Bike Riding for All | Exploring Different Types of Cycling as a Hobby

Cycling is a fantastic hobby for physical fitness, transportation & seeing the world. There are tons of different types of cycling styles to enjoy!

As diverse as the people who enjoy it, cycling offers a myriad of styles that cater to various tastes, fitness levels, and adventurous spirits.

Let’s take a closer look at some popular forms of cycling including mountain biking, road biking, hand cycling, eBikes, BMX, tandem, unicycle biking, and bike touring.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking offers a hearty mix of adventure, adrenaline, and physical exertion. Designed for off-road cycling, this type typically takes place on rough terrains like mountain trails, rugged tracks, or country back roads.

Mountain biking is further divided into several sub-disciplines, each with its own unique features. They include:

  • Cross-country (XC): The most common type, involving riders traversing hilly routes of varying distances.
  • Downhill (DH): This involves high-speed descents on steep, often rocky paths – certainly not for the faint-hearted!
  • Enduro/All Mountain: A blend of cross-country and downhill, riders ascend and descend long mountain trails.
  • Freeride: This type is all about tricks, jumps, and negotiating natural and man-made obstacles.

If you’re someone who enjoys physically challenging pursuits and isn’t afraid of a little dirt, mountain biking could be the perfect fit for you.

Check out the huge selection of mountain bikes available at to get started…

Road Biking

Road biking is perhaps what most people think of when they hear “cycling.” This type takes place on paved surfaces and is typically focused on speed, endurance, and efficiency over long distances.

Whether you’re cruising down a city street or participating in a competitive race, road biking can offer an exhilarating sense of speed and freedom.

There are various forms of road biking too, such as:

  • Recreational: Casual cycling for enjoyment, fitness, or commuting.
  • Sportives: Non-competitive, long-distance events often in scenic routes.
  • Time Trials: Competitive cycling where riders race against the clock.
  • Criteriums: Races based on laps around a short circuit.
  • Stage Races: Multi-day events with different types of races in each stage (e.g., Tour de France).

If you love the thrill of speed, the discipline of endurance, or the buzz of urban cycling, road biking might be your calling.

Bike Touring

Bike touring, also known as cycle touring, is a fantastic blend of cycling and travel. It’s a form of self-contained cycling trips for pleasure, adventure, and autonomy, rather than sport, commuting, or exercise.

Whether you’re exploring the countryside, traversing cities, or journeying cross-country, bike touring allows you to experience the world at a slower, more intimate pace.

Bike tours can vary greatly in terms of length, from short one-day or weekend trips to weeks or even months-long journeys. They generally involve longer distances than most types of cycling and require planning for factors like accommodation, meals, and route selection.

There are several types of bike touring, including:

  • Supported or Guided Tours: These tours often include a support vehicle and guide, with arrangements made for accommodation, meals, and baggage transport.
  • Self-Supported or Self-Guided Tours: These tours involve carrying all of your own gear on your bicycle. It’s a fully self-sufficient type of touring, offering the most flexibility and adventure.
  • Credit Card Touring: This is a type of self-guided tour where cyclists carry minimal gear and use credit cards and cash to pay for all of their needs along the way, including food and lodging.
  • Bikepacking: A form of self-supported bike touring that’s more off-road oriented. Cyclists pack light and travel on gravel and dirt roads, single tracks, and less trodden paths.

Whether it’s a week along the coast, a weekend in the woods, or a year around the world, bike touring offers you the chance to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings.

This form of cycling is ideal for those who love to travel, explore new environments, and embrace the open road. Bike touring invites you to make the world your playground, one pedal stroke at a time.

Unicycle Biking

Unicycle biking is a unique and challenging form of cycling that, as the name suggests, involves riding a unicycle. It’s an excellent hobby for those seeking a fun, unusual, and incredibly rewarding physical activity.

Unicycling requires balance, strength, and concentration, and it’s a fantastic way to improve your core fitness. Various forms of unicycle biking exist, from casual street unicycling to unicycle hockey and even mountain unicycling (Muni), where riders tackle off-road trails.

Electric Bikes

The advent of electric bicycles, or eBikes, has revolutionized the cycling world, making the sport more accessible and enjoyable for riders of all fitness levels and ages. An eBike, essentially, is a standard bicycle equipped with an electric motor that provides a boost to the rider’s pedaling efforts.

The assistance from the electric motor, which typically kicks in when the rider begins to pedal, makes it easier to climb hills, combat headwinds, or ride for longer distances. This feature makes eBikes an excellent choice for commuting, touring, or simply recreational rides when you’d like to cover more ground with less effort.

There are three main types of eBikes:

  • Pedal Assist/S-Pedelecs: These eBikes provide power only when you’re pedaling, offering a more natural cycling experience. Some advanced models can adapt the level of assistance based on the terrain.
  • Power On Demand: These eBikes have a throttle that allows you to engage the motor without needing to pedal. It’s similar to how a motorcycle or scooter operates.
  • Hybrid: As the name suggests, hybrid eBikes offer both pedal-assist and power on demand.

It’s important to note that the degree of motor assistance on eBikes can usually be adjusted, providing flexibility based on the rider’s needs and preferences. Some eBikes also come equipped with advanced features such as integrated lights, GPS, and advanced trip computers.

eBikes have opened up the world of cycling to a whole new audience, breaking down barriers like fitness level, age, or commute distance.

Whether you’re looking to make your ride to work less sweaty, make your weekend ride more relaxing, or simply keep up with your kids or grandkids, an eBike could be the perfect choice for you. They represent a sustainable, healthy, and incredibly fun way of transportation, ensuring the cycling boom will continue long into the future.

Check out our full article on Ebikes here to learn more and get started with your new biking hobby.

Hand Cycling

Hand cycling is a fantastic, adaptive way for people with limited use of their legs to participate in cycling. As the name suggests, it involves using your hands to pedal instead of your feet. Handcycles are typically either recumbent (lying down) or semi-recumbent, with the cyclist pushing or pulling levers to power the chain.

While hand cycling can be a leisurely activity, there’s also competitive hand cycling for those looking for more intensity. This type of cycling is included in the Paralympic Games, with various racing events ranging from time trials to road races.

Whether for leisure, fitness, or competition, hand cycling provides an excellent opportunity to engage in an enriching cycling experience while getting a great upper-body workout.

Looking for more great adaptive sports? Check out our full article here to get involved!

Tandem Cycling

Tandem cycling is a unique form of cycling that involves two riders on the same bicycle. The bicycle is designed in such a way that one person (the pilot) sits in the front and controls the steering, while the other (the stoker) sits behind and helps with pedaling. This form of cycling is fantastic for couples, friends, or family members to ride together and share the experience.

Moreover, tandem cycling has proven invaluable for visually impaired cyclists, who can pair with sighted cyclists to enjoy the thrill and freedom of cycling. Whether for recreational rides or competitive racing, tandem cycling offers a wonderful way of promoting teamwork, trust, and companionship.

Check out the collection of Tandem Bikes available from Amazon Prime here to get started…

BMX (Bicycle Motocross)

BMX biking hobby

BMX is a high-adrenaline form of cycling that originated in the 1970s. It involves riders using specially designed bikes to perform tricks, stunts, and races on various types of courses. There are several different forms of BMX, including:

  • BMX Racing: Involves racing on dirt tracks with jumps and tight turns. It’s a high-speed, competitive type of BMX, even featured in the Olympic Games.
  • Freestyle BMX: This is all about stunts and style. Riders use skatepark-like environments, including ramps and rails, to perform tricks.
  • Street BMX: This style involves using urban and public spaces as a playground for tricks.
  • Flatland BMX: Considered the ballet of BMX, it’s performed on a flat surface without ramps or jumps, focusing on balance and creativity.

BMX cycling is a young, vibrant, and dynamic form of cycling that requires agility, courage, and creativity. It’s ideal for those who love to express their individuality, crave the adrenaline rush, and don’t mind the occasional bump or scrape.


Whether you’re after the adrenaline rush of BMX, the companionship of tandem cycling, the competitive spirit in hand cycling, or the tranquility of a solitary ride, the world of cycling is yours to explore.

Don your helmet, jump on the saddle, and let the adventure begin!

Looking for more great hobby ideas? Check out our Huge List of Hobbies Ideas from A to Z and start something new…