Mountain biking is an extreme sport, where you can face challenges that you wouldn’t have on the regular road. Dangerous terrain is unpredictable, and dynamically changing, so that’s why you need to be careful and cautious all the time. Staying focus is crucial, but what else should you do, to be safe?
Steep descents, loose stones and rocks, narrow paths – they all can be dangerous, and scary, not only for the beginner mountain bikers. You need to drive a lot in hard conditions, to become comfortable with them. Here are a few tips that will show you what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re mountain biking.
Set up your bike correctly
First things first. Remember that bike matters a lot. Make sure that the set up is correct. Saddle height, handlebar height and handlebar reach are essential not only for your comfort but also because of the safety reasons. Also, make sure that you choose the right bike to your measurements. Use the Frame size calculator for mountain bikes if you need help with choosing the perfect mountain bike for you.
Check the line
One of the most common mistakes that people make is that they don’t check the route. You should always do that, no matter how advanced biker you are. So, if it’s possible, find information about the dangers that are waiting for you, and make a plan on how can you avoid them beforehand. Besides, every time you come up to a dangerous section, or a part that you’re not sure about, remember, that it’s much better to get off the bike, and quickly look over the most optimal way.
How can you determine the best driving way? It’s a process that consists of three components. The most important one of them is line safety. The fewer obstacles your line has, the better it is to choose it. Another crucial element is the route directness. Try to establish the most direct path and stick to it — the shorter distance to the exit point, the better. One more factor is line smoothness. You want to keep momentum, that’s why you have to choose a line that has as few obstructions as possible. Keep all of these factors in mind; however, remember that safety always comes first.
Follow an experienced partner
What’s better than mountain biking? Mountain biking with your friend, of course. And if he’s experienced in this matter, it’s even better. It’s a perfect learning possibility when you have a friend who will go first and teach you how to take the best path. Thanks to his help, you won’t be forced to make decisions all the time, and therefore, you reduce the risk of getting injuries. All you have to do is follow the same line as he chooses, and try to understand his decision making.
Don’t pay the most attention to obstacles
When you concentrate on the obstacle, you’ll subconsciously steer toward it, and therefore, the chance of a crash is much higher. Instead of looking at the spot that you should avoid, better take a look at the point where you have to get. It is one of the most common mistakes that beginners make, and it’s not hard to avoid if you’re aware of its importance. So, keep your head up, be mindful of the obstacles, but at the same time, pay the most attention to the destination.
Don’t rush with changes
It’s the next thing that you should avoid. Remember that big changes are not recommended. Of course, riding on the unfamiliar trail is exciting, and a huge adrenaline boost. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to try all these challenging sections. They might be too dangerous, and the chance that you won’t handle them is high. It’s just the same as everything else. Start with the easier lines, gain experience, improve and feel more confident on the trail. Only then you can start riding ones, that are faster and technically more difficult.
If you don’t stick to this rule, you’ll likely have an accident. As a result, you’ll feel less confident and more nervous on a trail. Please, don’t do it to yourself. Be patient and slowly get familiar with more and more advanced trails. After a while, you’ll be able to face the hardest sections safely.
Wear a helmet and body armour
When it comes to a helmet, it goes without saying. Unfortunately, still, so many people forget about this crucial piece of equipment and risk their health (or sometimes even life). When it comes to other parts of equipment, cycling glasses, knee and arm pads are a must-have. If you’re afraid that the trail, you’re about to try is still a bit too dangerous, you can use body armour, which protects the full-body but is a bit more expensive.
Biking on trails with difficult terrain is for sure a challenge. It’s exciting, but also dangerous. That’s why you should get familiar with all the tips from this article, and make sure to introduce them in your biking trails.