Mountain biking is all about skill and thrill – here’s how to prepare to ride | Magazine
There is something to be said for sliding down a trail on two wheels. No matter how old you are, it gives you a kind of freedom that can make you dizzy … even after just a few pedal strokes.
But the experience of many people on a bicycle begins and ends with what they learned as a child or during the outings they have while teaching their own children to ride a bicycle after having their own. family.
Like many of you, I first learned to ride a bike when I was young – in fact, I still remember the day I first cycled on the sidewalk without wheels. ‘training.
In addition to normal biking around the house and the trails as a kid, my first real mountain biking experience was when I was a student at Western Washington University. There I rode my first “real mountain bike,” which is the kind you don’t buy at Costco or Walmart – and I was hooked.
The next four years were spent hunting my brother and his friends around Galbraith Mountain, learning as much as possible from everyone around me. But my riding did not end there.
During my graduate studies and beyond, I lived in Whistler, BC, and Glacier, WA, continuing to hone my riding skills. Eventually I got my IMBA Level 1 Coaching Certi ﬁ cate, then two years later I got my Level 2. To tell you the truth, taking the courses for my Coaching certi ﬁ cations was. which helped me improve my riding the most – because even though I was on some of the more difficult trails around PNW I still didn’t ride them ‘well’ or with as much confidence as I should have had .
The skills I learned to teach my clients were actually the skills I needed to practice on my own in order to be the rider I wanted to be. And so I practiced – a lot – and I keep practicing because no matter how old or how good, there is always room for improvement.
While I couldn’t make you a better rider with this article (sorry!), I can give you some basic tips to help you and your family navigate our local trails safely and with confidence. .
Don’t look at the tree.
Why? Because you are going to hit the tree.
If you’ve taken any of my ski or mountain bike clinics or lessons, you’ve heard me say this more than once. You have to watch where you want to go. Believe me, those trees or rocks on the edge of the trail aren’t moving but I promise if you look at them you will most likely hit them which will never end well.
Looking forward rather than towards your front tire or your skis (which, yes, are strapped to your feet so there’s no need to look at them) is a huge game changer as you are able to prepare yourself. to what will follow instead of just wing it and act on the reflection. Talk about a confidence booster!
When it comes to rocks or small obstacles, speed is your friend.
I know rock gardens can be scary to walk through, but what makes them even scarier is when you walk through them slowly. If you are hauling speed through rocky areas or rough areas of the trail, your tires will slide over obstacles much more easily than if you are trying to navigate your way. Also, the faster you go, the less you will have to worry about balance.
A show of hands for how many of you have gone too slowly on a rough section of the trail to fall or have to stop and pass? If you are a mountain biker this has happened to you so know that you are not alone. 🙂
Avoid the training wheels.
If you are teaching your kids to ride a bike, the best way to go is to skip the training wheels and get them a balance bike.
These bikes do not have pedals, so they allow children to stand over the seat, step on it, and possibly ride hills on them. This teaches kids to balance instead of leaning on training wheels so that when they’re big enough for a pedal bike, they can go straight from a balance bike to a pedal bike.
Not all helmets are created equal – and yes, shape matters.
Helmets must adapt in order to function. I know this sounds like a statement that doesn’t need to be said, but trust me, it does. I would say at least 50% of the people who come to our clinics or classes don’t have a well-fitting helmet, which means if they do fall, their helmet probably won’t do anything for them that it’s supposed to. make. .
To check if your helmet is properly fitted, make sure that when you move your head, it does not move. Then if it has a visor, you should be able to see the visor when you look up. Also, the ear adjustments should form a “V” around your ears, ending at the level of your earlobe. Finally, your chin bar should fit snugly under your chin. If it’s too loose and you fall over and hit your head, your helmet is unlikely to stay in place.
Helmets are also only meant to protect your head for one impact – which means if you fall on your ski or bike and hit your head, that helmet has to go in the trash. Yeah, I know they’re expensive, but your head is worth more than the cost of a new helmet, right?
Most helmets are also only meant to protect your head from abrasions, etc., and don’t actually contribute to what’s going on inside your skull when you have a head injury. The helmets that help protect both your brain movements in your skull and abrasions etc. are those labeled with MIPS technology (love my Smith) as well as 6D helmets, which also makes helmets from motorbike.
And to finish off my tangent headset (sorry), they actually have a lifespan. Five years is the recommended time limit for using your helmet. After that, it’s time to get a replacement.
If you are interested in learning more about mountain biking for yourself or for your family, my husband, Andy, and I offer mountain biking lessons for all ages as well as clinics for beginner level cyclists. at advanced until fall. I’ll even be coaching a Women’s Mountain Bike Progression Clinic every Wednesday for women who want to build confidence, learn new skills, and tackle the trails together.
Visit our website to find out more: www.mahremade.com