Mountain bike riding has become a very popular recreational activity. There are many places to ride from trails to lakeshores and forests, just to name a few. Being prepared for riding will make your riding experience more enjoyable. Here are some tips for mountain bike riding for the beginner. Advanced riders may also find this information useful.
- The first important tip that any rider should know is to have proper equipment, such as a helmet. Even if you don’t buy another accessory, make sure you don’t skimp on your helmet.
- Another accessory, but not required, are riding gloves. If you are riding for an extended length of time, they will come in handy. You will be gripping hard on the handle grips at times and you will need extra padding. This will help to keep your hands from getting tired. They also offer some protection when and if you fall.
- Padded cycling shorts are good too. They will increase your comfort on the bike for those long rough rides.
- A cycling jersey can be beneficial since they are loose fitting and usually have pockets that have zippers or velcro.
- A good pair of cycling/hiking shoes can make or break your day. Sometimes you may need to carry your bike over some terrains that you can’t ride on and you want good gripping shoes.
- Eye protection, like sunglasses or clear unbreakable lenses will keep bugs, dust and other debris out of your eyes.
- Water is an essential item. Don’t go without this one. You can dehydrate very quickly when cycling. Also if you are biking in the sun, use sunscreen.
- The type of mountain bike you ride needs to be designed for the type of riding you are going to do.
- The body frame of your bike must fit your unique size and proportion.
- The brakes must be more powerful than a standard bike to keep the wheel from moving when hopping on uneven ground.
- Since you are riding on dirt, mountain bike tires need to be knobby not skinny. This ensures traction on rugged terrain.
- Your bike should be checked regularly and any repairs made that are necessary before you take your mountain bike out for a ride.
A prepared rider will have a mountain bike
that fits well and works properly. This will give you greater comfort and a more enjoyable riding experience, and help prevent unnecessary pain and injuries.
On Your Mark…
Do your part to preserve and enhance the mountain biker’s access and image by observing the following rules:
- Obey all of the rules. They were designed in part for your safety.
- Don’t damage our ecosystem. If you are riding and damaging a wet trail, this not only leads to erosion but also will lead to trail closures.
- Ride only on open trails. Closed trails are closed for a reason and riding on one is illegal. Don’t do it. It just gives the mountain bikers a bad reputation.
- Pay attention to the dirt beneath you. If it is soft consider other riding options, but stay on existing trails and don’t make new ones.
Hopefully these tips for mountain bike riding will get you started happily and safely on your way to a great experience. Now that you are ready, go.
Anita has written this article for the mountain bike beginner. Advanced riders may find it useful too.