Life Life

01/04/2021 - 08:55

Crossing mountains by mountain bike

With wisdom, health, effort and even hazard, mountain biking which is Vietnamized with the name of xe đạp địa hình (mountain bike) holds an irresistible attraction in Hue.

Crossing rivers


Coming into sight from the late 19th century, mountain biking took place on the rugged terrain such as hills, mountains and deserts. In recent years, the activity of experiencing this sport has developed by leaps and bounds in Hue.

Mr. Nguyen Quang Loc, a member of the mountain bike group, said, “This sport is a “harmony song” of muscle, effort and intellect when harmoniously combined with specialized bicycles. In the world, obstacles, steep hills, or trails in primitive forests are the places chosen by many bikers.”

Mountain bikers are often divided into three levels: professional, semi-professional and amateur levels. With natural conditions in Hue, many bikers take a semi-professional direction. The destinations are the rugged hills, system of trails through mountains and forests.

For this sport, the downhill times are the "soul", where talent and stature are displayed. The racers plunge down the sloping path at a breakneck speed. Their head makes lightning decisions. Their hands flexibly control the bikes, accurately estimate the falling point. At that very moment, they and their bikes seem to blend together, create friction with the path surface, feeling each friction, each swishing sound upon the wheel spikes crushing the gravel.

Intermingling under the forest canopy

On account of riskiness, the determination and willpower are always the luggage of each racer. In addition to the uphill and downhill times, Tuan, a member of the group, shared his memorable incident of getting lost. “As agreed, the destination would be reached at 15.00 o'clock, but because of disorientation, we groped in the woods until dark. It was difficult to know in advance what was awaiting us. Those could be the scratches, breakdown, even exhaustion that needed the support from teammates...” Countless difficulties can crop up, but those are also the attraction. Therefore, many Hue people are willing to take risks to try this sport.

Thrilled with experiences

Riding a mountain bike to conquer the rugged and perilous mountains is a brave choice because the considerable experience, good health, and tough legs are not enough for bikers to overcome challenges.

Thoughtful and careful, the avid mountain bikers often "ask" the pilot to guide, scout beforehand the old tracks or discover new ones. The pilot will estimate the degree of difficulty and design the group’s schedule of biking and resting.

Mr. Ho Truong, a pilot, shared, “Therefore, on weekends, the group of mountain bikers often choose mountain trails in Phu Son, Duong Hoa (Huong Thuy Town). On long holiday, we explore new routes in Nam Dong, A Luoi ..., or expand our experience trip to other provinces.”

To get the perfect trip, the bikers carefully maintain bikes and exercise. A good bike has to have a sturdy lightweight frame, big tires with many spikes and good friction, and quality system of brake, suspension...

In addition, the auxiliary equipment such as gloves, specialized cycling garments, helmets, bike repair kit, goggles is indispensable (to help bikers limit accident injuries) According to that standard, the price of a mountain bike usually ranges from ten to over one hundred million dong each, depending on the avid biker’s financial capacity.

Greater love for Hue

Mountain bike lovers in Hue have a wide choice of mountains and hills. It can be an amazing cloud-hunting trip in A Luoi mountain and forest or a hard but exciting journey at the top of Hai Van Pass.

The first trip may fail; they accept stopping at the foot of the pass. The second trip is better, and they move halfway up the mountain. On the third trip, mobilizing all their strength, faith and strong will, they conquer the highest peak, proudly contemplating the sea, mountains, clouds and sky.

Those little legs are thought to merely cross specific mountains. But no, for us, they have crossed their own Mount Everest.

Aside from being thrilled with the experiences of this sport, visiting Hue mountainous area, the group of mountain bikers also regularly collects the plastic packaging out of the forest. On long trips, the bikers are always conscious of preserving the environment and landscape.

In Hue, the group of mountain bikers developed quite late but was inspired by its formation in 2018 with only 10 people; so far, the group has had nearly 500 members, many of whom are amateur and semi-professional bikers

To satisfy their passion, the lovers of this sport in Hue also made the long, fulfilling trips on the mountain routes of Quang Tri, Quang Binh. "In the near future, the group will design a journey to explore the northern mountainous provinces,requiring the huge efforts on account of difficulty and peril," Mr. Truong revealed

Besides forging stamina, ingenuity, and endurance, mountain biking is also a journey for every biker to discover the strength of will and energy. Infusing a new spirit into the sports life in Hue, mountain bike is a new option worth experiencing.

Story: MAI HUE, photos provided by the character in the story