Cycling is one of the most revitalizing and liberating experiences, enjoyed by people across all ages as well as from all walks of life. Mountain biking is one cycling activity that is rapidly gaining popularity world over. Here, the purpose is to outline some basic skills that every enthusiastic mountain biker should have at their fingertips:
Using the brakes requires you to apply your best judgment; on how hard or how gentle to squeeze the brake levers, particularly when descending. The braking power of a tire increases with the increase in weight it carries. When descending, the front wheel carries more weight as opposed to the rear.
Applying the front brakes allows you to be in control without skidding. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be overdone, lest you get tossed over the handlebars. Never neglect the rear brake. Your weight needs to shift back over the bike’s rear wheel to maximize your rear braking power. With this, the power of both breaks is balanced, giving you total control.
Engage a low gear: To do that, ease up on the pedaling to reduce pressure on the chain. Find the ideal mountain bike gear matching the terrain and gradient of each climb.
Stay seated: While standing off the saddle helps when ascending steep slopes with a gear bicycle, you may realize on dust, standing causes the rear wheel to lose grip and spin out.
Lean forward: On extremely steep slopes, the bike’s front end may feel light and suddenly pop up. Leaning over the handlebars helps to add extra weight to the front wheel, keeping you grounded.
Keep pedaling: You need to maintain the pressure on rocky climbs and to let up on the pedals. The slower you maneuver through bumpy trail sections, the tougher it will be for you.
Engage a high gear: This helps prevent the chain from falling off during a bumpy descent. The also protects your leg from bruises by the teeth of the big ring, should you disengage your foot from the pedal.
Relax: Stay loose on the mountain bike, neither should you lock your elbows nor tighten your grip. Steer with the body, with your shoulders guiding you through each turn. Never oversteer nor lose control.
Drop your saddle: This helps to lower the centre of gravity, allowing you to bounce around. Remain focused and keep the pedals parallel to the ground. You need utmost concentration to notice every root, groove and bump – to safely reach the bottom. You, the mountain bike and trail should be one as you find single track bliss on your way downhill. Should your thoughts wander, so will your bike, and into the bushes you will plunge.
Whether you are cycling to school, to work or just for like mountain biking, cycling is an excellent way to get active. Regular cycling helps minimize the risk chronic health conditions as well as boosting your mood and keeping your weight in check.