With the spring arriving, it’s time to get back outside and enjoying some warmer activities once more – for many individuals it has been a great couple of years of exploration too with new passions being found throughout the lockdowns and remote working change. Mountain biking has certainly been one of these sports that have gained some new fans, Red Bull has become the big name in hosting competitions particularly for downhill and options at TBC have started to emerge to enable wagering options on more extreme sports like this – but for newcomers, it’s going to be quite the learning curve, but there are some tips to help getting started with downhill riding.
Just relax – When first getting started, it’ll feel quite daunting on some trails with the speed and the scenery around, even the more beginner friendly trails can be quicker than most would have ridden in a normal situation – but it’s important to stay relaxed as one of the fundamentals of downhill. Getting too tense and holding on too tightly can make it harder to control the bike, and when a crash inevitably does come can lead to a bigger injury too – don’t be afraid to slow right down if needed, that’s what the beginner trails are for after all, but not being relaxed can lead to some troubles on the run.
Let the bike do the work – Once they get going, the bikes become surprisingly stable as at speed the bike wants to stay upright – the suspension is also designed to handle the terrain without too much compensation too so there’s not too much worry in hitting a bump or root in the ground. It may feel right at the time to avoid something on the ground or to ride in a different way but learning to ride downhill starts with letting the bike do most of the hard work so the rider doesn’t have to.
Research the trails and take lessons too – Riding a trail blind is something best left to experienced riders, it’s better to know what to expect before going in to know where the fact sections are and where the slower sections are too – in the same vein getting lessons from an instructor can help here too – they’ll guide you to the best trails for the skill level and can help show where speed and time can be improved. Researching any trail and getting advice from those who are most familiar with those trails is going to be the best way to improve, and the best way to stay safe too.
Downhill mountain biking is considered to be an extreme sport, so it’s also important to make sure to wear all your gear and to understand that injury may become part of the sport too – so whilst any rider will encourage newcomers to try the sport out, ensure that it’s being done as safely as possible.