Mountain Biking Taking The Plunge

From its rather ordinary beginnings on the sporting scene, mountain biking been transformed into an activity so challenging that it has been classed by some as an extreme sport. And each category of mountain biking, because it requires a specific set of skills, has developed its own group of enthusiasts. The one thing that all the categories of mountain biking have in common is that their adrenaline-buzz-producing maneuvers are bringing people into the sport in unprecedented numbers.

The form of mountain biking most likely to appeal to fans of the Mega Roller Coasters is downhill mountain biking. If you can picture a downhill skier, and replace the skis with a bike plunging down a mountain, its wheels airborne almost as much as they are in contact with the ground, you’ll have the basic idea. And if the mere idea of downhill mountain biking gets you jazzed, what do you think the actual experience will do?

DH, as downhill mountain biking is known in mountain biking circles, is in no way the same as riding a standard bicycle up and down the gently rolling hills in your neighborhood park. Neither is it the same as cross country mountain biking, which may involve some downhill riding but is more akin to bike racing.

Downhill Mountaing Biking Bikes

Downhill mountain biking demands a mountain bike with front and rear suspensions especially engineered to handle the extreme stresses of the terrain over which they are ridden. The downhill bikes also have heavier, stronger frame tubing than other varieties of mountain bikes, and normally weigh in at between forty and fifty pounds.

Don’t bother trying to pedal a downhill mountain bike uphill; it’s an exercise in futility. Downhill mountain biking requires that a bikers and their bikes be transported to the top of the hill they are to descend by a ski lift. The trail on which they will be coming back down will be both physically demanding and dangerous. Downhill mountain biking should never be attempted until all possible safety measures are in place.

Downhill mountain biking courses are both steep and treacherous throughout, and can contain jumps of up to forty feet with a ten foot drop. The bikers who are attracted to downhill mountain biking, however, are those who thrive on challenges; the harder the better. The risk involved is not their biggest concern. But even the most experienced downhill mountain biking enthusiasts never begin a descent without being fully protected with a helmet, elbow and knee pads, a body suit, and goggles.