Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mountain Biking Know the Rules and Succeed

Downhill Fun

So you’ve got a great new mountain bike and you want to hit some serious downhill trails. It’s a lot of fun, to be sure, but you don’t want to get caught up a mountain unprepared. This guide will help you plan ahead to get the most out of your downhill ride, and be safe too.

Always be Prepared

You need to be fully prepared before such an intense excursion. Be sure to take the bike out for some practice rides on easier terrain first; don’t take an untried bike on tough terrain. And you’ll need some leg and arm strength, to keep the bike on track. Try light off-roading or a local singletrack first, just to get a feel for it.

Also, be sure to double-check your bike. It is advised to always perform a routine check before hitting the mountain. As little as 15 minutes of preparatory work can save you a world of trouble later on.

Also, don’t forget the all-important helmet, and a good pair of gloves and riding shorts or pants as well.

Maintain your Balance

When you begin the ride, keep your body weight leaned as far back on the seat (or saddle) as is comfortable, to compensate for the downhill angle. However, if you feel like you’re not in full control of the front wheel, lean forward a bit until you regain full motion. Keep experimenting until you find the perfect angle.

If the trail is particularly rough, it’s important to keep your limbs bent, as this helps absorb the shock. A good suspension helps, certainly, but you want your body as free as possible. Relax your muscles and don’t keep a death-grip on the handlebars: if your body is too stiff, it’s much harder to control the descent.

See the Trail Ahead and Know What’s Coming

Some trails are real tight, while some are wide enough for several bikers at once. Always keep an eye on the coming trail, and know where your plan of action. You don’t want to hit a rough bump or patch without knowing it’s coming; that could be dangerous.

Ideally, you should maintain a line of sight of at least 15 feet in front. That way, you always know that your front wheel is aligned with the trail and you’re heading exactly where you need to go. It’s safest to head for the smoothest, simplest path. You don’t have to be a maniac extreme biker, especially your first time on a new run. Control is always more important than thrills.

Keep Your Wits About You

Inevitably, you’re going to hit some unsure patches. It’s important to not lose your cool in a rough situation. With the wind in your face and your adrenaline pumping, you have to work hard to stay on track. Slow down if you have to, and always be aware of the trail around you. Watch especially for rocks, trees, and other hazards.

Maintain Your Speed

Slow and steady wins the race. This doesn’t mean you have to go so slow it isn’t fun, but letting your speed get out of hand is the single most common way to lose control and take an ugly crash. Always be ready to hit those brakes, and most importantly, always hit the rear brake first. A reactionary pull on the front brake can cause the bike to flip over forward, possibly ejecting you. This is a time when a helmet is necessary.

Also make sure to watch ahead for other bikers. It’s better to slow down and let the next rider keep going than try to pass him or her. He/she may not see you coming and you could crash into them, or knock them off the trail.

Mountain Biking Safety Gear You Must Have

Downhill mountain biking is an extreme sport and to ensure you longevity in this fantastically exciting and often dangerous sport you need to be fitted out with the right safety gear. All it takes is one slip and you could be laid up for weeks!

Full face helmet – this is first and foremost, your most important purchase. Not only is protecting your head of the utmost importance, but having your face and jaw covered is right up there too. To prevent grazing the skin off your face and even breaking your jaw, a full face helmet which covers the front of your face and jaw line is an absolute necessity.

Gloves – If you come off your bike, your hands are in the firing line always and should be protected accordingly. A decent pair of gloves doesn’t set you back much and will no doubt prevent a world of pain.

Knee pads – to prevent the horrible stinging, all painful graze, otherwise known as a roastie, not to mention really knocking or even breaking your knee caps. A good pair of knee pads is essential.

Reinforced cycling shorts – Get a pair or even better a couple of pairs of these shorts. The major brand names all make them and they come
complete with raised plastic designs on the hip and side leg areas to protect your upper legs and hips from having the skin taken off should you be so unlucky as to fall off!

Shin guards – These are self-explanatory and designs these days incorporate a knee pad too, get them in white like a storm trooper and the force will be with you.

This great sport is too good to miss, but be aware, accidents happen and pretty often too. Get fitted out properly and go in with your eyes wide open. See you on the next drop off!

Downhill Mountain Biking

Extreme sports are getting more and more popular these days. Mountain biking attracts daredevils from all over the world who like to have an “adventure sport experience”.

The term mountain biking includes many different styles. The range is from gentle types such as cross country where you ride up and down the hills, and cyclo cross, which is a combination between mountain biking and road biking, to more ‘extreme’ styles. Downhill biking is one of the more extreme types and it is also one of the most popular forms of mountain biking.

In downhill mountain biking as the name implies, you only ride down the hills. The bike and the biker get transported up to the top by a lift and then begin the thrilling ride down. What you’re aiming for is to get to the bottom of the hill as fast as possible, managing to pass all the obstacles. The situations that occur often get pretty extreme. This includes jumps that can be up to twelve meters long, dropping three meters and other kinds of rough conditions that you can find on a mountain slope.

The people that are into downhill mountain biking are those that are looking for a good challenge, that long for the adrenaline pumping experience and don’t mind a few bruises. It’s for those that like to be on the risky, thrilling side of life.

The bike that is being used is a heavy bike compared to other mountain bikes, and weighs somewhere between forty and fifty pounds, so forget about pedaling uphill once you’re out there. If you’ve started your race, there’s only one way to go and that’s down. The bike has to be able to put up with extreme conditions so it is equipped with front and rear suspension and heavy tubing. For the biker, it’s necessary to use full safety gear with a proper helmet, goggles, a body suit plus knee and hand pads. You can expect to have some close contact with the dirt even if you are a professional downhill biker.

There are many ways to improve you skills, the most important one is of course to practice, and then to practice a bit more and a bit more. There are loads of books, DVDs and internet sites where people can watch stunts being performed by professionals sharing their tricks and ideas. That’s a great part of your learning, and you can bring that with you when you’re actually out on the hill. The only way to fully master it though, is to learn by the experience.