When Abby was small, she had no interest in learning how to ride a bike for some reason. Hubby and I on the other hand used to love going out in the evenings on our mountain bikes, exploring the forest for new trails near our home.
Our love of mountain biking started when we visited Center Parcs one year and spent the week on bikes instead of walking. We promptly came home and bought new mountain bikes which in hindsight weren’t perhaps the best investment we could have made.
We had a gap for a few years where the bikes became more of a decoration than a tool for adventure, so when Abby finally decided she was going to enjoy riding her bike, we were able to get back on our mountain bikes and find new family friendly trails to explore.
There is something about being out in the fresh air, getting exercise and having some fun at the same time. We have a tick list of places in our minds we want to explore over the next few years, but if we’re short on time then we’ll pop out close to home.
We are very lucky to live in a lovely area of the UK near to the New Forest which is home to a mass of different trails suitable for mountain biking. If you’re new to mountain biking however, then I would suggest the following before you jump in and get started.
Get The Right Bike
There are so many different types of mountain bikes on the market, and its important to get the right bike for you. Halfords have a great range of mountain bikes suitable for everyone.
The most important thing for choosing a new mountain bike is reach, something we didn’t realise when we bought our first mountain bikes all those years ago. You can adjust the height of the saddle but you can’t adjust the length of the frame.
Learn The Basics
Mountain Biking isn’t a difficult skill to master, but when you’re out in the forest, the terrain is very different to say cycling on the road or a hard smooth surface.
When you’re out mountain biking on marked mountain bike trails, it’s important to learn what the different trails mean. A green trail for example is the easiest trail with smooth tracks without steep climbs.
A black trail on the other hand is for experiences mountain bikers, so perhaps not one to try if you’re starting out. If you’re a beginner then perhaps check out this guide to mountain biking.
Carry The Essentials
It’s easy to rely on our smart phones now the majority of us have them. They certainly have their place in mountain biking, however a printed map is always a good idea to have on your person in case you don’t have a phone signal to check the map on your device.
It’s very important to wear a helmet when mountain biking for obvious reasons, and you should never be without one.
A water bottle and some snacks is also a very good idea. Its important to stay hydrated and also if you’re out for a long time, you may need the extra energy from snacks.
Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear. There is nothing more uncomfortable than wearing jeans when mountain biking. Believe me I have done this and regretted it!
Where will your next adventure take you?
**This is a collaborative post**