these days.


      • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

        You will be the first person I call when I make it down to Austin!

  13. rikaguilera on March 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Great post! MTB will make any road rider better, safer, and faster. All points made by Shawn. All road riders should get out on the trails every now and then. To me, it is where I find some solitude. Rides are less training like, and i get to enjoy my surroundings more. Mental therapy on two wheels.

    • Shawn McAfee on March 7, 2012 at 8:40 am

      I can definitely agree with it being therapy. Some people relax on the golf course or playing video games, but people like us relax through blood, sweat and adrenaline. 🙂


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