Mountain biking, unlike regular road biking, requires you to be more fit, have better coordination, and ability to handle the bike efficiently. To be a strong rider, you don’t have to be in the best shape physically, however, you do have to mix endurance with technical skills to get the most out of mountain biking. If you’re just starting out, there are a few things that you should do to ensure you have the smoothest ride possible. Here are several tips to help you out if you’re a beginner.
One of the most important parts of mountain biking before you even go out is making sure you are prepared with all the right clothing and equipment. Choose clothing that you’ll be most comfortable in. Weatherproof, waterproof, and padded garments are recommended. You’ll also need good shoes, cycling gloves, and a helmet to protect your head from any falls you may have. If the weather is chilly where you’ll be riding, you will more than likely need a good lightweight jacket. Other equipment that can really come in handy while riding is a waterproof backpack to store essential items such as a first aid kit, small tire pump, sunscreen, phone charger, etc. Having these items on hand will help you when it comes to safety hazards.
Practice riding uphill
It’s important to practice riding uphill, so that you know what to do during steep climbs. To do this, put your bike in low gear and pedal with all your might to increase frequency. Slide toward the edge of your seat while leaning into the handlebars. By doing this, you’re putting weight on the front wheel causing the same type of traction that can happen on steep slopes.
Practice riding downhill
Many people get nervous when it comes to biking downhill. It is important to practice riding downhill so that you can learn how to stabilize your bike. To practice, put your bike into high gear and slow down pedaling. Stand over your seat and be sure not to buckle your knees while keeping a steady grip on the handlebars. By looking ahead and leading with your eyes, your bike will respond accordingly.
Know the course
It is important to know the course or trail that you’re going to be riding on before you even head out. By going to a local bike shop, you may be able to pick up a map and also get some trail advice. Trails are usually categorized as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Pick a trail that coincides with your skill level.
Take frequent breaks
When mountain biking, it is important to take frequent breaks so that you won’t overextend yourself, get tired, and have an accident. It is also important to keep a water bottle with you and some type of healthy snack to keep hunger pains away. A protein bar, some nuts, or crackers is a good snack when out on the trails. Also, be sure to take rest days as you want to have some recovery time.