As part of their SuperStudy of Sports Participation, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) has ranked the most popular extreme sports in the USA. Mountain biking ended up in 6th place (nearly missing the top 5 and losing out to "Artificial Wall Climbing").
Why does the SGMA call mountain biking an extreme sport? I really wish they'd consider changing it to "Freeriding" or better yet "Downhill Mountain Biking" next time. As you may remember from a previous post, I am very sensitive to mountain bikers being portrayed as "extreme" in any way. Why? Because I know this "extreme" label is what the hiking and equestrian groups try to use in order to get our trails shut down. By including mountain biking in this list, the SGMA is perpetuating a negative stereotype.
But perhaps I shouldn't worry about this. After all, any study that shows more people climbing "artificial walls" than mountain biking should not be taken too seriously.