You want to experience the challenge of tackling rugged terrain, speeding down hills and feeling your stomach drop when you go airborne. It all sounds quite thrilling – but becoming a mountain biker requires practice and experience. No matter how lofty your goals, you must first understand the basics. Read on and discover how to mountain bike by following these tips.
Mountain Biking Tips
1. Choose the Right Bike – Find a bike that works well with the terrain you plan to ride. Consult with a local bike shop as they will know and understand the terrain your locale best. Select a bike that will meet your needs both now and in the future.
2. Slowly Progress – It’s tempting to go ride with gusto your first time out. But that can lead to injuries if you crash. Instead, take your time and progress at a gradual rate. The more you ride, the more confidence and comfort you will build. Then, when you feel secure, move toward more difficult terrain.
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3. Build Up Your Muscles – Mountain biking requires far more strength than road biking. Your core muscles will be tested and your arms and legs need to be ready to handle an increased intensity. Even as you slowly build your comfort on rough terrain, build up your muscles in the gym. Also, don’t forget to take time for a good stretch before you get on your bike.
4. Look Forward – Always look ahead as you ride. It’s important to note potential hazards in the trail before you strike them. Face ahead, both with your eyes and with your body, and try to avoid looking down straight ahead of you.
5. Forget Your Failures and Focus on Your Successes – As any experienced mountain biker can tell you, you’re going to have some fails along the way. No one has become an expert mountain biker without getting some scraped knees and hands. It’s inevitable. But when that occurs, try to brush it off (both physically and emotionally) and hop back on your bike.
6. Shift Your Weight – When you are climbing, try to shift your weight forward. When you descend, shift your weight back to keep balanced and remain on your bike. In tight curves, move your weight towards the outside to counteract the pull.
7. Feather Your Brakes – You may feel the urge to slam on your brakes. Instead, feather them to manage your speed effectively as you maneuver downhill.
8. Grab Some Chamois Butter – Without it, you are in for a world of hurt from chafing. You can buy it online or at a sporting goods shop. It’s worth its weight in gold.
9. Ride Like No One Else is Watching – Sometimes you feel like all eyes are upon you. This can make your body tense and tight. Ride as if no one is looking at you, because chances are, they aren’t!
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10. A Little Momentum Can Work in Your Favor – It’s tempting to slow down and reduce your speed over rough terrain. Although moving at a slower rate generally gives you more control, when you go too slowly you can actually have a more difficult time. Keep a little speed going to push you over to the other side.
11. Don’t forget the mountain bike safety gear. Don’t be a dummy- always wear a helmet when you are mountain biking. Safety gear is critical when mountain biking.
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Mountain biking is a fantastic sport that is becoming more widely embraced. Hop on your bike, hit the trails, and don’t look back! And though you are unlikely to encounter a car on the trails, remember that if you are ever involved in a mountain bike crash, that Kass & Moses is the team to have on your side. Contact Kass & Moses for any bicycle accident advice you may need.