Mountain Biking

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Alan Horton Alan Horton   Work, kids, 99-cent value meals we know how the fitness excuses can pile up. That's why we've assembled our second annual class of Outside's Fittest (Real) Athletes: five wickedly overscheduled Americans who haven't let hectic careers or a…

What kind of outdoor adventures can I find in Morocco? I'm visiting in September and would like to have a little fun while I'm there. Joe L. Littleton, CO

In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 31-year-old Asheville, North Carolina-based mountain biker Willow Koerber was among the country's best shots at a medal. But after ranking sixth in the World Cup, and first among Americans, in 2007, she went into an inexplicable slump early last year and failed to make the team. This summer, look for the Subaru/Gary F

Photo Gallery

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

Gear Guru- I'm looking for a bike rack that is easy to use and easy to put on the car and take off. I've been looking at the Thule Jaws rack, but on a recent trip to Moab, I noticed almost every car out there was equipped with a fork-lock rack. Do these people know something I don't? Chris Eau Claire, WI

I'm planning a one- to two-week road trip up to northern Washington, possibly Canada. Do you have any suggestions of good places to cp/stay and interesting things to do? Any goods hikes and or bike rides? Tim O. San Luis Obispo, CA

I'm looking for a good day pack that I can use both hiking and mountain biking. I'm 6'5" and need to find one that will fit properly. Justin Rineyville, KY

2009 Travel Awards

I can't find a good mountain-biking seat that doesn't make me feel like I was violated after a long ride. One friend suggested stuffing my shorts with Vaseline. I ride a fair ount, and it's always pretty bad after a long one, but even a moderate 20-miler leaves me walking like I have a pole in the pipe for a day or two. What gives? What can I do? Jayson Los Angeles, CA

And one badass, bike-building gentlewoman

Your survival plan for South by Southwest, the annual film-and-music bonanza taking place this month: (1) MAKE A PLAN. With hundreds of bands playing over five nights, picking your spots can be tough. Big names reliably play Stubb’s Bar-B-Que (stubbsaustin.com), and be sure to check out…

With its SoCal sun and NoCal sensibility, Santa Barbara is about the best place in the lower 48 for an early-spring mix of surfing and cycling—and for anyone in pursuit of a good glass of wine. While last November's fires scoured 1,940 acres in Santa Barbara County, the flames spared the city center and the majority of the recreational trails surroundi

Travel to Sin City is facing its biggest slump since 9/11: In the past year, Vegas merchants have seen a 6 percent drop in sales. What this means to you: Airfare is cheap, and there will be fewer mountain bikers than normal in Bootleg Canyon, one of the country’s least-appreciated…

I banged my knee falling off my bike and now it's sore just below the kneecap. How long should I lay off it, and do you have any recovery suggestions? Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ah, Mexico. Land of hot sand, cheap beer, and a foolproof cure for seasonal affective disorder: endless adventure.

When a company like Specialized dreams up a new ride, design teams are deployed, test frames are destroyed, and the stakes are huge. With the 2009 Epic, the goal was suitably grandiose: to create the fastest, most responsive mountain bike around—and earn a world championship to prove it.

Ah, Mexico. Land of hot sand, cheap beer, and a foolproof cure for seasonal affective disorder: endless adventure.

The Bell Volt, featuring a removable visor, will keep you up to speed on-road or off-. Proof: Carlos Sastre won this year’s Tour de France wearing one ($175; bellbikehelmets.com).

Durango, Colorado

Almost fifteen years after the genocide, tiny Rwanda is suddenly a hot adventure destination, the new darling of multinational investors, and, says mountain-bike legend Tom Ritchey, one extra-long bicycle short of a comeback

“You go ahead and get this race out of your system,’ my wife told me. ‘But I don’t want to get a call from Butte saying your butt’s bleeding.”

Traveling to Canada no longer comes with a discount, but our neighbor still has eight times as much wilderness as we do

This year’s trail bikes are lighter and more forgiving than ever. We tested the best.

PORTSMOUTH ISLAND, NORTH CAROLINA – On a weekend last summer, while the rest of the beachgoing world descended upon overrun sand traps like Nags Head and Virginia Beach, I took a 4×4 and a shortboard and made for Portsmouth Island. There are a few selling points to this skinny, 18-mile-long…

1. BROOKS INFINITI JACKET The billboard-size logo on the back will make you feel like a pro during warm-ups, while reflective touches make it great for chilly dusk workouts. $100; brooksrunning.com The Goods: Road-Race Day 2. TRIGGER POINT PLANTAR FASCIITIS KIT The antidote to…

What are the advantages of a full suspension bike versus a hardtail? I bike on trails and roads. Jake Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Hint: It's not the toboggan.

Here, read the winning essay from Outside's Seven Cycles contest as well as the four other finalists

I just starting to mountain bike, and I have no idea how to find the right bike for me. I don’t do hardcore trails, and I know that I want a hardtail. I have been looking at Marin bikes such as the Palisades and Juniper, but my preferred price is around $550. Have any suggestions? John Auburn, Alabama

Go farther faster, stay out all day, and don't carry a thing (except your credit card) on these five perfect, three-day hiking and biking adventures

I've decided to do the Lotoja Classic this year, a 206-mile ride from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I've done several century rides and the distance doesn't intimidate me (although it probably should), but the elevation does. I live at sea level and there are several climbs over 7,000 feet. How can I best train for the altitude while living at sea level? Thanks!

A new shoe promises more efficient running by taking a page from Isaac Newton

In the Store: Don’t know what kind of arches you have? Dunk your foot lightly in some water and then step on a paper bag. See almost your entire foot? You’re an overpronator. See very little? You’re an underpronator (this is less common). »…

I have the hardest time regulating my temperature when mountain biking in the rain. What should I wear? Do I even bother with a rain jacket? Michael Richmond, Virginia

I need a new bottom bracket for my old Titanium fre GT mountain bike. But, the old one is stuck so badly that the bike shop couldn't get it out and gave up. What can I do?

In mountain biking as in life, the best paths will surprise you. Be prepared with these versatile machines.

I bike some 30 miles a week, mostly on the road, and I’m tired of the thick tires and heaviness of my mountain bike. But I’m not ready for a full-on road bike with downward handlebars. Can you point me to something in between that’s affordable and will fit my five-foot-tall fre? Cindy Santa Rosa, California

I've been mountain biking for a while, and the guys at my local shop convinced me to buy a "single-speed." After a few rides on it, I'm wondering why I would ever opt for a bike without gears when I have one that has them. I missing something that makes this a good cycling option? Is there a training benefit? Tom V. Tucson, AZ

I'm looking for a full-suspension mountain bike that’s under $2,000. The ideal bike would also handle a little downhill action as well. What's the best bike for me in this price range? Dan Georgetown, Texas

A year after Katrina crashed the Big Easy's party, former local WELLS TOWER returned to check up on New Orleans's most beloved outdoor escape, the path on top of the Mississippi River levee. But, as he found, biking the high lonesome trail is no longer such an easy thing.

The first couple of mountain biking set their sights on a Beijing honeymoon

Adventure sports are more factionalized than religion. And I'm feeling like a heretic.

ROBBIE BOURDON eats dirt near Kamloops, British Columbia Where were you? Send your photos of misadventure through our So There I Was Entry Form…

What's to love in 2006? How about 100 of the most newsworthy athletes, products, gadgets, bold ideas, and badass feats? From Lance's remarkable retirement (you try raising $500,000 for charity in one night) to a cell phone that logs your training run (and tells you where to turn) to a 33-item gift guide (check out Oakley's Bluetooth shades), here ar

There's a lot to love about the Arkansas Ozarks: fresh trout, sick singletrack, and the onset of rural chic

Wanna live where the action is? The goal: Trails out the back door, a serious Saturday-morning peloton, whitewater just up the road, and neighbors eager to join in. Our source: The best adventure athletes in America, who tell us where they live and why. The result: 20 places where locals work, train, and play hard. Start packing now.

We're planning to take my 16- and 18-year-old kids with us to Europe this summer to watch a Tour de France stage finish in Morzine. What outdoor sports can we do there afterward? Jackie Dallas, Texas

When a study this past spring revealed that the British are significantly healthier than Americans, we went looking for the wellness benefits of warm beer. But it turns out there are plenty of more wholesome buzzes in the UK.

With on-call mechanics, high-energy meals, and leg massages, boutique bike hotels turn cycling into a destination sport on par with skiing

Twenty-four-hour mountain-bike champion Monique Sawicki catches an entire sport by surprise

All it takes is one trip to change your life - and we've got 40 of 'em. Dreaming of close encounters with cheetahs or penguins? Want to climb a mountain in Peru? Experience an epic trek in China? One trip, one world - that's all it takes.

There's no substitute for the natural world, but engineers are catching up. Ten years ago, an indoor climbing wall turned heads; now developers are mimicking mountains, rivers, and oceans. As urban centers swell, so do the latest man-made achievements.

When it comes to adventure kingdoms, all roads eventually lead to California. Here's where to find the Golden State's secret stash.

Time to tune up that garageful of gear (we don't mean lawn chairs) and devote your next outing to full-throttle fun.

Clothing / Apparel / Helmet

From the red-rock vistas of Abiquiu to the dunes of White Sands—with a few shots of tequila mixed in—New Mexico is another world. Try these 12 perfect days in the Land of Enchantment. Horseback Riding into the Sunset Cerrillos Twenty miles south of Santa Fe, where the southern Rockies peter…

Why are all biking tights and shorts black? I'm not in mourning! Where can I get more colorful red or blue ones? Rob Fairbanks, Alaska

I'm the type of mountain biker who enjoys venturing off the beaten path; I often have to carry my bike over hills and valleys and I like to stop and explore my surroundings on foot. I'm searching for the perfect pair of clipless mountain-bike shoes that double as a durable hiker. Does such a hybrid exist? Kaiser Falls, Idaho

Three months of pure freedom. You're loving it—and we are, too. From big water to big walls, from oyster stands to dune shacks, fifty-one sunny ways to dive in when the mercury rises.

What do you want—a printed invitation? OK, here it is: We’ve scouted the year’s coolest travel offerings—from new classics like cruising the Arctic, exploring the wild Caribbean, and journeying across Russia’s heartland to bold new frontiers like trekking Libya and tracking wildlife (and luxury lodges) in Sri Lanka. Going somewhere?…