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.
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?
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:
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 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.
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:
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: