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Making Tracks – How To Get Started In Mountain Biking

14 May, 2013 | Written by Recuperat-ion Recuperat-ion
Mountain biking is fast becoming a major sport with participants taking to the saddle on a worldwide basis.  If you are thinking of setting out on two wheels and enjoying the freedom and exhilaration that the sport brings with it, there are a few things that you need to know in order to make the best possible start.  
Many people know the term mountain biking but actually have little or no knowledge of what the sport actually entails and can often look a little perplexed if you say you are going mountain biking when you live in an area without anything remotely resembling a mountain.  Basically any riding that is carried out off road, over natural terrain can be classed as mountain biking.  As opposed to road cycles a mountain bike is built to withstand the impact of rough terrain and has tyres designed to offer excellent traction on a wide variety of surfaces.

Getting Started

As with most sports and pastimes, once that bug gets hold of you it could prove to be fairly expensive, so rather than jumping in with both feet and buying all of the equipment right at the outset, see if you can trial mountain biking out for a while by renting a bike for a day or two to see if you really are up for the challenges that mountain biking can present.  At least if you have tried it first you have a good idea of whether or not you are going to like it and enjoy it before spending a fortune on a bike and all the other stuff you will need.
You cannot seriously partake in this sport without the right equipment, an ordinary run of the mill bicycle will not do.  Safety equipment such as helmets and pads are there for a reason and should never be overlooked or ignored; unless you have everything you need, don’t begin riding.

The Basics

The first thing on your list of necessities should be the bike.  A good basic bike that will suit any beginner should cost somewhere in the region of £100-£250; pay any less than that and the quality may not be all it should be.  Once you have the bike, a cycle helmet should be next on your list; this is an essential item and is not optional!  Make sure the one you pick fits comfortably and that it protects your head.  It also helps if you don’t mind the way that it looks.
Mountain biking is not classed as an extreme sport for nothing ;riders become dehydrated very quickly which is why you also need to have a hydration pack on your list of essentials.  Basically it is a specially designed backpack that holds a water bladder within it.  A tube will run from the water bladder that can be attached to the rider so that they can drink whilst on the move.  If you don’t fancy carrying the water or sports drink on your back make sure that you can attach sports bottles to your bike.

Non Essentials

Any other equipment you purchase is more related to the comfort of your ride than any real necessity.  This includes things like padded gloves which offer extra grip on the handlebars and also offer some protection when you fall off the bike as well as special clothing designed for the rider, as while looking athletic it also allows the skin to breathe.  If you are planning on heading off into the wild on your bike then some kind of survival equipment including a map and compass and communication equipment would be advisable, as well as a supply of high energy snacks.

Lucas Conner is a writer that knows that preparation is everything when it comes to getting the most out of a sport or hobby.  Mountain bikes can be expensive and therefore he suggests researching a company like Velosure who specialise in insurance for cyclists.

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