The Outside Health and Fitness podcast we’re talking about mountain biking and some techniques that will help you have more fun and get more out of your ride. In the Way Outside segment we’ll look at an annual event for bike enthusiasts unlike anything you’ve ever heard of before where the winner gets a mandatory tattoo! And I’ll wrap up the show with a new fitness challenge to keep you motivated this week.
Traction is the key to successfully climbing hills on a mountain bike, this can be hard to achieve on loose rocks, roots and mud as is common place in most mountain biking areas. The biggest problem to overcome is the rear wheel spinning and slipping as you climb, or the front wheel lifting and you ending up doing an unforced wheelie. To get the right traction, you just need to learn how to distribute your weight evenly across the bike whilst feeding power to the right areas of the bike; oh yeah whilst picking the best line, pedaling at the right time and in the right gear.
Learn the Wheelies
The funny tricks with wheelies or nose wheelies [back wheel off the ground] can provide very useful maneuvering while riding through the tracks. For example, you can use little wheelie to get sufficient lift of your front wheel for passing through the obstacles and then use nose wheelie so that the rear wheel also clear the objects. You will get a smoother ride on some sections of the trail simply by taking your weight off even if you haven’t perfected your skills to get the wheels off the ground.
Maintain Your Bike
It is difficult to focus on the trail when you are listening to strange noises coming from your bike. Basic bike maintenance only takes a few minutes and it can save you from a long walk, or worse, a trip to the emergency room. Even if you can’t fix your bike, checking it will give you the chance to take it into the shop before you hit the trail.
If you concentrate on things that you need to avoid on the adventure trails, most likely you will be hitting those rocks or trees instead of skipping them, especially on tracks with lots of roots and rocks. There is a scientific explanation to this phenomenon and concentrating on long distance known as target fixing helps you in smoothly avoiding obstacles on the track. Just concentrate on long distances along the track line during your ride for a smoother riding experience.
Whether you are riding a rigid bike or a full suspension, the best suspension you have is your arms and legs. Stand up, relax and allow them to absorb the bumps and ruts on the trail. Once you learn to let the bike move beneath you, you will be able to float over most obstacles.It also helps to relax your grip a bit on the handlebars. Be sure to hang on firmly but not too tightly. A white-knuckle death grip will cause your forearms and hands to fatigue sooner and then make it tougher to be in control.