Rough Riding or mixed terrain touring is not mountain
biking or road biking - it's both. Like other forms of bicycle travel,
the destination isn't the real goal. It's the journey itself that matters.
However, with mixed terrain touring, freedom of travel and maximizing
adventure are paramount. So is overall efficiency and self reliance.
Balancing the competing demands of movement over various surfaces and
topography is paramount.
Rough Riding is not defined by the type of bicycle or type of riding
surface. Rough Riding is a state of mind, a riding style with limitless
freedom and an all-pervasive sense of adventure. Chris Kostman,
Rough Rider Guru
Mixed terrain touring in the high mountains is sometimes called Alpine
Touring, and often combines bicycle travel with a mountaineering
flair. Dirt trails, gravel and paved roads are combined as needed for
an efficient route through difficult mountain terrain. Natural alpine
obstacles are often not avoided, instead they are incorporated into
the tour which may require some bike hauling. A
common saying for this type of touring is "take your bike for a
hike". Unlike mountain biking where its considered bad form to
put a foot down, alpine touring integrates hiking with biking.
translates the idea of parkour or l'art du déplacement into bicycle
travel. Parkour is a "physical discipline of French origin in which
participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in
the most efficient way possible". Remember the mesmerizing chase scenes
in Casino Royale? For alpine touring the goal is finding efficient travel
over every surface traveled. Sometimes
this means combining hiking, climbing or even skiing with biking.
touring is best done on an alpine touring bike or all-rounder. These
bikes synthesize road and mountain bike technology. See our all-rounder
bike forum for additional information.
Foreign travel through remote third world countries is called Adventure
Touring or Expedition Touring. Of course this mode of travel
is also well suited to many parts of North America and expecially here
in the Rocky Mountain West. Alpine touring is really adventure touring
in the mountains. World travelers however place greater emphesis on
load hauling, exreme durability and mainenance in remote locals. This
often means sturdy steel frames and heavy duty 26" wheels. American
travelers are more free to experiment with technology which makes the
all-rounder bike a little faster and easier to haul than an expedition
is essentially the racing form of alpine touring. Typical race courses
are mountainous combining pavement and dirt trails. Courses are relatively
long, often featuring natural obstacles requiring hiking/running while
hauling the bike. See our mountain+cross
forum for additional information.
Cyclo-cross is a form of mixed terrain racing but typically not
in the mountains. This flat lander racing style usually employs a race
course with a variety of terrain including grass and dirt with human
made obstacles requiring the rider to dismount and run while hauling