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Environmental Benefits of Mountain Biking

Updated on November 24, 2011

Mountain biking makes me closer to nature

Mountain biking is an environmentally friendly activity. I have been mountain biking since December 2010. Riding with my dirt jump mountain bike Polygon Cozmic DX 2.0 is fun because I can see nature from close distance. My observations about the forest and the beach greatly influence the content of my articles that discuss such topics as environment and eco-tourism. There is a mountain behind my house. Its name is Table Mountain. It is still covered with tropical rainforest. When I ride my mountain bike through the forest, I can see various species of trees both big and small that grow in the forest. Although the road leading to the mountain is quite steep, I can reach the top by shifting the chain to small gears. My mountain bike is equipped with Shimano Alivio a well known bike gear manufacturer from Japan. I usually ride my bike in the afternoons from around 5 to 6 p.m. Sometimes I don't go to the Table Mountain. My alternative destination is the eastern coast of Manokwari. The natural scenery of the area is very beautiful too. White sandy beaches stretch from Pasir Putih to Abasi beach. Coconut and catappa trees are the main vegetations that I see while cycling along the coast of Manokwari city. By mountain biking, I feel closer to nature and at the same time I can breath fresh air that is good for my health.

My mountain bike with the scenery of Abasi beach just outside Manokwari city early in the morning
My mountain bike with the scenery of Abasi beach just outside Manokwari city early in the morning

Mountain biking as my way of promoting cycling culture

When I started mountain biking for the first time in December 2010, I did not see a lot of dwellers in Manokwari city rode bicycles. Only small number of boys who played bmx bikes in Pasir Putih and Abasi beach area that I saw nearly 4 months ago. When I passed by my neighborhood, a lot of boys liked to shout at me, "speda gunung-speda gunung" meaning "mountain bike - mountain bike." I knew that mountain bike was still a luxurious thing for these boys. The cheapest mountain bike in this town could cost around 500 US dollars. It is considered very expensive for Papuan people whose middle level government employee's monthly income is around 250 US dollars. Now I see that there are two bicycle shops in this town. The cheapest mountain bikes that are manufactured by Indonesian bike maker - Polygon are offered for around 250 US dollars. The opening of the new bike shops makes the price of a mountain bike becomes cheaper. Now I see more people ride their bicycles both in the afternoons and in the mornings. I feel that my way of promoting cycling culture by mountain biking regularly in the afternoons bears some fruits.

Mountain biking through the rainforest of the Table Mountain near Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province in the Indonesia
Mountain biking through the rainforest of the Table Mountain near Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province in the Indonesia

Mountain biking is my way of taking pictures for my writing project

Another reason that I consider important when I ride my mountain bike is for taking pictures. Sometimes I bring my digital camera Sony Cybershot DSC W310. When I see interesting objects such as palm trees, flower plants or butterfly and beetles, I will stop for a while and take some pictures. When I have returned home, I will copy those pictures into my Toshiba notebook PC for my writing projects both in or my other website Because I don't need to buy fuel, I consider mountain biking as the cheapest way to observe my surrounding environment for getting some writing inspirations and photographs. When I take pictures of children along the road, I will come back again next week to meet them and give them the printed photographs. The children like the photographs very much.

One of the photographs that I shot while mountain biking, "Fishing boats along the Abasi beach of Manokwari."
One of the photographs that I shot while mountain biking, "Fishing boats along the Abasi beach of Manokwari."

Cycling culture is not only good for our environment but also for our society

We all know that cycling is good for our environment, every body knows it. People who ride their bicycles to work have given positive contribution to the society on worldwide efforts in reducing CO2 emission. By cycling we make our city cleaner and calmer. Mountain bikes do not emit noisy sounds like what motorcycles do. Because the speed of a bicycle is low, bikers have the opportunity to talk to other bikers while they go to certain destinations. Mountain biking may not be suitable for your town that is quite flat. If you are now thinking of taking up cycling as your lifestyle, you can choose a type of bicycle that is more suitable for you. People who live in an apartment can buy folding bike which can be stored in their room whenever they have returned to their apartment. Bicycles are now more affordable to everybody. If more people ride bicycles on the streets now, the atmosphere of our cities will be cleaner, quiter and friendlier to anybody. When we ride our bikes to work, we don't buy gasoline. The money that should have been exported to oil producing countries can now be used to buy locally made goods. In other words, cycling is good for our society because we can directly save our money and spend it for buying products that are made by workers in our city or country. In conclusion, when we ride bicycles we create jobs and support local economy. by Charles Roring.


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