Mountain biking can be scary, dangerous, and time-consuming. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it probably goes without saying that those who take the time to get into the sport are thrill seekers. They like to live life a little faster, they like the wind washing over their bodies, and they’re not afraid to get back on the horse again after they fall off. So you’re interested in mountain biking, but not sure it’s for you? Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re first starting out.
Be sure you really do want this. The sport is getting more popular with every year, and last year over eight million people tried at least once. With that kind of popularity comes a particular kind of word of mouth. People have the tendency to want to try what they’re friends are doing, but it doesn’t mean they should. Be careful, and think about all the pros and cons before you give it a try.
Mountain biking requires a powerful core. If that isn’t something you’re confident you’ve got, then it’s time to find out. Start with a few yoga workouts, and you’ll get the idea pretty quick.
Find someone to go with you. It’s a dangerous sport, so don’t try it alone. Find others who are at or above your skill level so you have friends you can watch out for, and who will watch out for you.
Beware of how your body rests on the bike. Take a look at pictures and videos to see how experienced riders sit on the bike, and do your best to replicate it before you try anything crazy. You’ll get used to the effort depending on your stance. Start out by taking it easy.
Don’t forget food and water while you’re training on a new path–especially if it’s your first time out. You’re not just riding around on any silly old bike. You’re expending a lot of energy on a very physical sport, and you need to remember to rest and recharge frequently. Get a hydration pack, and make sure you have food nearby or keep a small backpack.
The most important thing of all? Don’t give up. Once you’ve decided to give it a try, don’t dismiss it after you fall the first time or procure the first scrape. Relax, rest, recharge, and then do it again.