Biking offers a number of health and eco-friendly benefits, but do you ever find yourself bored of riding taking the same route over and over? Or maybe you’re looking for more vigorous exercise?
Maybe you should give mountain biking a try! Mountain biking takes you off-road and onto rough terrain. You’ll improve your bike handling skills, test your endurance, and work your core strength
The below serves as a brief overview of some of the reasons you should try mountain biking and a few quick tips on how to get started.
Why you should try mountain biking
It’s a whole body workout
Mountain biking will present you with a great physical challenge. You’ll get a high-intensity cardio workout that will allow you to build muscle while working your core, arms, and legs. You’ll have to make it up hills and ledges, plus figure out a way back down. Exercising also releases serotonin, which helps lower anxiety and depression.
You’ll get to go on adventures
Mountain biking is an adventurous sport that will allow you to take risks and explore. While you’re on the trails, you’ll come across dangerous paths, spot wildlife, ride through mud pits, and more. If you’re looking for a good tale to tell your friends, you’ll be sure to find it while mountain biking.
You’ll make new friends
As you ride, you’ll naturally start coming across other cyclists that share your love for mountain biking. It’s always good to have a friend or two to ride with, just in case you get injured on the trails. You’ll also improve your own skills by watching the riding habits of others.
The good news is that once you start making friends, they’ll likely have their own friends that they can introduce you to. Mountain biking is a social sport, often done by clubs and groups.
You’ll see new places
If you always wanted to explore mountains or trails, mountain biking is a great alternative to hiking. A bike will allow you to get off your usual path and get further into nature. Imagine the view you’ll have when you make it to the top of a mountain and can look down into the valleys below.
Tips to get started with mountain biking
Pick the right bike for you
If you’re currently cycling with a street bike, you’ll want to upgrade to a mountain bike. Mountain bikes have features, such as large knobby tires, that allow them to have endurability while out on rough trails. When you go to pick out your bike, you’ll want to find one that is the right size and quality for your needs.
Hit the gym or take a class
Before you hit the trails, you’ll want to build your strength and balance. By engaging in training, you are less likely to get injured while biking.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider building up your endurance by taking a spin class. Spin classes involve high-intensity cycling workouts that will start building your quads and core muscles.
Remember, mountain biking is not just riding a bike through the woods. Riders can hurt themselves, particularly when fatigued or when riding downhill. If you want to be as prepared as possible, consider hiring a personal trainer with experience in mountain biking. An instructor can demonstrate movements and help you learn complex maneuvers.
Pick your trail
Not all trails are the same. You’ll want to find the trail that best meets your needs. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to stick to easier trails until you build your stamina up.
Some folks might be lucky and have a trail that is by your house. Other folks might need to travel before they find the ideal trail.
If you love camping in the mountains, it is easy to bring your bike along. If you already have your RV packed full, you might need to consider a bike rack for the back of your RV. There are a number of guides out there that will help you — check out biking with Camperism.co for a list of the best RV bike racks. If you don’t have an RV, you can also consider getting a bike rack for your car.
The more you ride, the better you’ll get. Even if your first few times out on the trail leave you feeling defeated, you’ll slowly start to build up more stamina and endurance. If you find yourself struggling on trails, practice on smaller hills first before moving up to steep hills.