Guide To Mountain Bike Racing
If you love riding a bike, then taking the next step to try mountain biking should come naturally to you. Unlike what has been widely believed, mountain biking isn’t limited to just the ‘macho men’. Everyone is trying their hand at it these days.
However, before you step onto your mountain bike and try to conquer the trails, you will need to know some basics about mountain biking. Read on to know some of the basic rules that mountain bike requires you to know.
Mountain Bike Racing Knows No Discrimination
Whether you are young or old, male or a female, mountain bike racing welcomes everyone with open arms. This is largely because more than being a serious sport, mountain bike racing incorporates a lot of fun.
- Choose Your Category
There are different levels and categories which one can enlist in. You will need to figure out which category you fit into and compete in the same.
- No Overestimation
Do not overestimate or underestimate yourself. It is common for people to think that they can conquer just about all kinds of terrains out there. Do not put yourself in the wrong category, as it may suck all the fun out.
- Get A Physical Exam
Get a doctor’s approval before you venture out in the sport. Mountain bike racing can be physically demanding at times, hence you need to be physically fit to participate in it.
Why Should You Indulge In Mountain Bike Racing?
If you are the kind who loves to ride his/her bike, but haven’t yet tried racing, then you must know that participating in a race will simply help you get better at riding. There are benefits to mountain bike racing, other than just getting better at riding a bike.
- If experts are to be believed then, participating in racing which takes you through some dangerous terrains, forces the mind to come up with quick solutions.
- An unpredictable course will help one overcome the habit where they are always on a safe and predictable path, and get on an unpredictable path once in a while.
- Our reaction time too improves, as we are forced to make split-second decisions while on a dangerous terrain.
- The fact that we learn new riding techniques a lot faster than usual is an added advantage.
Choosing Your Mountain Bike
Generally, people who aren’t so well versed with mountain biking, think that buying a good mountain bike, will burn a deep hole in their pockets. Well, fortunately that isn’t always true. Yes, there are several insanely expensive mountain bikes, but you don’t always have to buy those.
- Choose a mountain bike that you think is reliable and more importantly sturdy.
- Make sure that the hydraulic brakes and suspension are great, however, at the same time you need to make that the bike is light in weight.
- If you are thinking of tackling some rough terrains, make sure that the bike has a good set of shock absorbers.
- Choose your mountain bike with respect to the trail that you will be riding on. This is extremely important, as the bikes are built in accordance to the terrain.
Irrespective of which bike you end up choosing always make sure that you carry a tool kit, puncture repair kit, additional tire tubes and a water bottle. These come in handy when needed.
Types Of Racing
Mountain biking has several different categories. Some of the more popular ones are given below,
A fast paced and intense race, cross country involves riders racing on a pre-constructed track or trail.
As the name suggests, the races go down the hill. The fastest one to complete the race wins it. There may be a few obstacles on the way.
- Downhill Slalom
Like downhill racing, downhill slalom involves the rider to go downhill, but at the same time they are required to pass through some gates. Any missed gates, may invite penalty.
- Hill Climb
In this race, the rider goes uphill. This particular type is a lot more demanding physically. The one to finish the race the fastest wins it.
Tips To Consider Before You Begin Racing
Now that you have picked out your mountain bike and the terrain that you are ready to try, keep in mind the following tips while racing.
You may know how to ride a bike, but participating in a mountain bike race is a completely different thing altogether. So practice, more than what you think is needed, before you participate in a race.
With the body taking a beating physically, you will need to drink a lot of water. So always carry a water bottle and rehydrate regularly.
- Know Your Course
Always test the course that you will be riding on. It is preferable to test it at a slower pace before speeding.
Now that you know about the mountain bikes and the different mountain bike terrains, you are ready to get out there and conquer some of them.