Good Habits of Great Mountain Bikers

Have you ever been hiking in the woods and notice that mountain bikers seem to be having the most fun? Even if you don’t share trails with them, you likely cross paths with them in the woods from time to time and share parking lots and access points with them. You might even notice regular faces among the crowds, so you know that the same folks are showing up a lot. How is that they keep coming back to something that looks like fun, but also dangerous at the same time? The truth is, good mountain bikers keep coming back because of their good habits and routines.

Even though mountain biking looks dangerous, the risks involved can be tremendously mitigated and managed. This is done through training, proper equipment, and paying attention to trail conditions.

Training is something that mountain bikers should always adhere to. While licensing is not required for riding a mountain bike, there are online tutorials for how to ride safely. First aid courses should always be taken too, just in case.

Proper equipment is second in the list of good mountain biker habits, and it ranges anywhere from properly inflated tires to a good helmet. A resourceful mountain biker knows how to care for his or her bike, and has the tools to fix it when needed.

The third and last one, paying attention to trail conditions, happens in various stages. It starts at home (or the office) with keeping up with the weather reports for where a trail is located. Further consultation happens with any official park or trail resources that monitor the conditions there. Those news sources alone can cancel trips that should never happen, and a visual inspection of the trail is always a good idea before riding.

If you would like to learn about visualization in mountain biking, please watch the following video:

Most Important Pieces of Bicycle Safety Gear

Mountain biking is an extreme sport and safety becomes a priority if you want to ascertain longevity in this exciting yet dangerous sport. As such, you’ll want to be fitted out with the ideal safety gear.

Full Face Helmet

One of the most important and often the first to be considered when it comes to mountain biking is the face helmet. Not only does this piece of gear protect your head, but it covers your face and jaw as well. To avoid breaking your jaw or grazing the skin off your face, a full face helmet is of utmost importance.

Knee Pads

To prevent a painful graze on your knees, also known as roastie, stinging, knocking or even breaking your knee pads, you will want a good set of knee pads.

Gloves

Your hands are always in the firing line and should, therefore, be properly protected. A decent pair of biking gloves will not break your bank and will prevent a world of pain.

Shin Guards

These are basically pads that protect your shins while biking. Fortunately, the designs nowadays incorporate a knee pad as well. Get them in white, and you’ll be a storm trooper, protected by the force.

Reinforced Cycling Shorts

It’s always a wise idea to get a pair or even several pairs of these shorts. Most of the major brands out there make them, and they come with raised plastic designs on the side leg and hip regions to protect your hips and upper leg’s skin from grazing if you accidentally fall off.

Mountain biking is a fantastic and exciting sport, but accidents are not uncommon. In fact, they are too common to overlook any of the items mentioned in this brief article. Always be on the safe side by gearing properly.

If you want to learn more about the best helmets to wear while mountain biking, please watch the following video:

How Do You Steer A Bike?

Just how do you steer a bike? A lot of people who have never ridden a bike wonder this. Their confusion likely stems from the fact that they are used to seeing people steer cars with a wheel, and bikes have no such feature. Even those who have never driven a car have sat in the passenger seat or the back seat and seen their parents maneuver vehicles around, knowing to hold the wheel steady for going straight forward or reverse, and rotating the wheel right or left to go those directions when moving forward.

Bikes are possibly confusing until someone rides one because they are a lot simpler. If you are peddling, coasting, or going down hill, then use your pectoral muscles to turn the handlebars to the right to move right, and to the left to go left. The more you tilt, then the harder you turn.

The trick is getting the angles just right relative to your speed and how hard or fast you need to turn. Do it too quickly, and you can fall to the ground on your side. Do it too slowly, and you can wind up off your target path or route, running into people, trees, cars, water, traffic, or other obstacles and hazards.

When someone is learning how to ride a bike, it’s best to do so under the supervision of someone that already knows how to ride. Likewise, learning the intricacies like steering is best off done in a safe place like a park. Experienced riders might be able to ride on sidewalks and streets with cars simultaneously and safely, but newer riders need a safe space in order to learn good habits and pick up the finer points of riding a two-wheeled wonder that any good bicycle proves to be.

For more information on this topic, please check out the following video:

What Kinds Of Shoes Should You Wear When Biking?

Are you thinking about getting into biking? If you want to start cycling, you need to purchase the proper footwear! Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to select the ideal shoes for your biking trips.

Always Choose Supportive Shoes

You can’t throw on flimsy shoes when you’re going on a bike ride. You need to pick shoes that properly support your feet. Athletic shoes like sneakers are generally recommended for biking. Larger shoes, like hiking boots, may not give you the kind of flexibility that you need, and are not very supportive of your ankles.

You need to make sure that any shoes you put on fit your feet properly. If your shoes are too big — or too small — you may run into some issues. You may want to have your feet sized when buying new shoes. That way, you can buy shoes that fit you perfectly every time.

Pick Shoes That Let Your Feet Breathe

Your feet can get sweaty when you’re pedaling a bike. That’s why you should select shoes that will allow your feet to breathe. Make sure you pair your shoes with the right kind of socks.

Wear Shoes That Have Been Broken In

If you’re planning on going on a long bike ride, you’re going to want to avoid wearing shoes that are brand new. Instead, you should put on shoes that you have broken in. If you wear broken-in shoes, you’ll be able to avoid blistering.

There are many different kinds of shoes you can wear when biking. Experiment and try out different kinds of shoes. See which shoes work best for your feet. In time, you should find a pair of shoes that are ideal for someone like you. From there, you’ll be able to bike as often as you would like!

For more information on this topic, please watch the video embedded below!

The Difference Between Biking And Mountain Biking

Biking is without a doubt one of the most exciting recreational activities available. It gets your heart racing, it makes your blood flow, and it can pump your adrenalin if you don’t mind taking a few minor risks. But what is the difference between biking and mountain biking? And if there is, do you really need to know the details?

Biking (Road Cycling)

When you talk about biking in general, you’re referring to riding a bike on the street. Now, you can basically ride any bike on the street, but for those who are passionate about the sport, they’ll use a specific bike, and they’ll refer to themselves as cyclists.

Mountain Biking

As for mountain biking, you can’t do it with just any bike. You are going to need a mountain bike to navigate the area, and the bike needs to be tough. Because the terrain you’ll be riding on will be rough, uneven, full of hazards and even a little dangerous.

What’s The Difference?

First of all, biking is mostly about how fast you can go, in addition to the distance. Mountain biking also takes the distance into account, but it’s not so much about speed.

The two different terrains are responsible for the different experiences. While biking allows for a smooth and relatively safe environment, mountain biking requires you to focus on reflexes and control.

Which One Is Better?

It all comes down to personal taste. In terms of exercise, you are going to burn calories no matter how and where you decide to ride a bike. The same goes for fitness reasons, as you may already know.

What you need to figure out is whether you want the thrill that only mountain biking can provide? Or do you want to slice through the air on the road?

Tips on Cycling Faster

Regardless of how fast you cycle, chances are you still want to be faster. If that is the case, then you may want to pay attention to these several healthy ways to enhance your cycling speed.

Improve Your Fitness

Perhaps the easiest way to become a fast biker is to enhance your fitness. This can be simply achieved by getting on your bicycle more regularly. Attend a group exercise class, ride your bike to work or even squeeze in another ride during the weekends.

Have a Proper Diet

When it comes to biking, the body is the engine. That simply means that the food you put in your body is the fuel. An easy way to have better fitness and become a faster rider is to consume what your body needs and not what you want. Take a balanced diet and pay attention to your portions from sweets to fatty foods. Also, keep an eye on the number of calories your burn when exercising and always replenish the nutrients that your body has lost. A good diet is important for gaining competitive advantages.

Train off the Bike

You should cross-train at least once a week and devote a few days or week during the off season and focus on muscle groups that do not relate to cycling. It is important to keep your body physically balanced, so swim, run, hike, lift weights and even attend yoga classes.

Work on Your Position

If you want to bike faster, then you will want to build your core with the aim of maintaining an aerodynamic position for a longer period. The lower your body on the bike, the less you will be exposed to the wind, thus making you faster. The goal here is to have a strong core so that you be able to pedal faster while keeping your hands in the drops and your back flat.

These are just a few simple tips to become a faster rider. You will be surprised by how effective they can be.

For more information, please check out the following video:

3 Common Mountain Biking Injuries You Should Know About

In recent years, mountain biking has increased in popularity and so have injuries associated with the sport. In most cases, competitive mountain biking usually involves lots of off road riding on tracks with different surface conditions. The high speed usually achieved when cycling downhill can result in falls and serious injuries. Injuries arising from mountain biking may be traumatic and acute or those that arise from overuse. Let’s take a look at the most common mountain biking injuries.

Skin Abrasions

Skin abrasions generally mean grazes and cuts, or damage to the soft tissue on the top layers of the skin. Skin abrasions are often sustained when falling off a mountain bike and their severity can vary depending on whether the rider was wearing protective gear. Some serious cuts can rupture blood vessels or damage nerve tissues and thus call for medical attention. Skin abrasions can be easily prevented by wearing protective gear on the elbows, knees and hips.

Shoulder Separation

Also referred to as Acromio Clavicular joint sprain, this kind of injury usually results in damage of the AC joint ligament located on the outer side of the collar bone where it’s joined to the front of your shoulder blade. At first, the pain may be widespread but may be localized over time. AC joint injuries can be prevented by avoiding mountain bike falls especially ones that involve going over the handlebars.

Knee and Lower Back Pain

Cycling is a repetitive activity and as a result, painful knees and lower back injuries can be triggered by overuse of the same muscles over time. Lower back pain is mostly caused by the slouching posture in which most bikers do their cycling. If knee pain creeps to your feet, you should consider talking to one or two licensed podiatrists. On the flip side, however, these injuries can be prevented by setting up a mountain bike correctly. For instance, the saddle height and size of the frame must be considered so as to avoid overextending your knees when the pedals reach the bottom of the revolution.

If you want to learn about preventing mountain biking injuries, please watch the following video:

Finding The Best Places To Mountain Bike In North America

From Whistler, British Columbia to Moab, Utah, there are some truly amazing places to mountain bike in North America. No matter what level your riding skills are currently at, you can find a trail that will challenge you. Whether you want to enjoy a beautiful ride through nature or experience the heart-pounding thrill of racing down the side of a mountain, there is something out there for everyone. Here are some tips on how to go about finding the best places to mountain bike in this part of the world:

1. Decide what kind of experience you want to have. Mountain biking doesn’t have to be extreme to be enjoyable, especially in Long Island. There are plenty of amazing trails that you can ride on that are relatively flat and easy but still provide incredible views of the surrounding countryside. At the same time, there are also trails that are designed to be as thrilling as possible, with sharp turns, steep slopes, and terrifying jumps. The type of experience that you are looking for will largely dictate which trails are the best fit.

2. Take into account your current skill level. As tempting as it might be to ride on some of the more challenging trails that are out there, you should only do so if your abilities are up to the task. Be honest with yourself when determining which trails are appropriate for your current riding level.

3. Check with other mountain bikers. One of the best ways to discover incredible trails is by talking to other people who love mountain biking as much as you do. Join some online mountain biking forums to get real-world input on which trails you should try.

Finding the best places to mountain bike in North America is all about figuring out exactly what you want to get out of the experience. Once you know what you are looking for, it is simply a matter of reaching out to other mountain biking enthusiasts to get recommendations on where to go.

For more information, please check out the following video: