16 Reasons a Bike is Better than a Horse.

Posted by on Apr 8, 2009 in Bike, Outdoor | 6 Comments

Uinta mountains, circa 1988 (ish).

I grew up with horses. I can remember getting up early on winter mornings and running across the street to the pasture we kept our horses at to break the ice on the water trough. I remember when one of our horses, one we had named ‘Arthur’ ate so many apples that he got sick. He was old when he did that and we all expected he was going to die. But he did not die. He lived for many more years.

We used our horses on deer and elk hunts. One night my dad and I got caught in the dark up on a high ridge. We were lost. We knew the way to the car was down, but had no idea how to safely navigate the steep hill. At one point my dad’s horse stopped dead in his tracks and refused to take another step forward. My dad kicked him repeatedly, but to no avail. Finally he took out a small flashlight and realized he was standing on the edge of a large cliff.

At that point we gave the horses the reins and let them lead us home.

I have a lot of great memories of our horses. However, they might just be some of the most high maintenance animals on the planet. And they come with attitudes. That same horse that refused to walk over a cliff, randomly threw my dad off his back at least 20 times. One evening we were riding along a smooth dirt road back to camp after a day of hunting. Without warning or reason that horse tossed my dad into the bushes and galloped off up the road.

We don’t own horses anymore.

In fact, these days I cringe every time I come across a horseback rider while I am out on the trail. And it got me thinking about ways that my mountain bike is better than a horse. And so, I decided to quantify and list those reasons.

16 reasons why a bike is better than a horse:

  1. A bike does not leave melon sized steamers on the trail.
  2. I don’t have to feed or shoe my bike.
  3. Bikes don’t have attitudes.
  4. If I get thrown off my bike, its usually my own fault.
  5. A bike does not stink.
  6. It is easier to adjust a saddle on a bike.
  7. When I get off and walk my bike, it wont trample me, refuse to follow me, or bite me.
  8. When I come across another bike on the trail there is no fear of it freaking out and sending its rider flying into the trees.
  9. A bike is cheaper to own.
  10. I don’t need livestock rights to keep a bike in my yard.
  11. A bike won’t get worms.
  12. A bike won’t find a hole in the fence and run amok all over the neighborhood.
  13. A bike is never in heat.
  14. Unlike a horse, a bike will not go berserk when you come across a wild animal.
  15. A bike does not leave post-holes in muddy trails.
  16. And lastly, a bike does not leave melon sized steamers on the trail.

Did I mention the steamers twice? I think I did. But really, that might be the best reason a bike is better than a horse. Riding through a scattering of fresh horse manure is an immediate buzz kill. And then there is always that chance of getting an unpleasant surprise the next time you reach for your water bottle.

Exit Question: Any Other Reasons?


  1. Ski Bike Junkie
    April 8, 2009

    I too am a bike guy. But as beasts of burden go, I’d take a mule any day.

  2. Keith
    April 8, 2009

    While I agree with your assessment, you’ve neglected a bit of detail. Let’s review those.
    1. They may not, but perhaps to be fair we should encourage cyclist to start doing so.
    2. Your bike changes it’s own tires?
    3. Whooa, are you sure about this. What about those bikes with all those ‘tat’ aka stickers on them? They scream attitude.
    4. Or the fault of a horseback rider sitting in the middle of a sweet downhill and you lock up your breaks to avoid eating horse @$$.
    5. True, but your jersey sure does.
    6. Until you break it.
    7. I find that all depends on how tired I am. Sometimes it seems very uncooperative.
    8. Ahh, but there is this tendency for my bike to want to go faster and that makes me hurt.
    9. Unless you own a half dozen.
    10. No but a wife’s permission takes about the same amount of lobbying.
    11. True, but they don’t heal on their own either.
    12. Amok. Amok. Amok.
    13. Try riding St. George in the Summer. Nothing but heat buddy!
    14. Correct, nor will it’s rider draw a bead on it and kill that wild animal. (bonus point)
    15. Amen.
    16. Why are they exempt from packing out their own #*@_*? I don’t get it either. Get down off your high-horse, put it in a baggy and haul it home to your own backyard. Everyone else is expected to.

  3. Dave
    April 8, 2009

    Hehehe. I detest horses.

    -Bikes don’t get collic for no good reason and have to be buried with a backhoe.

    -Instant rednecks rarely move to Arizona to buy a “bike property” and ride their bike around the woods whole carrying a .357 for “protection” from the vicious beasts.

    -Bikes don’t weigh 1000+ lbs and contribute to erosion accordingly.

    -Bikes don’t allow lazy bastards to get into remote places they wouldn’t otherwise be able/determined enough to access.

    -It’s much harder to carry canned food in on a bike, and then leave it half burnt in the fire ring.

    -Bikes don’t contribute to the cowboy culture mythology and all the associated misogyny, imperialism, anthropomorphism, and asshattery.

  4. Grizzly Adam
    April 8, 2009

    Is that you Dave? For a minute I thought Cactus Ed himself was commenting from the grave!

  5. Bitner
    April 11, 2009

    Nothing about a fire-hose flow of pee that mucks up the trail? You may think it’s standard mud…guess again.

  6. mishelel
    May 17, 2009

    If you truly are trying to compare a mechanical object and an animal, you’re so far from the point you’re wandering off the planet. If you’re thinking of convenience and other advantages of mechanical toys, the bike will always win, of course. If you’re thinking of the joy of communicating with another living being (who smells wonderful and lets us humans pretend we’re so smart to boss it around, the horse will win. Like apples and oranges, people.

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