Mountain biking can be a great way to explore new areas, and often grants access to wonderful vistas that other people simply do not see. For this reason, Mountain biking makes a great holiday activity, especially if you are heading to a place of stunning natural beauty. New Forest mountain biking holidays provide access to some of the country’s most stunning scenery, and there are tracks to challenge bikers of all levels.
Whether you mountain bike to keep fit, or simply to enjoy the great outdoors, great bike-handling abilities and stability will allow you to get the best from your experience. These tips should get you off to a great start:
1. Cycle Maintenance
It’s hard to concentrate on the track when you’re worrying about an odd noise that your bike is making. Standard bicycle maintenance only requires a couple of minutes and may save you from a very long hike home, or even worse, a visit to accident and emergency. Even in the event that you can not fix a problem with your bike, giving it a pre-ride inspection will at least let you know that there is a problem before you leave home, which is much better than finding out whilst doing 38mph on a downhill stretch!
Examine the whole bicycle and try to find anything that’s worn, broken, fractured, or not working correctly. Bear in mind that minor issues at home could become huge issues when you are miles from the nearest town. Furthermore, make certain the bicycle is configured to your body size. A bicycle that’s too large or too small for you will be much harder to control.
2. Ride With More Experienced Riders To Improve Technique
Riding with more experienced riders will allow you to pick up on the riding techniques of those who have had a little more time to develop their riding skills. See how they shift their stance when riding uphill or downhill. See how they manage rough, rugged sections. See how they fix a puncture when they are out on the trail.
Invaluable skills can often be learned at a much faster rate when riding as part of a group. Check online mountain biking communities to find riders in your area, or ask at your local bike shop.
3. Focus on Your Path
Whenever you’re on the track, focus on the path you wish to take, particularly on forest trails where roots and stones often make hazardous obstacles. When you focus on the stone or root that you’re attempting to avoid, you are actually more likely to hit it, or the obstacle behind it that you have not spotted yet. Concentrating on the line that you plan to take is a much better approach.
This is known as target fixation. There’s a scientific explanation as to why this works, but you need not be concerned with the theory, applying the technique to your riding style is enough to make you a better mountain biker. Always stay focused on the track ahead and mentally map the line that you plan to take, your riding will improve and with time the technique will become second nature.