Beginners Guide to Mountain Biking
Living on the Western Slope of Colorado allows you the opportunity to try so many new activities! I’m sure you have friends, family, or colleagues who mountain bike and maybe it has piqued your interest a little bit. Well, if you are new to the sport here are six tips to get you started on the right foot!
Know Your Bike – whatever bike you choose to start your mountain bike experience, make sure you know how it works. Figure out the gearing and how to change it. Make adjustments so it fits you correctly – this includes your seat height, bars, grips, and pedals. You want to be comfortable on your bike before you start adding the obstacles of an off-road trail.
Stay Loose – it is human nature to want to clench your body when you see a bunch of rocks ahead that scare you. Have faith in your bike and tires, and know that your bike’s job is to easily roll over the technical terrain. When you’re riding over obstacles, stand up. If you’re trying to tear down a descent shift your weight back a little. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to make corrections.
Know Your Brakes – when you get in a jam, you’re going to want to grab a fist full of brakes, but don’t! Going for the brakes will be the easiest way for you to fly forward over your handlebars and crash. Try to keep two fingers on both sets of brakes and squeeze them gently when you need to stop. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can slow down without coming to such an abrupt stop.
Use Your Gears – your gears are your friend! If you’re heading up a hill, shift into an easier gear before you get to the hill. If it looks like a bit of downhill, make it harder. This will help your momentum, which will make you less tired on your rides. Being aware of your surroundings and planning for the changes in terrain will help you make the best decisions on your bike.
Look Where You Want to Go – this can seem like an impossible task when you first start riding but try to not only look down the entire time you ride – look forward too. When you’re going into a corner, set your sights on the outside of the corner (where you want to go). Your bike will follow your gaze automatically, and you’ll seem like an old pro.
Know the Basics – knowing how to change a flat tire (at the very least) will make you feel so much more confident before you start riding. You will have the knowledge and skill to get yourself off of the trail if a flat happens. If you want a little more know-how before you go out, you can also brush up on how to fix a broken chain, and replacing a derailleur hanger.
Whatever your skill level, CBB can help you have the most fun on the trails. Stop in or call us to learn about the trails in our area, and pick our brains on anything bike related. We love getting people into this fantastic sport, and would be happy to help you during every step of your journey!