Mountain biking is a popular sport and is a great way to stay fit, to see the outdoors, and to get your adrenaline pumping. People come to mountain biking at all ages, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they have to start somewhere. So if you’re a newbie mountain biker and you’re looking for some beginner tips and advice – here are three things you may want to consider before hitting the trails for the first time.
- The basics of your bike
Mountain biking is as much about learning your bike as it is about learning how to ride it down the trails. Although a lot of this knowledge will come over time, it’s always good practice to spend some time getting to know how your bike works so that if you encounter a problem on the trails you know how to fix it. Proper bike maintenance is also a key part of bike safety, so do some research, watch some videos, and get acquainted with the mechanical workings of your bike. It’s also wise to buy a bike-tool kit and to keep this with you at all times as a part of your trail essentials kit.
- What you are wearing
When it comes to starting out, there’s no need to invest in expensive mountain bike gear, but there are some things that you should think about. First and foremost, make sure to buy a good helmet, invest as much in this as you can afford, you only get one brain and so you need to protect it. Next, footwear, although you can cycle in virtually any footwear when it comes to riding bumpy trails you need something with the right amount of grip. Converse and VANS are two high street shoes that have a special pattern on their soles at the ball of the foot, making them perfect for gripping into bike pedals. As for clothes, you need to wear something that allows you a full range of motion, so jeans are generally not a great option. Layers are also an important consideration because there’s nothing more miserable than being too hot, too cold or wet.
- Food and drink
Mountain biking is thirsty work, and you’ll soon find yourself drinking through a bottle of water. To stay hydrated, consider buying a Camelbak rucksack or a similar hydration pack that you can fill with plenty of water for a day riding. As for food, mountain biking burns a lot of calories and so it’s always wise to bring an energy bar, some fruit or some other snack with you to refuel. The best hydration packs also double and day-rucksacks, and so you can use them to store your snacks, any bike tools you need and your essentials. As you start to progress to harder and more technical trails, especially those with jumps, it becomes very important to have a hydration pack or rucksack with a chest strap to stop it from bouncing around on your back.
So there you have it – three simple things that all newbie mountain bikers should consider before they hit the trails. Have fun, stay safe and keep shredding.