Mountain Biking Tips

Mountain biking tips. Everything that you need to know to get started mountain biking safely. Covers equiptment needs as well.

Mountain biking looks exciting and fun, maybe you have wanted to try it for a while, but where to begin? Mountain biking can be intimidating on the surface, all the equipment, out on a trail; something bad is bound to happen, right? On the other hand, maybe you are just intimidated because everyone else seems to know what they are doing and you do not. Not to worry. Mountain biking is a very accessible sport, and one that is enjoyed by people of all ages. The equipment has a purpose, and you will find that most bikers are eager to share their knowledge with you.

If you are just starting out, you do not even need to make an investment in equipment. Most state and national parks, as well as many private establishments rent all of the equipment that you need to get started. This is a great way to try the sport and decide if it is for you, for a minimal expense.

Of course, even if you are renting your gear, you should plan to take a few things with you. A snack, such as a granola bar or sports bar, no matter how short a time you think you will be out, is a good idea. If you are planning on being out several hours or more, plan to take a sandwich, at least. You will be surprised at how quickly you get hungry while you are out. At least one full water bottle, preferably two, should also accompany you. As far as clothing goes, a pair of padded shorts is a luxury you may want to invest in. They are very affordable, and pad you in all of the essential places. Other than that, you can plan to wear what you would normally wear to exercise in; depending on the weather a short or long sleeve tee shirt, and perhaps a jacket. If the weather is threatening, you should definitely layer your clothes. It is much easier to remove a jacket or sweatshirt than leave it on, soaking wet with sweat or water. You can wear either athletic shoes or trail shoes. You will probably find that the pedals of your bicycle have clips that you can step into. This is to keep your feet from sliding off the pedals on particularly bumpy trails. The last, most important piece of equipment that you do not want to forget is your helmet. With the various studies available that demonstrate the importance of helmets, it is foolhardy to ride without one. They are, of course, also available for rent.

Once you have all of your gear assembled and are ready to head out there are several things that you should keep in mind. It is always advisable to go biking with someone. Even experienced mountain bikers use the buddy system, and it just makes sense for you to do the same. Not only are you safer in case of an accident, but if you get a flat tire or some other problem with your bike, two heads are always better than one as far as figuring out a remedy. Another thing that you should do is to let someone know what trail you are taking and when you expect to be back. If you are renting your equipment, the staff will probably require this information anyway. They may even suggest particular trails for beginners. If you are on your own, write this information down and leave it on the dashboard of your (locked) car. That way the information will be accessible as soon as someone should start to worry, if you are late in getting in. One last piece of advice is to take it easy. The wonderful thing about mountain biking is that it is a sport that welcomes all comers. Start slow and enjoy yourself. Do not push yourself to go down a hill or across a creek that you do not feel comfortable with. Relax and enjoy the pace.

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