Mountain biking is not for the faint of heart. Taking your bike off road and away from civilization with all its conveniences (and repairmen) demands self-reliance and a high degree of physical fitness from enthusiasts (though beginners can get started in their own backyard). Real fans can attend rallies, perfect jumps, and compete in races.
Since there have been bikes people have been riding them off road. But in the 1970s trail riding buffs began tinkering with their bikes to give them the features we associate with mountain bikes today—knobby tires, large frame tube, and some kind of shock absorbers.
Each year the International Mountain Biking Association releases a report card grading mountain biking destinations. In 2006, Oregon was the top state thanks to world-class trails at North Umpqua and the Mackenzie River, while Scotland has received top honors internationally for two years running.
The Texas capital is teeming with city and nearby state parks, with plenty of trails and rivers to please hikers, bikers, kayakers and swimmers alike.
Linked to its western traditions, Steamboat Springs mixes champagne powder with cowboy style to create a Rocky Mountain high everyone can enjoy.
This southern Arizona city blends rustic, Wild West charm with modern-day sophistication.
Whistler is known for its skiing, but it’s also a nature lover’s paradise in spring, summer and fall, making it a resort for all seasons.