5 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Mountain Biking Experience
Mountain biking is certainly an enjoyable and exciting form of exercise. It provides you with an opportunity to be outside in the fresh air instead of stuck inside a stuffy, sweaty gym. Perhaps the best part is the fact that you can simply grab your bike and start exploring any off road trail in your area.
You don't even need to be in the mountains. Flat dirt surfaces through the woods and small hills also provide for good times. You can enjoy the scenic views and have a boatload of fun while burning off those unwanted calories. Mountain biking certainly is a win-win situation. If you happen to own a folding mountain bike then you do not even need to attach a bike rack to your vehicle. Simply throw it in the backseat or trunk and let the fun begin. That being said, there are some other things you should consider in order to make mountain biking a more enjoyable experience.
Take The Time To Properly Maintain Your Mountain Bike
Much like any mechanical machine your mountain bike requires the proper maintenance in order to work properly. It only takes a few minutes and just very well may save you from a long hike back to your vehicle, or worse yet a serious injury. Many riders simply do not have the mechanical ability to fix their bikes. However recognizing the situation prior to a riding session will provide you with the opportunity to bring it to a bike repair shop. After each ride or before the next one, you should inspect your bike carefully for any parts or pieces that look cracked, broken, or worn out. Something as simple as that may save you from a real problem down the road.
Ride Your Mountain Bike As Much As Possible
Even if you are an experienced mountain bike rider the more you ride the better you will become. Remember the old saying practice makes perfect. If you do not have the time to set aside for an off road trail ride than you can use your bike around town. Your skills will most definitely sharpen from jumping curbs, and dodging those pesky potholes. Another bonus is that riding your bike will save gas money.
Perfect The Wheelie
Wheelies are more then fun tricks that impress the neighborhood kids. They are actually extremely useful when riding on rough and tumble surfaces. If there is an object in your path, simply pop a wheelie. That way your tire will avoid hitting things that can wipe you out such as large tree roots, branches, and rocks to name a few. If you do not know how to pop a wheelie it is fairly easy. One pedal should be up while the other is down. Pull up on the handlebars while shifting your weight onto the back wheel, and pushing down on the pedal that is in the upward position. Try it a few times. Before you know it popping a wheelie will feel completely natural.
No matter how much or little experience you have everyone falls off of their bike at some point, even the professional riders. Although the sensation of falling can evoke panic, it is extremely important to fall properly in order to avoid or at least minimize injury. Do not reach out to brace yourself during a fall, do just the opposite and keep your arms in. If you follow your instinct to reach out it can result in broken arms and or wrists. After the crash dust yourself off, check for damage to the bike and yourself, take care of any cuts and scrapes, and get back on that bike.
Know Your Limits
Much like skiing, mountain biking is an excellent outdoor physical activity that provides hours of fun. That being said in both sports you need to know your limits in order to avoid the high probability of serious injury. It is a great idea to challenge yourself, but that is a far cry from going above and beyond your capabilities and limits. You need to be reasonable. For example if the trail is too steep for your comfort level, or you are in an area that is just too difficult to ride on then get off your bike, pick it up, and start walking. Other mountain bike riders will respect you far more than if you sustain an injury because you pushed it too far.
In conclusion, mountain biking is an incredible sport that provides you with a great way to exercise outside in the fresh air, and onto some of the most scenic areas of your local community. However, it does not take much to ruin your good times. If you follow the advice as listed above it will greatly decrease the chances of spoiling the fun. Always keep in mind that your safety is the most important piece of the puzzle.