Basic Mountain Biking Skills

Taking the first stride is always the hardest thing to do so I have compiled the basic mountain biking skills you should possess to get you started. For some, these are very obvious; for beginners, these are very helpful.

Brake better, go faster
Every sports car has 2 things in common: large engine and high-performance brakes. This way, even if it runs fast, it can slow down quickly. No sports car is eligible to run at high speed without having good set brakes. This should also be your principle when riding a mountain bike. If you want to improve your speed, invest on good set of brakes.

The Gear Factor
If you know how to drive a car, then you know how important it is to drive on the right gear. The same thing applies on a mountain bike. Low gears are easier to pedal, but slow on acceleration. High gears are much harder but will give you abrupt acceleration. Low gears will help you climb stiff hills. High gears will drive you fast on level terrain. Do not start on high gears. Start low and gradually increase as you gain speed.

The Instant Turn
If you are about to hit a tree, a car or a large rock, you have to learn how to make a quick turn. To turn sharply to the left, steer sharply to the right. This will make your body lean to the left. Then make a hard left turn, steering into the lean and away from your obstacle. While this takes some practice, it can be very useful on emergency situations. Ease up on the rear brake if your rear tire begins to skid. Ease up on the front brake if your rear tire lifts off the ground.

Slowing Down
Riding fast lessens your reaction time significantly. So if you need to slow down to avoid something in front of you, do the following procedures: Shift your body weight as far back as possible, lower your body as low as you can, and squeeze front and rear brakes evenly. Avoid hitting the brake hard if your body is not properly aligned with your bike or if you are making a turn.

I think I’m falling
Yeah, yeah… It may sound so cheesy but the fact is, there is nothing cheesy when your face is about to crash on the rocks and you are about to experience wipe-out of a lifetime. Aside from learning how to ride the bike, the second, most important things you should learn is how to take the fall. The key is alertness. Anticipate all the possible scenarios that can happen on the trail. While the best thing to do when you know you are about to fall is to slow down by braking, make sure that you have an escape route in case your brake fails. Do not go flying up into the air while sticking your arm to protect your fall. Instead, tuck your body and plan your fall – choose where to land best. Do not keep your eyes off the trail. Do not stiffen your muscles.

Practice is said to make one perfect. But in the case of crashing, there is no better way to make the perfect fall than by keeping in control at all times even if you are about to fall 30 feet down the cliff.