The subtitle of Paul Molenberg’s Let’s Mountain Bike! (Gatekeeper Press) is “The Complete Guide to Mountain Biking.” Unless you already are a fanatical mountain biking enthusiast, you may ask yourself why you would be interested in a “complete guide.”

You’ll find the answer before you finish the introduction.

Whether Molenberg is trying to do a sell job on the sport or not, anyone with a pulse can feel his passion and understand the thrill and the beauty of this wonderful experience.

For me, I was hooked by his first paragraph: “Imagine flying through the forest with the wind whistling in your ears…Your senses are fully engaged, and you’re feeling a connection with the terrain as it dictates every move…Your heart is pounding…This is when you grin broadly, knowing that there’s nothing you would rather be doing.”

Try relating it more to your current life:  “Mountain biking provides a sense of well-being that can positively affect other aspects of your life. It’s a great outlet for the everyday grind and high-pressure expectations….Biking brings fresh perspective and meaning to life: it’s the perfect antidepressant and mood elevator.”

Molenberg notes that while most people are familiar with bike riding, often learned at an early age, mountain biking is another animal entirely, perhaps more popular than you might expect. According to The Outdoor Foundation, about 8.6 million people in the U.S. alone participated in the sport in 2016. Also, the National Bicycle Dealers Association tells us 4.3 million new mountain bikes were sold, representing about a quarter of all bicycle sales.

Let’s Mountain Bike!, like its subtitle implies, is a comprehensive guide to everything you ever needed to know to participate in the sport and gain maximum enjoyment. Interested parties might think there’s a necessary level of athletic competence needed. Not so, as long as one is capable of learning basic technique, positioning and balance. While speed and action are two achievable pleasures, Molenberg says the vast  majority of participants are not racers.

Dispelling a common belief, the author points out that you don’t have to live in the mountains to find access to wonderful trails – which will be one of your first considerations. “They can be found in most areas, including major metropolises.”

Molenberg hits on a variety of important topics, basically everything you need to know and consider: choosing the right bike (ranging from a few hundred dollars to about $11,000), the right frame, the right tires, finding the right equipment and accessories, learning riding skills, optimizing fitness, safety — even trail etiquette.

The book describes the Zen of mountain biking. “In applying Zen to mountain biking, a total mind and body togetherness will allow you to flow with your bike and your surroundings without the distraction of thinking everything through.”

If you are in need a leisure activity full of excitement, challenge, surprise, discovery, endurance, beauty and tranquility, Molenberg delivers the perfect antidote on a platter. If you’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid, this book is certain to keep you hooked.

“The mood will begin to take hold as soon as you leave the motorized clamor of the asphalt jungle and enter the serenity of the natural world.”

Let’s Mountain Bike! is available for purchase. Learn more about Molenberg on his BookTrib author page.

Paul Molenberg lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has had a lifelong commitment to fitness and sport activities, including almost two decades of mountain biking a diverse range of trails throughout the United States and some of Canada. The coastal redwood trails of Northern California, Lake Tahoe’s epic rim trail, the slopes of Maui’s Mt. Haleakala, the downhill and cross-country trails in Park City, Utah, and the black diamond trails of North Carolina’s Pisgah Forest are just a few of the challenges Paul has taken on and conquered. He has now leveraged his experience to create a comprehensive book on the sport of mountain biking.