Mountain biking can be a great outdoor sport where riders can interact with nature and see the beauty of the trails. But mountain biking can also be very dangerous. Trails come in different difficulty levels, and riders should know their limits before taking on a trail. There are also certain rules of etiquette when riding, and all mountain bikers should know these rules. This article will provide an overview of the dos and don’ts of mountain biking, and will help riders decide which trails to take depending on their level of ability.
First of all, there are some important rules that every mountain cyclist should know. Mountain bike trails are designed to be fun, but pushing the limits can be extremely dangerous to the rider or to others on the trail. For this reason, it is important to always let others know that you are coming up behind them. This will help prevent crashes and keep everyone safe. Also, leave the trail animals alone. Animals that live along a mountain bike trail are usually wild, and most do not do well to be bothered. Keeping a safe distance from these animals and leaving them alone will prevent any unwanted encounters on both sides.
Another helpful mountain biking tip is to keep your full attention on the bike at all times. Mountain bike trails are known for being rough, and tree roots or logs could sneak up out of nowhere if you’re not paying attention. By staying alert, you will not only avoid these disasters, but you will also help protect others on the trail as well. And finally, one of the most important tips riders need to know about mountain biking is to know your limits and to ride prepared. Know the trails before you ride them. If this means you have to find a topographic map and look at the challenges, then do so. It may even be helpful to take a hike around the trail to better understand the terrain. Taking a trail that is too difficult before you are ready can be very dangerous. Always know your limits and stick to what works best for you. Also, pack the appropriate tools needed in case of an emergency. Before you ride, check your tires and brake pads to make sure everything is working properly. In case you have a flat tire while you are out riding, you should pack an extra tube and a CO2 cartridge to fix the tire. Other tools may be necessary as well, depending on the length of the ride and your ability to fix these mechanical issues. These items can be packed either in a backpack, if you choose to carry one, or in a saddle back on the back of your bicycle.
To make your ride more comfortable, always pack plenty of water. Especially during the summer months, mountain biking can be stressful on the body and hydration is extremely important in any outdoor sport. Sunscreen is also highly recommended. If you plan on riding for a long period of time, it would be a good idea to also include some GU energy gels or something similar so you do not becoming overly exhausted. These will help keep your muscles working properly and ensure that you do not run out of energy before you finish your ride.
In terms of clothing, it is really personal discretion that will determine what is most comfortable. Cycling shorts are probably a good choice, since they are padded and will prevent you from getting saddle sores from riding. Bike jerseys are also comfortable and are specially designed to allow for maximum airflow and breathability. Depending on your bike, it may be required that you purchase specially-designed mountain biking shoes, but others have flat pedals and tennis shoes will do just fine.