Modern entrepreneurs are all about breaking new grounds and redefining cultures. It is no surprise then that many entrepreneurs are moving to new avenues for exercising and active leisure activities a departure from the traditional options like golf. Mountain biking for entrepreneurs is the new golf.
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The rise of mountain biking and the wane of golfing
There has quite a considerable discussion of whether mountain biking for entrepreneurs is the new golf. It is a discussion that points largely to the increasing popularity of mountain biking among entrepreneurs who are ditching golf. Between 2005 -2012 the number of golfers in the US dropped by 15.7% while golfing rounds dropped by 10.2% from 2000 -2013.
What this shows is a gradual shift from what was the aspirational sport to a grittier alternative. As gold figures continue to dwindle the numbers show that mountain biking has slowly become a mainstream sport. In the US, the number of people taking up cycling licenses has increased by 76% over the 2002-2013 period.
In the UK, things are similar too with a drop-in golf numbers and an increase in those taking up cycling. A 2013 study showed that 20% of golfers who left the sport in search for a new sports activity ended up picking cycling. This is usually a group who could afford more than the basic kit required for golfing.
MTB for entrepreneurs is proving effective because of the benefits it offers to them especially when compared to golf. For a number of golfers who have given their opinion on why they have chosen mountain biking over golf, the reasons provided come down to 7 main benefits mountain biking offers:
1: An engaging and quantifiable form of exercise
Mountain biking for entrepreneurs offers a more demanding and engaging physical option when compared to most other aspirational sports. With the young breed of entrepreneurs around, golf is a slow engagement of walking around and never really pushing one to the limits.
Mountain biking also offers the thrill of being able to quantify one’s progress in terms of fitness and mastering the skill of the sport. It is not just spending an hour in the gym and leaving but learning new skills every time one hits the road.
It is also the best way to measure and track fitness and how well the hours in the gym are building the body’s endurance. Unlike other sports where there is a chance of hitting a plateau, entrepreneurs enjoy the thrill of new tough trails and courses and longer endurance levels they achieve as time progresses.
Mountain biking demands attention and effort from an individual. You cannot coast through the journey and every step demands decision making. Entrepreneurs find this attractive and suitable to their curious and decision- making nature.
2: Social and networking benefits
While sports like golf have traditionally been the outdoor setting where deals can be made and networks built, mountain biking is challenging that. Many MTB groups and events are usually made of people who are strangers and at different levels of expertise in mountain biking.
In these group, new bonds are made as people share tips and ideas. Other local or business groups have a meeting or club at the end of a course and members get to share drinks after completing the trail. Entrepreneurs attest to having made better deals from networks built while mountain biking.
Aside from these, there is the advantage of being able to interact with the family unlike golf and several other sports. Mountain biking events are usually open social events and most offer different courses for children and beginners. Even when driving in the neighborhood one can easily involve family members.
In 2005 Mr. Murray, who is a keen long-distance rider, founded the annual Cycle to Cannes bike ride. Mr. Murray says. “Riders often collaborate and help each other out, taking turns to be at the front so that the riders in their slipstream can save almost a third of the effort needed to travel at the same speed.”
The other social benefit is the unending new areas and trails to discover. Most entrepreneurs are in cycling groups that have monthly events where they venture to new trails in different locations or participate in MTB activities which take them to beautiful sceneries and locations every month.
Golf clubs lack the inclusivity which mountain biking offers especially to ladies and young girls. This adds up to the appeal of mountain biking to entrepreneurs especially in the current demand of balancing work and family.
3: Health Benefits
There are also several health benefits that come with mountain biking. Entrepreneurs can easily end up leading sedentary lives without regular exercises and also find themselves handling stress more often. Mountain biking offers an effective and simple solution to all these.
It improves the health of the heart as it is an effective cardiovascular exercise. A study done by the British Medical Association involving 10,000 people showed that riding a bicycle at least 20 miles a week reduced the risk of coronary diseases by at least 50%.
Mountain biking makes use of the larger body muscles and it is a whole-body workout. It is also a safe exercise option since it is a non-load bearing exercise while also being easy on the joints unlike running and other cardio exercises which have a greater risk of injury.
Further, mountain biking also helps in improving your endurance by strengthening the core. It also gives better hand and eye coordination as well as improving the body’s balance and gait. Even during holidays or overseas trips, a bike offers an exciting way to stay in shape.
4: Mental benefits
Mountain biking also provides several mental benefits to an individual. One reason entrepreneurs are enjoying their mountain biking is the effect it has on brain power. A research done by Illinois University showed that a 5% increase in heart fitness from cycling led to a 15% improvement on mental tests.
Simon Mottram, chief executive of Rapha, a premium cycling-clothes brand says, “Getting out on the bike is what we’re all dreaming of doing whilst we’re sitting at our computers, and a shared passion is a fantastic way to start any relationship”.
This has been explained as the resulting improved blood flow which leads to more blood in the concerned brain cells nourishing and regenerating them. There is also the benefit of improved mood and reduced stress that comes from the released endorphins which improve the body’s mood to one of joy.
The accomplishment of finishing a trail and making progress each day is useful in fighting depression and improving one’s self-confidence. Unlike golf which is competitive in nature against someone else and which can be detrimental to social relations, mountain biking is more about overall self-development.
5. Similarity to running a business
To entrepreneurs, mountain biking bears a close similarity to running a business in the manner in which one progresses and deals with problems. The whole exercise from identifying the right gear to picking the right course and preserving your energy is akin to running a business as one entrepreneur notes.
There are also lesson to be gained from the whole experience including the lessons learned from falling and dusting up. Other lessons and similarities include the importance of finding the right company, the importance of taking risks and maintaining momentum among other things.
The right company is one in which members look out for each other and all stay committed to the objective regardless of circumstances. There will be decisions to be made along the trails and even when shopping and it calls for sharp decisiveness given the limited time frame available.
Entrepreneurship shares a culture and even terms and slogans with mountain biking. This makes many entrepreneurs feel at home while undertaking the activity. It also adds a sense of achievement and fun while building up the passion every day just like in real life business.
6. Less expensive and takes fewer hours
Compared to golf and even several other hobbies, MTB for entrepreneurs is much more affordable and takes a shorter time. A round of golf will take up to five hours or even more. On the other hand, one decides how long and how often you can undertake cycling.
Whether it is a morning ride an afternoon or an evening ride, mountain biking can be done at any time. It could take 30 minutes or an hour while group trips can get up to two hours. Since one can always tag the family along for weekend rides, there is no fear of being away from them for long periods.
“When I stopped playing cricket, I toyed with the idea of getting really into golf,” says Sean Balmford, a 50-year-old derivatives broker from Essex. “But golf takes too long. It’s a five or six-hour thing and I’ve got three kids, so it’s not fair to be disappearing for that amount of time on a weekend.
Adrian Markham, a 39-year-old project manager from Lincolnshire, has thrown himself into sportive, mass-participation cycling events. Crucially, cycling makes Markham happier than golf ever did.
One does not have to worry about expensive membership fees for the golf clubs some which are never fully utilized. All payments and costs incurred are personal for the gear and any utilities used along the way. In any case of membership fees, they go to help the groups’ activities which all members take part.
7. Collectors opportunity
Even with the affordability of mountain biking and its going mainstream, it still offers something those who love collecting exclusive releases and classic pieces or limited editions. The very best gear is often expensive and some manufacturers only produce a set number of bikes or accessories.
Entrepreneurs have the option of getting a fully furnished bike with all the gadgetry or enjoy the labor of setting up their own bikes with just a frame. There are several guides, forums, and communities online which offer support and tips for whichever option one picks.
There is also enough accessories and clothing items to store up and have the pride of owning. All mountain bikers like car enthusiasts admire well-designed pieces. So, there is the pride of ownership and building up a pricey collection for different occasions.
Mountain biking for entrepreneurs is overtaking golf for a number of reasons. As golf loses its popularity, mountain biking is becoming the aspirational sport because of its inclusiveness, increased social and networking opportunities as well as the health and mental benefits it provides.
MTB for entrepreneurs is easily relatable by those in the corporate world because of a number of shared aspects. Its favorable cost and focus on self-development make it a sport many entrepreneurs will be seeking to join in days to come as they forego traditional options.
Aside from mountain biking there are several other outdoor activities that can help entrepreneurs clam their feet and develop their overall personality. You can read about them on savvyexpeditioner and make them a part of your leisure activities.