Posted on: 24 July 2017
If you've decided to take your bike riding to the next level, it's time to head up into the mountains. City streets are fine for casual riding, but for the big adventure, you need mountain trails. Before you head up into the mountains for your first ride, however, it's important that you take some time to prepare. Riding in the mountains is nothing like riding on flat, city streets. Here are four strategies that will help you avoid problems on your first trail ride.
Choose the Right Bike
If you're thinking you can ride your current bike into the mountains, don't. Unless you've been riding a mountain bike on city streets, it's not going to make it on the trails. You're going to need to invest in a bike that was made for mountain terrain. Here are three options to choose from.
If you're planning on taking free-flowing trails, that switch back and forth through the mountains, you're going to want a cross-country bike. This type of bike is perfect for the beginner who wants to familiarize themselves with the terrain.
If you're thinking that the downhill approach to mountain biking is more your speed, you'll want to invest in a downhill bike. These bikes are designed for rapid descent off the mountain trails.
If you're more inclined to ride the best of both worlds – free-flowing trails, and downhill descents – you'll want an all-mountain bike. This type of bike is at home on any type of mountain terrain.
Know Which Route to Take
Once you have your bike, and you're ready to hit the mountains, make sure you know which route to take. Mountain trails are color-coded so that riders know where they should be. Before you take off, make sure you understand the coding system. You don't want to spend your first trip through the mountains stuck on an expert trail.
Trust Your Bike on Mountainous Terrain
If you're used to riding your bike on city streets, you might not be prepared for the obstacles you'll face on the trail. When it comes to obstacles, and mountain terrain, let your bike do what it's made for, which is taking those obstacles head-on. You'll have a much smoother ride through the mountains if you let your bike lead the way.
Listen to Your Body
This is important. When you're riding the trails through the mountains, listen to your body. If you feel yourself getting tired, fatigued, or dehydrated, stop and give yourself a break. Better to spend a few minutes resting along the side of the trail, than to become so tired and dehydrated that you can't make it down the mountain at all.
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