Like most things in life, sport comes in degrees. Some sports enthusiasts and activists enjoy sports that help them relax and keep in shape, while others enjoy nothing but the hardest, heart pumping action they can achieve. Biking as a sport for example continues to grow in popularity each year, often attracting a younger audience as it develops. As this younger audience grows, some develop into the adrenaline junkies that make others gasp in fear and amazement. Cross country biking, stunt riding, bicycle racing and heli-biking are some of the most popular summertime extreme bicycle sports. Several ski and snowboarding resorts offer great opportunities for outdoor sports enthusiasts to continue their enjoyment of the great outdoors year round. Whether it’s glacier skiing, ice diving, heli-skiing or heli-biking, bikers are sure to find something to pique their interest in the mountains.
Stunt cyclists are often the most recognized because of their time in the air instead of on the ground. In some cases, the longer the cyclist is off of the bike, the more impressive the stunt. Some may stand in the seat or on pegs welded to the rear of the bike. Special bikes are often created just for stunts and the people who love them. Stunts range from simple wheelies to very elaborate tricks, jumps or flips. Some stunts have easy to recognize names like andquot;no footers,andquot; andquot;no handersandquot; or andquot;bar spins.andquot; Other, more elaborate stunts have names like andquot;540,andquot; andquot;X-Upandquot; or various types of andquot;airing.andquot;
Motocross racing became popular during the mid to late 1920s. At that time, it consisted of off-road motor bikes ridden on rugged terrain. Bicycle Motocross, or BMX, became popular in the late 1970s and began as youngsters pretending to be their favourite Motocross driver. In today’s sporting arenas, BMX means much more than racing bikes. Now riders may even specialise in the type of track they prefer to ride.
Heli-biking is a newer form of extreme cycling that involves you, your bike, a few snacks and a helicopter. The helicopter takes you to the top of a mountain that is otherwise inaccessible without climbing gear. After you’re geared up, you’re off! The journey back toward civilization is often several hours long and requires that you bring your own snacks and drinks. Energy bars and bottled water are usually the food and drink of choice.
Ever wonder what happens at your favourite ski resort during the summer? During the winter, people enjoy heli-skiing in areas like Andorra in the Pyrenees, Whistler in British Columbia or the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The same skiers who enjoyed heli-skiing asked the helicopter pilots if they would drop cyclists off at the same place they dropped skiers during the winter. Summertime obviously doesn’t allow for great ski conditions, so the activities change. Instead of skiing, adrenaline junkies hop on a helicopter with their bikes and continue their heart-pounding trek down the mountains.
And for places like Andorra it’s great – tourists for the summer as well as the winter.
Safety should always be first and foremost during any biking excursion. Helmets, pads and proper shoes are very important to every cyclist’s health and well-being. Just like any other sport, protective clothing and equipment can prevent serious injury or even death. A properly fitting helmet can help make the difference between an enjoyable ride and a trip to the emergency room.