As the weather warms up people are drawn to cleaning, but not like how you would normally think. “Cleaning” is a term used in mountain biking that means a rider was able to clear an obstacle, or tough trail spot, without having to stop, use their foot for support or get off and walk the bike through. When a biker uses their foot to touch down for support this is called a “dab”. These terms first originated with the sport of motorcycle trail racing. The goal was not to put your foot down throughout the trail. If you did, you had a point against you. The person with the least number of points was announced the winner. If you were able to ride through the entire trail without dabbing once, this was considered a “clean” run, hence the term cleaning.
During a mountain biking trail, there can be many different terrains and obstacles you may encounter. It can actually be quite difficult to have a clean ride and takes practice. Cleaning a section will save you time and energy by being able to blast through as opposed to having to get off, walk through the section and then remount your bicycle. There is no shame in having to dab or having to get off and walk your bicycle through. However, if you are able to ride a clean run it can give you a great sense of accomplishment and euphoria. Cedar City News has provided a great metaphor for how mountain biking can be compared to life. “Problems are unpredictable, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get up, over down or around them. Life is a technique that takes time to build. Even when you have to get off and walk, you get back on and try it again.”