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- Rob Gronkowski, the three-time Super Bowl champion, retired from the Patriots this year and picked up mountain biking.
- Gronk posted pics of a recent ride on Instagram, where he told his 3 million-plus followers about the joys of riding.
- “Nature, plants, veggies 🌶, bike rides till you’re lost 🚵♀️, meditation” he wrote.
One of the best tight ends to ever play in the NFL, a three-time Super Bowl champion with comic-book levels of speed and strength, is spending his recently announced retirement on a mountain bike. This is fantastic news. Anytime someone famous—so famous, in fact, that they need only one name—starts riding, it’s a good thing.
I welcome Rob Gronkowski, a.k.a. Gronk, to our tribe.
It might be a little hopeful to say mountain biking is Gronk’s new favorite sport, but he appears genuinely excited about it. And he’s surprisingly thoughtful for a man better known for crushing defenders (and the occasional can of beer):
The dude only posted four words after he won the Super Bowl this year. Sorry Pats fans, but Gronk now belongs to us.
It’s a wonderful thing, Gronkowski on a bike. He’s exploring nature, experiencing the positive vibes of a hard pedal. It’s why we all ride. Sure, he’s got some things to learn, some style to pick up, but the important thing is that he’s out there riding, right?
Hell no! Super Bowl champions don’t play for participation trophies. They play to win. If Gronk is gonna do this mountain bike thing, we think he’ll want to go all-in.
I say this with the sincerity and well meaning of someone who wants everyone to ride a mountain bike, and to have life-changing experiences while doing so: Gronk, we need to talk. Make these adjustments, and you’ll start to love mountain biking even more.
Let’s start with your helmet. A full-face moto helmet is a decent choice for your first time out. It will be hotter than a regular mountain bike helmet, but regular mountain bikers don’t appear on Cheerios boxes. You gotta protect that smile. Next time, though, I’d consider something lighter, like . It weighs a lot less than the one you’ve got and has MIPS to help protect against concussions.
Get different shoes. I know you’ve got enough money to buy Adidas, but save the white tennies for the next Gronk Party Ship. If you do it right, mountain biking is a dirty, messy sport. You’ll crash. You’ll stop to check out waterfalls. You’ll hike through streams. Those white sneaks will get muddy in the first mile. Get some good mountain bike shoes, of dark color and solid soles. And when you’re ready, to take advantage of your superhero strength. Then you can blow through rock gardens the way you did the Bills defense that one time. Man, that was sweet.
Reflectors. They’re the neck roll of bikes: important, but only useful in the right situation. In cycling, that’s on the road. They’re useless on the trail and will fall off anyway, creating a glittery gold-and-ruby debris field. Definitely not the meditative zen you’re going for.
Better yet, upgrade your ride. Your bike doesn’t really matter—you can have a good time on anything. But check out Reggie Miller’s Santa Cruz. That’s a legit mountain bike, and he didn’t even win a championship.
Those gloves. Nice work here. They look great and match your helmet. And you need something to protect those rings. Some mountain bikers will tell you they’re too enlightened to care about such things, but they’re full of it. Bonus points if you match your shift cables to your new shoe laces.
Eyes up, man. I know—decades of coaching have trained you to look the ball into your hands. You do it at a Hall of Fame level. But that rock-hard dirt, and those roots? They’re not a bouncy football. They’re an unmovable object that will smack you harder than Earl Thomas. The farther you look down the trail to read the terrain, the better you can swerve around obstacles or bounce over them.
Keep riding, Gronk. Pretty sure you’ll get the hang of it.