One of the fondest childhood memories is learning how to ride a bicycle. I am sure it is easy for many of us to instantly recollect our riding teachers and the location of our first two wheeled adventures. Riding a bike is a long standing tradition that has been passed down over numerous families and generations.
Really a first taste of freedom and responsibility, the bike is often a right of passage for maturing youth. While most kids are satisfied with just balancing on two wheels safely there will always be those daring minds that want to break traditional molds. In this article we will review the various types of mountain biking and the suitable gear utilized in the experience.
When selecting a suitable bike style for yourself it will be worthwhile to check out such sub-categories as cross country (XC), all mountain (AM), downhill (DH), four-cross/dual slalom (4X), freestyle/big air (BA), dirt jumping (DJ), trials (TL) and mountain bike touring (MBT).
The many faces of this sport all have their own unique equipment, rules and communities. By reading up on each niche we can find the one that best suits our own personal needs and desires.
Sitting on a mountain bike and racing and down a mountain can be the thrill of lifetime for those who decide to take the plunge. If you are a beginner starting with cross country (XC) is the recommended first step. It is the most popular among novice riders and is a mountain biking genre where rider safety and difficulty level is easy to control. Cross country usually consists of guided uphill, downhill and flat terrain paths where skill levels are often conveniently separated by marked trails and maps. For those wanting to partake in this sport, there is a checklist of gear that you should constantly be reviewing and maintaining.
Picking the bike will probably be hardest choice. It is advised to see a trusted specialist when buying a mountain bike. You will not only learn about the latest mountain biking technology but you can also make sure you are getting the best bike fit for your body shape and riding preferences. Once you get past a bike purchase the rest of the mountain bike accessories are much simpler to source. When preparing for a mountain ride the other specialty gear you will need may include gloves, glasses, shoes, clothes, hydration systems, GPS/tracking navigation, tire pumps, repair tools, spare parts and communication devices.
Due to the risky nature of mountain biking additional safety precautions and protections are mandatory. Factors that will impact protective gear necessities are obstacle awareness, environment, climate, guide recommendations, education level, technical skill, physical fitness and risk tolerance. When mountain biking, safety should never be compromised and items like helmets, body armor and first aid kits are a must. Once you stock up on and get acquainted with the equipment mentioned above you should be more than ready to tackle a mountain trail or two.
In the digital age it seems as if we are finding less and less reasons to participate in outdoor activities. Fortunately for us mountain biking gives us one really good excuse to break away from our computers and indulge in some climatic climbing. Mountain biking not only tests us both mentally and physically but it is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family in a constructive and productive environment.
Sadly the world’s natural habitats are depleting at unacceptable rates and if we do decide to enjoy the gifts of the land we should take care of them as well. Mountain biking is so many sensations rolled into one and is one of those life experiences that nobody should pass up.
It may even have you traveling back to those days as child and your first pair of training wheels or trial and error bicycle training crashes. Mountain biking is an adrenaline rush. It is a slice of life that encourages health and happiness. Mountains are awe inspiring and when you add a bike and the human mind great things can happen. In life we are all looking to get to the top of the mountain and a bike is just one more tool we were given to get there. Hope to see you at the summit.