Mountain biking is not only one of the most fun and exciting forms of cycling. You might be surprised to hear that it’s also one of the easiest to get started with, even if you are a complete novice. You just have to have an interest in fitness and enjoy physical activities as hobbies, then you can choose a pace that suits you.
To begin with you need to understand the basic principles. Mountain biking doesn’t have to be on an actual mountain for a start, just in case you weren’t clear on that. It simply means away from paved tracks and roads, but most people would spend a lot of their time mountain biking on defined trails and paths which are suitable for cyclists.
This is certainly a good idea while you’re still a beginner, before moving on to completely open terrain or even professional mountain biking courses. At first you just need to build up your basic skills and make time for some training. To learn techniques and get better, you might try some of the following options:
- Reading books or websites to teach you the basics
- Watch YouTube videos or DVD courses
- Hire a trainer to teach you
- Get advice from friends who already do it
However, once you understand the basic safety of mountain biking you are better off simply trying it for yourself and gradually improving through practice. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that you won’t get any better until you focus almost entirely on practical experience.
To reach this stage you will need to ensure you have appropriate clothing and safety gear to wear. This will include gloves, plus a helmet with some form of glasses or visor to protect your hands, head and face from stones or debris. You can also wear any protective clothing you feel comfortable with. This way you may experience minor accidents but you will be protected from more serious injuries.
Aside from what you wear, essential kit should include a multi-tool for bikes. These are fantastic and useful in almost any common situation for cyclists like getting a puncture or needing to adjust your bike’s configuration.
Speaking of which, of course you’ll need to choose a bike that suits you before you get started. Many different styles are suitable for mountain biking, but certain features will help you so it’s important to get professional advice from someone who knows what they’re looking at. Once you have an appropriate bike, all the necessary gear and some basic knowledge, you’ll be ready to start practising and have a lot of fun while staying active.