Mountain biking is an excellent sport. We could end the article here because this is really our main point but instead we will give some important tips that will help more people discover the many advantages of mountain biking. A common reason why people hesitate to try this sport is because of an unnecessary fear of not having control over their bike but the goal isn’t to participate in extreme mountain terrain races. Mountain biking is for everyone. There are stable bikes for beginners and just like hiking, tracks are based on difficulty.
Riding off-track is however different from the normal plain and less undulating levels that regular cycling wheels navigate on. To feel in control of our bike you need to start slowly to get used to the rough terrain and there are of course some high safety precautions to keep in mind. With a few simple tips and techniques, mountain biking is a fun outdoor activity suitable for almost all ages. Mountain biking combines adventure (traveling) and cycling (sport) all on the same path and by the way, this is why “mountain bike tourism” is so popular but let’s start with our top tips to mountain biking without fear;
1. Transport yes – but it’s not a motorcycle
Whether you are a pro or a beginner, don’t make the mistake to believe you are sitting on a motorcycle. This may sound strange to some but many people associate mountain biking with the feeling of power you get when you hear the engine of a motorcycle. This is not what you are looking for as a beginner. With a mountain bike you don’t need to worry about running out of gas but you do need to worry about your own shape. You are dealing with a lighter weight bike and need to keep your physical shape in mind both when choosing the type of mountain bike and what terrain to drive on. Start easy and slow to make sure you can handle the physical challenges demanded by the specific terrain in order to ride your mountain bike with confidence and safety.
2. Get familiar with the mountains and know the tracks
It is advisable that you go with a guide or more experienced friend, on your first cycling experience or if you are just touring those terrains for the first time. You need to know what tracks you are on and how to get to your final destination. While riding, it is also important that you keep your eyes where you are headed and not on the wheels. The wheels are directed by what the eyes are set on. Once you get familiar with the track, this will be easy to achieve.
As mentioned in the introduction, mountain bike traveling has been growing in popularity during the last few years and is now a world wide phenomena. There are many travel agencies and tour organisers specializing in mountain biking packages to the most popular destinations around the world. With the great information available on the internet today it’s also easy to plan your own trip to some more unique places like mountain biking in the desert of Dubai by using local travel websites such as www.arabic-traveler.com to get the most local and authentic experience.
3. Safety first – keep your full gear on
Bikers have to be fully kitted for their rides in the recommended gears fit for the sport. You will need sunglasses, a good quality helmet, bike gloves, a pair of biker shorts, sneakers, a water bottle and any other handy thing you would need on the ride. You should get knee guards and protective gears for your ride.
4. Choose the right bike model
Mountain bikes are expensive. You want to ensure that you are using a bike that best suits you or your preference but the decision-making can be overwhelming. There are so many different models and so many different things to look out for when picking a bike. There really is a big difference when it comes to comfort, prices and maintenance so you should check out these mountain bike reviews to learn more before you make a decision on what to buy. You can choose the kind of suspension you want for your bikes like the full suspension or the hardtails.
All-mountain bikes have a built-in suspension but some might want extra security. You can choose your wheel and tire size and you can also pick bikes based on your budget. Try to gather information from many as many different directions as possible. Talk to both experienced and new bikers and of course shop owners specializing in mountain bikes. Lots of valuable information can be found online, especially related to specific models.
5. Practice on your techniques and use the gears
The bike has its role to play when on the ride so you just have to control where the bike tilts towards and keep your body relaxed on it. The bike needs more room to be able to move on the terrain especially on difficult terrains. Keep a balanced grip on the bike. You should also go easy on the breaks. You will be tempted to grab and pull the brakes when you are going down on the terrain. The brakes are powerful and you just need a little push to get them activated. Putting too much pressure on the brakes can cause injuries. Ensure you stop the rear tire before the front tire as otherwise might lead to the bike going into a slide.
While you are trying to not put so much pressure on the gears, it is important to put all the gears to use. Still ensuring that you are not pressing too much, you still need to use all the gears as they help you keep your momentum while riding. This takes some practice but is worth the investment.
6. Keep your bike in good shape
Bikes require a lot of maintenance and this is not cheap at all. Depending on how much you ride the bike, it is always necessary to regularly maintain your bike and service it but some bikes need a bit more maintenance than others. Lube the chains frequently. Before your ride, take good care of the bike and check if it is fit to be on the road. You can learn to carry out the maintenance of your bike to cut costs.
There is a lot of fun that comes with mountain biking and the more experiences you get, more advanced and challenging tracks are available. These basic tips are always valid but as you increase the terrain difficulty, it becomes even more important to know what to pay attention to as the risks of injuries become higher. Planning is everything when it comes to most activities and mountain biking is no exception but it shouldn’t prevent more people from trying out this fantastic sport. Experienced bikers know what things to consider before going on the thrilling exercise and love to share their experiences so don’t be afraid to ask!