Jun 21, 2013

How to prepare for a mountain biking adventure

While mountain biking downhill is not for the weak hearted or the ill-trained, you don't have to be a pro to do it. First of all, the mountain bikers code is: always plan and prepare. Our advice is, if you really want to pursue this sport, then you might as well go all the way.

For nature lovers such as those who enjoy going on guided walking holidays or on long hiking vacations, mountain biking might be a little bit too extreme, but at the same sufficiently exhilarating to be tried at least once.

In order to help you be prepared for your first mountain biking adventure we thought of putting together a comprehensive guide with all the tips and tricks that experienced mountain bikers have shared with us. Take a look!

1. Depending on your budget, we recommend that you buy either an all-mountain bike, which is specially built to handle rough terrain, or a downhill bike with great suspension and specifically made for speed. As you already guessed, the latter is perfect for mountain biking downhill, but not ideal for uphil riding. If you are just thinking of trying mountain biking holidays and don’t want to invest money in a bike, you can opt for our rent-a-bike services.

2. The second step is gearing up for the adventure. The must-have pieces are: comfortable padded shorts, a waterproof jacket in case it rains and a reflective jersey for night riding, knee and elbow pads to shield you against falls, a safety certified helmet. Additionally, your shoes should be comfortable, durable and with a hard sole. To all these, you should also add special cycling socks to prevent blisters, a pair of sunglasses with high UV protection, and don't forget to take plenty of water with you.

3. As with each sport, practicing mountain biking also requires you to follow a set of practical rules that will keep out of harm's way. First and foremost, you need to ride only on open trails with an attentive eye for signs as you advance. The second golden rule is never try tricks that are beyond your skill level or a trail with a higher difficulty level than you are ready to handle. Third, when you approach someone going on the same trail as you are, let them know you are coming and then slow down. And then, there are the 3 basic rules that you are certainly familiar with if you ever went a hiking vacation: always bring extra supplies, do not litter, and watch out for wild animals.

Before you actually decide on a trail, consider practicing handling your bike on a variety of terrains. Try taking it over hills, in areas with rocks, sand, grass and tight turns. Each time take 20 to 30 minutes to warm up. With a few exercises you will increase the blood flow to your muscles so that you are less likely to injure them.

And with this, we wish you an exhilarating adventure!
Are you thinking of having a mountain biking holiday this summer? Do you have questions regarding such an experience? We are at your disposal for any concerns you might have.
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