Biking off the beaten path


The mountain biking bug gets most who love the thrill of the wind-in-your-face, traverse across hill and dale. Imagine you make your way up a hill, beads of sweat beginning to drip as you heave your way up to a breath-taking view at the summit. A sharp intake of breath as you scan the descent route and you set off. Instinct kicks in as you  negotiate every stone, bush and bramble and gather speed as you reach the base.


The right gear is one of the most important aspects in Mountain biking. When you start of, the ideal choice of bike would be an all-purpose full suspension bike (built on two frames, with suspensions at the front and back). Its rugged, sturdy frame can endure a variety of terrain, allowing for better flexibility and manoeuvrability. Alternatively a budget option of  a hardtail (a bike built on one frame with  a front suspension) would do. Pick a comfortable pair of cycling shorts with adequate cushioning and a light wind-breaker if there’s a chilly breeze. A good body-hugging hydration pack with a slim pocket for your essentials makes for the perfect uninterrupted ride. To avoid any serious injury a good helmet, pair of gloves, elbow pads and last but not least,  knee pads are all essentials in mountain biking. Practice  bike handling skills such as learning to rock on a stationary bike, or bunny hop over a small rock to enjoy a fall-free ride down  a trail or downhill descent.


On your  first ride,  choose an easy trail through open farm lands or defined forest trails. Sometimes it’s just better to select a trail according to ones acquired skill level in Mountain biking. If there’s an intimidating ride that you’re eager to conquer then begin with relatively easier rides as you work towards improving your bike handling skills for the big ride.



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