Cycling is a great way to pass time, enjoy nature and keep fit. Who doesn’t love the smell of nature and the shades of green that sweep by when you get on your bike and peddle away? I personally find this feeling most soothing, almost therapeutic in a certain way.
This feeling is what you get as you ride through squirrel mountain valley California. You get to experience nature on a personal level as you ride up and down the hills on your mountain bike taking the scenery in as you go. There are tips on how to have a good experience with mountain biking, if you are a beginner and how to improve on these tips if you are a pro with some experience.
1 – Safety First
Safety is the most important aspect during these riding trips. The scenery contains hills and canyons that can prove hazardous to one’s experience. You, therefore, need to be extra careful and take into considerations the implications of your mountainside cycling experiences by putting safety first.
You should have a fitting helmet that will protect you from head injuries that might cause concussions. You should also have other safety gear such as knee and elbow pads that will cushion you in case of an accident and a first aid kit to treat minor cuts and bruises.
2 – Know Your Area
It will be better for you to thoroughly know your area before going mountain riding. Most areas in the bushes look the same and its quite difficult for you to mark the places. It will, thus, be better for you to either have foreknowledge of the area ride with a local or a friend who knows the area and the nearest emergency centers, such as hospitals or have a map of the area.
Getting lost with low supplies or little or no knowledge about survival tactics can be bad for you. You should also have a good phone with good coverage or better yet get a satellite phone or a walkie-talkie with a very good reception range. You quite honestly don’t know what could happen in the mountains and it is better to be safe than sorry.
3 – Know Your Bike
You should know what your bike can and cannot handle. Pick the right type of bike and stick to the trail it can handle most otherwise you might end up with a broken bike and might have to trek your way down to the nearest emergency center to get help. You should get yourself some best hybrid bike review articles on the internet and magazines to get a good idea on the hybrid bikes for women are available.
Hybrid bikes combine the best bits of mountain bikes and road bikes to give you a great riding experience. We have reviewed a list of top mountains bikes for women in our recent blog post, you can read the article from here. These have been designed in such a way that they can be easily handled and manipulated by women. They are light enough to be steered and ridden with ease making their experience even better.
4 – Know your fitness, know your limits
How much mountain bike riding have you done, how high can you go, how far can you ride and how much rigorous activity can your body handle? These are the questions that you should ask yourself before setting off to the mountain tops. If you are an armature at mountain climbing, you should set off with a group of cyclists that will provide you company and guide you through your very first adventures.
You should also keep shorter and less challenging trails until you get the hang of it. You should also not challenge yourself too much. You should instead keep to your own pace which you’ve set for yourself. This will prevent you from overtaxing your body which may cause fatigue and muscle strains and muscle cramps.
5 – Sunglasses
This is not just a fashion fad because you do really need sunglasses when you are out there on the trails. They don’t just protect you against the sun but also from scratched corneas that may result from twigs and small stones that may get into your eyes during your adventures.
6 – Where to look
This really confuses cyclers out of fear that they might fall off over some obstacle. This makes them constantly look mostly right in front of their bike or at where they are not going. Doing this does not prepare you for the obstacles and it does not give you enough time to react to them. This significantly increases your chances of over or under-estimating your obstacles which might cause you to have an accident.
7 – Learn how to shift
This is very important and will go a long way into making your riding experience more enjoyable. Beginners should teach themselves by shifting their gears frequently so that they can get the hang of it. They should also learn how to utilize gravity by shifting to a higher gear and letting gravity pull them along. Gravity gives you the momentum you need to go over small obstacles that might have otherwise held you back.
8 – Types of Brakes
Your breaking should be consistent and controlled. Your front brake is more powerful than your back bakes although you shouldn’t use it more often. If your bike has rim brakes you should have two fingers on the brake levers, index, and middle finger, while the other two plus the wrist remain at on the handlebars. This is because these types of brakes require more force when they are applied. Bikes with brake pads require less force to apply and are thus operated using only the index fingers.
9 How to apply brakes
When braking, you should apply the brakes softly to avoid skidding, lean back so that you can put more weight on the rear axle because it does more work in slowing you down. You should also move your legs slightly outwards so that you get more balance and prevent yourself from tumbling downwards.
10 – Falling off the bike
In an event that you fall, which is bound to happen, you should avoid the natural instinct to put your arms outwards to brace your fall because this might lead to broken bones. You should instead tuck them in to prevent any unnecessary injuries.
Mountain bike riding is the best most exhilarating experience you can ever find that offers both entertainment and health benefits. Grab your hybrid bicycle and enjoy a ride through the squirrel mountain valley trails.
Sophie Elise is a passionate cyclist, author, and blogger. She is very passionate about writing on different types of women’s bikes, accessories, health, fitness and more and regularly writes on bestbikesforwomen.com