Mountain biking is rapidly becoming one of the most popular outdoor sports and activities for people in the United States. This is hardly surprising, as mountain biking offers a number of advantages to people of all ages and lifestyles who are interested in rediscovering all that the great outdoors has to offer them. While many hobbies that take you outdoors require thousands of dollars to get started and a seemingly limitless number of required accessories, all you really need to go mountain biking is a place to ride and a bike to ride on. The bike does not have to be expensive, although if you are interested in spending a lot of money, there are certainly bicycles and manufacturers you can turn to for high levels of quality. However, if you are new to mountain biking or to cycling in general, you may be confused about where to start, and may be prone to making a number of beginner’s mistakes that come with this or any hobby. This article will discuss some of the more basic tips in mountain biking to keep in mind so you can get off to a good start in the hobby.
One of the most basic tips to keep in mind when starting out as a mountain biker is to wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet is easily the single most effective action you can take to get yourself off to a good start in the hobby, because wearing a helmet contributes to your safety and well being in an incredibly significant way. The head is the most vulnerable part of the body, because unlike other parts of the body that can recover from shocks and breaks given enough time, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a serious blow to the head, you will most likely either suffer brain damage or end up losing your life. A helmet provides a cushion between your head and sharp rocks, tree limbs, spinning bicycle parts, and any other obstructions you might crash into if you happen to fly off your bicycle or lose your wheels while riding.
Another one of the most basic tips to keep in mind when starting out as a mountain biker is to always stay in control when you are on your bicycle, no matter where you are or how safe you think conditions around you happen to be. Staying in control means riding the bicycle within your limits and not exceeding your abilities, even if you think you can do so without wiping out. When you ride in control, you reduce the risk of crashing into objects or having other riders crash into you, which not only keeps you safe but keeps other people riding on the trail safe at the same time. When you ride your mountain bike without control, you do not have the presence of mind and necessary reaction time to adapt to the environment and terrain surrounding you as you ride through it. This significantly increases the chance of getting in crashes and injuring yourself or other riders around you. Because mountain bike riding is a sport that comes with its own share of danger, it is necessary to use some caution when on the trails so both you and the people you ride with can make it home in one piece.
Another one of the most basic tips to keep in mind when starting out as a mountain biker is to use equipment and gear that is appropriate for the terrain on which you plan to ride. There are different kinds of mountain bikes, such as traditional mountain bikes that do not include suspension, front suspension bikes, full suspension bikes, and downhill bikes. Each of these bikes will perform best in slightly different conditions. You wouldn’t take a road bike down a single track filled with logs, branches, and wild animals, and even though that is an extreme example, there are similar rules for the type of bike you should choose for specific environments. It is worth taking the time to look up weather and trail conditions ahead of time so you are ready with the right bicycle and attitude when you make it to the trail.