When you’re mountain biking or trail cycling, you’re riding across streams, over rocks and all kinds of different terrain. It can be terrifying and nerve-wracking at times, but with these nine beginner mountain biking guidelines, you’ll soon be exploring new trails.
1. Staying Loose
The bike is designed to roll over tough terrain. You must let the bike do its job. This means keeping your body loose so that the bike can move beneath you. Lift your butt off the saddle when you are riding over rocks and roots.
2. Maintaining Momentum
At times it is going to feel counter-intuitive, but you must hold your speed, and when you’re gaining momentum it will be easier to clear tougher sections of terrain. With mountain biking, momentum is your best buddy.
3. Shifting Your Weight
You are going to encounter extreme terrain with steep slants and declines. When you’re climbing a problematic pitch, you must shift your weight forward and stay in a forward-leaning position to keep your center of gravity above the rear wheel to preserve traction.
4. Going Easy On Your Brakes
At some stage, you will be tempted to pull your brakes with both hands and with all your might, but try to resist the temptation. Mountain bike brakes are forceful enough so that you only need to use one or two fingers to adjust your speed especially if you’re trying out new and unique cycling experiences like the Otago central rail trail. Stopping the front tire will only send the tire into a slide which most likely will result in a fall. Instead, pull the rear right as you may skid, but you’ll remain upright.
5. Using All The Gears
Mountain bike trail outlines sometimes appear to be like jaws opening wide to consume a snack. Anticipate fluctuations in the terrain by shifting gears before you need to. It’ll assist you with keeping momentum.
6. Setting Suspension
Most mountain bikes are equipped with a front suspension fork as well as a shock absorber in the back. These inventions really make a significant difference in making huge bumps disappear almost as you ride over them.
7. Looking Where You’re Going
The term “target fixation” is basically a saying that describes your bike is going where your eyes are looking at. Rather look past obstacles to spots where you want to go. Keep your eyes forward, chin level down to the ground and look as far down the trail as you can. Use your peripheral vision to circumvent and negotiate hindrances, which is immediately in front of you.
8. Brushing Up On Basic Repairs
Due to the rugged nature of mountain biking terrain, you’re most likely to encounter mechanicals off-road rather than on pavement. Make sure you tend to necessary repairs to ensure you can get out of the woods in the event of something breaking. You must know how to change a flat or repair a broken chain. Always carry a multi-tool or a few essential tools with you, just in case.
9. Always Packing Food And Water
Mountain bike rides can take a lot longer than anticipated. Make sure you’re taking enough food and water with you.