Downhill mountain biking is an exciting way to bike and an excellent way to exercise. However, it’s something you have to prepare for first. Failure to do so can lead to severe injury or worse.
The following are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as a beginner.
It’s important to learn how to ride your mountain bike correctly. This means mastering your biking position. There’s a lot to keep in mind when you do this, like loosening up your elbows and knees as you ride downhill. Your arms and legs are going to be absorbing shocks as you go down. For this reason, you need to make sure you’re as limber as you can be. You also want to lower your center mass. Remember to avoid looking down directly, but look ahead as much as possible. You’ll want to prepare for any sudden changes in the terrain. Be sure to balance your body weight to attain more stability.
Safety gear is vital for downhill mountain biking. Don’t try to start your adventures without getting all the equipment you need to stay safe. For example, a downhill mountain bike helmet is essential. What’s more, it needs to be a full-face helmet. You’ll also need knee pads, elbow pads, a jersey with armor, padded shorts, and some full mountain bike gloves. These things are essential because they’ll protect you should the worse happen while you’re biking. There are many obstacles when biking downhill, so falling is a possibility, and all you’re doing is being safe.
Braking is one of the most critical skills you need to master when biking downhill. Of course, you’ll be braking to slow down, but that’s not all. You’ll need to learn how to use your brakes to curve, and you’ll need to use them to jump. The last thing you want to do is start going downhill without knowing how to use your brakes. Practice with smaller or less challenging hills until you’re ready. Be sure to learn that you have to press on those brakes before the curve comes, not while you’re turning or you might skid. It may seem like you’re doing too much, but braking right could keep you safe.
The purpose of a mountain bike is to help you overcome most obstacles you’ll find going downhill, and you need to trust that. Often, the reason folks get into accidents is that they hesitate during a turn or press on the brakes too quickly. Before you take your first dive downhill, make sure you’re fully prepared to trust your bike. It’s also crucial that you trust yourself while biking downhill. You’ve made it this far. You’ve got the skills, a great bike, and you know what to do. Allow the skills you’ve acquired over months to get you downhill in one piece.
Going downhill means you’ll be exerting your body more than you can imagine. You’ll be sprinting, jumping, and you need to keep your energy levels high. To do all of this, you’ll want to make sure you hit the gym before you try to go downhill. Fitness helps ensure you’ve got the physical power to go downhill and that your body is limber enough to reduce the chances of issues like cramps. Talk to your trainer to see what kind of routine he or she recommends if you’re going to be doing a lot of biking. Try to focus on power, so that means hitting the deadlifts, doing squats, and pull-ups, to name a few things.
Biking downhill requires a real commitment if you want to do this as safely as possible. These tips should help guide you in the right direction, but it’s up to you to continue improving.