Monday, January 19, 2015
A Mountain Biking Novice? Better Read This
Mountain biking Philippines is swiftly gaining momentum. And speaking of momentum, more and more locals are trying and then, loving the sport. Why not? Mountain biking is not only good for the environment, but also for one’s overall health. Perhaps, by now, you’ve already learned about the types of mountain bikes and the equipments you need. What you will read here are practical tips in making your ride as awesome as possible.
On every mountain trail, there will be rough, tight and edgy corners. Be prepared to carve around them; it is better to experience and get the hang of these than to avoid them. There will be obstacles such as rocks and roots. Ride over them as you stand on the pedals. Lift your butt above a little while absorbing impacts by bending slightly. While you go over them, keep your elbows and knees bent.
Momentum can make everything stress-free when riding a mountain bike. The rocks will seem smaller and climbs, shorter. Before you attempt a challenging mood, maintain a steady pace before speeding up. Slowing down will only affect the momentum negatively.
When climbing a steep slope, obtain extra balance. Do this by dropping your elbows toward the hips then, lowering your chin above the handlebar. Upon descending, obtain stability. Do this by leveling your pedals and moving your elbows out before sliding your butt behind the saddle.
When faced with elevations, you may simply zoom into the profiles. But be prepared particularly for rapid channels. Keep your fingers closer to the shifters while changing gears before the spikes and dips along the trail.
When riding, always try to look 20 feet up the terrain if possible. Through this, you may determine and choose the best paths around although you can try choosing paths with minimal hazards. Don’t hesitate to shift, if needed. Before tackling any obstacle ahead that your line of vision allows you to see, make sure that your body is in the right position.
As you leave necessities and amenities behind, bring your water, food and tool. Carry with you a spare tube and pump as well.
Aside from a trail-ready bike that gives you an overall control with its durable features and components, you will also need a front suspension fork. This will help in rolling over bumps, among other obstacles. Make sure that the fork is specifically designed for mountain biking and in optimal working condition.
Another important component is a disc brake. Your choices are mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes. Steer clear of using V brakes because disc brakes tend to be more powerful and safer.
There will be no need for trendy wheel sizes. The most popular diameters for mountain bike wheels are 26, 27.5 and 29 inches. While all of them have benefits, they will perform much better if the bike fits the rider (yes, that’s you).
For beginners like you, clipless pedals must be avoided. Instead, use flat platform pedals since using them is easier should you lose control or misjudge an obstacle. Nonetheless, if you are more comfortable clipping in, choose the double-sided ones.
If your first attempt on an obstacle is not successful, you may go back and try again. However, limit the attempts into three tries. Perhaps, it is not for your skill and experience level yet. Skip tough sections, if you must. Walking through them is much easier than suffering needlessly. Finally, take a break. A 30-minute ride can leave you exhausted and out of breath. Stop for a moment and savor the scenery. Eat a snack. Reset.
All in all, don’t be hard on yourself. Remind yourself that you are a beginner, and mountain biking is also a learning process. Not all rides will be successful, but at least, learn a thing or two from the experience. Hope the above tips will help you. Good luck!
Image credit: BeyondOutdoorAdventures.com
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