In this podcast I answer a rider question about e-bikes and another question on how to maintain muscle mass and strength while riding. You can stream or download it from the link below or you can find it on Itunes, Podbean, Spotify and all other major podcasting platforms.

Click Here to Download the MP3 File

Here are the notes from the podcast…

Q: “Are e-bikes good or bad for mountain biking?”

This isn’t about whether you should get an ebike or not, simply what my opinion of them is. I get a lot of riders who assume I must dislike them since they make things “easier” but that isn’t the case.

Like almost everything else in life, when you start talking about ebikes you need to first give your opinion some context.

While some people see ebikes as the next best thing to the invention of the “safety cycle” itself, others see it as a sign of the coming apocalypse. It seems to me that the problem is that two people can be talking about the same word and yet be talking about two totally different contexts.

On one hand you have the people who see the ebike as a great way for riders to ride further and longer than they would have, either due to age, injury or just their own preferences.

On the other hand you have the people who are talking about the weekend warrior type who are using an ebike because they are “easier” and seem like they want to be able to ruin as many people’s experience on the trail as possible with their ignorance of trail rules and etiquette.

Both of these types of riders exist and they both use ebikes. I completely support the first group but not the second.

Call me an elitist but I think that there is more to being a mountain biker than owning a mountain bike. The industry wants to “grow” the sport simply to sell more bikes and equipment, not because it is what is best for the sport.

I think that the weekend warriors who bounce from one outdoorsy sport to another and never take the time to learn how to help preserve the things they are doing are bad for our sport and will eventually lead to negative consequences for everyone else.

But that is an industry focus problem, not an ebike problem. Ebikes are simply tools and how you use them will ultimately determine if they are “good” or “bad”.

Q: I’m a 40 yo male who does a full body style workout 4 days a week doing all the big compounds and have made some great gains. My question is I want to be more proficient on my rides but do not want to lose the muscle that I’ve achieved. Is this possible? Thanks!

The ultimate question – how do I be good at riding without looking like a cyclist.

This is a great goal, especially as you get older. At a certain point your body starts to lose muscle mass and working on having and maintaining a healthy level of muscle mass is an important part of Riding For A Lifetime.

Another reason to want to maintain your muscle mass is that it is the best armor you can put on your body. The more muscle mass you have the more stress your body can take before something goes snap.

But to get better at riding your bike you need to ride your bike…a lot.

So how do you balance the two? Here are some ideas…

  • You may have trouble lifting 4 days a week while also focusing on riding 3+ days a week (which is what I would recommend you do to get better at riding). I’d recommend cutting back to 2 days in the gym and doing 2 days of Isometrics (Atomic Strength Training Program).
  • When you ride, focus most rides on shorter rides of 45-90 minutes. On these rides focus on your skills and efficiency instead of trying to “go fast” or “work hard”.
  • Once every 5th ride or so you can go fast/ hard or go for a really long ride.

If you have any questions you’d like to send my way I’m always happy to help, just send an email to Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

“It is essential for a student on the path of the warrior never to close their mind to the possibility of other possibilities.” Miyamoto Musashi

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