Mountain biking is a wonderful sport that everyone should try at least once to experience it. And there are few better places to go mountain biking than in Zion National Park. It is one of the best sources of exercise that helps you build strong muscles, improves cardiovascular system, and increases blood flow. Below you can find some useful tip about mountain biking. Especially beginners can enjoy learning new and improved techniques in mountain biking.
1. Get familiar with your mountain bike: Yes it may sound a little wired, but it’s true, you should know more about mountain bikes. They are not same as regular bikes. Mountain bikes contain different gears to ride on different types of roads and heights. It is important to know all the idiosyncrasies of your bike. Learn to break on both tires; you must know which gear works better on different types of road. Also, how to position your seat comfortably.
2. Get a helmet: Putting on a helmet while riding or practicing a mountain bike is very important, in case of any fall, a helmet can save your life. Always remember to wear helmets when you are going for long rides. Wear full-faced helmets if you are riding downhill. Other safety equipment like gloves, knee pads, sunglasses, and elbow pads can protect you in many ways. Also take an air pump along with you when you go for mountain bike practice.
3. Get Used to Pedals: You should get used to your pedals, practice pedaling a lot before you actually practicing a mountain bike. Learn to feel the pedal on your feet. The fast you can pedal the best you can ride the bike. So get familiar with your pedaling technique.
4. Get Comfy: Find a comfortable sitting position for easy pedaling. Don’t stretch your arms or don’t put them straight, they should bend slightly. Your seat position should be adjusted according to your height so that your legs can extend about 70-90 percent at the bottom for each pedal stroke. Keep your body flexible and relaxed. In any condition never lock your knees or elbows.
5. Change gears properly: while riding a mountain bike, make sure that you are using the right gear. Lower gears help you ride up hill easily and also in lower gear it is easy to pedal. Higher gears are help you go faster but they are harder to pedal. Find the comfortable gears that can take you uphill or downhill easily and comfortably. Learn to shift gears before you get to the steeper hill.
6. Pedal while standing: learn to pedal while standing, it can help your face the difficult roads. It is advisable to try pedaling on higher gears. Change gears according to the road, uphill or downhill. If you are climbing long uphill, ride in and out of saddle alternatively for around 30 seconds, so that it can help you climb faster.
7. Check your surroundings: It is advisable to look your surroundings. You should know exactly where you are practicing your mountain bike. Looking just in front of your bike is not enough, take a look of the entire area and enjoy your surroundings.
8. Join local group: It is also advisable not to ride alone if you are not familiar with the place. Ride along with your friends or join a local cycling group to avoid risks. When you go in a group, there are more advantages to it, you can learn new skills, and you can make new friends.
9. Get Water: keep yourself hydrated while riding a mountain bike. Bring lot of water with you when you come for practice. Water keeps you hydrated and also gives you strength and energy. You can also get juices etc. but water is must.
10. Concentrate while riding: It is important to concentrate when you are riding a bike. Don’t just listen to loud music by plugging your earphone in your ears, lower the MP3 player volume. Safety comes first. So be aware of your surroundings and ride safely.
The above mentioned tips are simple yet very useful if you are beginner in riding a mountain bike. Safety is important in any sport. Follow the above tips and get familiar with your mountain bike, and ride safely.
Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management