Most people would give anything to enjoy the magnificent mountain biking trails we take for granted in Western Colorado. Some of the best trails anyone could hope for are right here in our backyard. If you're not hitting these trails, you're missing out.

Imagine, if you will, a miserable workday has come to an end and you have exactly an hour and a half before you have to be to your next commitment. You throw the bike and helmet in the back of the car and set a course for one of the many trail heads located within minutes of Grand Junction.

Moments later, all your worries melt away, and for a little while at least, it's just you, your bike, and Mother Nature.

Have you avoided mountain biking for fear it was too dangerous? It doesn't have to be, not at all. There are several novice level trails all over the valley. There's no need to perform acrobatics and death-defying stunts like you see on the extreme biking events on TV.

Are you concerned it will be too expensive? It's not. I began my voyage into cycling with an entry level Trek from a local bike shop. I couldn't have been happier. Add to that a $5 t-shirt, a pair of bike shorts and a good helmet, and you're set.

Have you avoided riding trails for fear it would be too physically demanding? Again, it doesn't have to be. There are always simple, flat trails which require very little technical skill. Personally, at 46 years old and 232 pounds, I'm a terrible climber. As a result, I prefer simpler, easier trails. I've biked for years, and have rarely ridden the same trail twice.

Still not convinced? Here are the top five reasons why you should take up Mountain Biking immediately.

  • You can enjoy an activity most people don't have the luxury of having access to.
  • It's a fun way to get in shape.
  • Insofar as "activities" go, it is relatively inexpensive.
  • The people you meet are all extremely nice and very supportive.
  • Rides come in at the low, low price of FREE! When was the last time you were able to do something fun for free?

A $5,000 bike is not necessary. Mountain biking is not a fashion show; this is not a glam sport. All you need is an adequate bike, the necessary protective gear, and the desire to get out and enjoy.

In the event you don't want to dive in head first, there are several mountain biking groups or clubs throughout the state. Participating in a group is a great way to pick up skills, learn a few secrets, and make new friends.

Some of the best trails you could ever wish for are right here in your backyard. If you're not using them, then you're missing out. Explore the idea of taking up mountain biking today.