If you are a bicycle enthusiast but have only tried cycling on the road, it’s time you gave Mountain Biking a try. Buying a mountain bike can make sense, even if there are no mountains where you live. Just because of the flexibility they provide, even in urban areas. Besides, there is always the chance of a weekend ride on the country trails.
Contrary to what many people may think, “Mountain biking” is more than just going down an actual mountain. Mountain bikes with their fat tires and front suspension make it easy to go cross-country riding as well. As long those fat tires are properly inflated they can go almost as fast as the thinner tires of road bikes. Besides that, they also make for a nice ride.
Different types of Mountain Bikes
There are five common styles of mountain bikes: downhill, fat, all-mountain or enduro, cross-country, and trail. Unlike, a professional cyclist or a dedicated amateur you do not need to buy a bike specifically designed for each style.
If you are a casual cyclist wanting to try one style one weekend and a different one the next, any decent all-terrain mountain bike will do. If possible, rent a bike first so you can try out a few before deciding on which one to buy. Make sure to rent from a reputable bike shop to avoid getting poorly maintained bikes or “beaters.”
Where to get started?
If there is any biking trials or path in your area, chances are there will be a club or two, which will cater to beginners. Your local bike shop is another good resource. Anyone there should be able to tell you what’s going on in your area. Furthermore, most bike shops will have racks with brochures featuring local clubs, and bike maps of trails, for free.
Even if you feel out of shape, you can get in shape with mountain biking with a bit of effort. However, Do not get on a bike and then find the toughest trail. Start with beginning trails and work on your skills for a while. Set yourself goals of miles to ride each day or track your progress in duration.
If you do not have the time to ride every day, find a steep hill near your home. You can always spend a few minutes doing wind sprints up and down that hill. This will increase your stamina and strengthen your leg muscles. However, make sure you check with your doctor to make sure you have no health problems that would limit vigorous exercise.
Be prepared for a fall
Falling off your bike is always a possibility, so be prepared for the event. The most important piece of equipment you should have besides a good bike is a good helmet. Always buy a new helmet, a used helmet might not be reliable since you do not know the history.
Some other useful items include:
- Goggles or other eye protection
- Elbow and knee pads
- Good shoes
- Water bottle
- pump and patch kit
In case of an emergency, always carry a few dollars and some pocket change so you can call for help if need be. Furthermore, make sure you have identification on you at all times. This last bit of advice applies to other activities besides biking, such as jogging, or hiking. Always be prepared for the worst, even though it might never happen.
So even if you live in an area that has no mountains get yourself a mountain bike anyway!