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Be A Better Rider With A Few Minor Adjustments
Good day to all my fellow mountain bike addicts out there! Today I’m coming at you with 7 awesome things you can do to improve your mountain bike riding right now. The truth is we all want to ride better! Maybe you just want to show up your mates on the local trail, or maybe your training for that big 35 mile ultra at the end of the season. Whatever the reason we’ve got you covered today! So without further ado, here are 7 Awesome things you can do to improve your riding right now!
1. Keep your bike in good shape!
What’s worse than breaking a chain out on the trail? Could it be listening to your bottom bracket creak? Or perhaps clunky shifting from a stretched or worn shifter cable? Little problems that don’t seem like a big deal can turn into a distater when your ten or fifteen miles from civilation with no cell serivice! Bike maintenece is important, and you don’t have to be a mechanic to check your bike out and make sure it’s in good working order!
Just give your steed a nice visual inspection on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for any damaged or worn parts such as cables, break disc and pads, smashed or broken teeth on your chainrings or cassettee as well as tire wear. By keeping an eye on these things you can prevent a small problem from becoming a huge one. And while I do recommend keeping a quality bike tool in your pack for on the trail maintenence and adjustments, the trail is not the place you want to be doing any major repairs. So next time your about to head out, just give your bike a nice visual inspection. You’ll be glad you did! On to the next of 7 awesome things you can do to improve your mountain bike riding right now!
2. Drink More Water
Yep. That simple. Just make sure your drinking an adequate amount of water! Supposedly its recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day, I think that’s a load of B.S. I know that personally I drink way more than that. Even on a day when I’m just sitting around relaxing I drink close to a gallon of water a day!
Now. I’m not saying to give up coffee ( I also drink a lot of that) Nor am I saying to give up beer, or pop, or anything else! I can tell you from experience though, that the more water you drink, the better you will feel overall. It will improve your energy levels and your focus and as an added bonus will even help your muscles to cramp less. So drink water! How much? As much as you want! A general rule of thumb that I’ve found is your pee should be nearly clear most of the time. Also, I try not to let myself get to the point I’m super thirsty. Try it out for a few days, I think you will be shocked about how much better you feel.
3. Riding with people who are better than you can improve your mountain bike riding right now!
This works wonders! Riding with those who are better than you always motivates you to push a little harder and do better. Trying to keep up with those who are younger or faster than you is a great way to improve your mountain bike riding right now!
Beyond just keeping up with them, riding with others is also a great way to learn new skills on the bike. Keep an eye on how they move and position themselves on the bike. Watch how they negotiate obstacles and keep their flow on the trail. There’s always something to learn from people who are better at something than you are! Check with your local bike shop or a local mountain bike club to find out about group rides and local events.
4. Keep your head up and look ahead of you.
This may sound simplistic those who have been riding for awhile, but for those newer to mountain biking this will help tremendously! Have you ever heard a race car driver talk about if you focus on the wall, you will hit the wall? Same thing applies here! If you focus on the tree, your odds of hitting the tree skyrocket! Also if you have your head down only looking a few feet in front of your tire, your odds of hitting an obstacle and going over the bars increase.
Practice keeping your head up and focusing on where you want to go! This gives you much more reaction time to adjust for the trail ahead. Your body also has a natural inlination to go where the eyes are focused! This is another awesome way to improve your moubtain bike riding right now!
5. Mix in some road time
Okay, I can already hear some of you. So let me clarify, guys I’m not saying to shave your legs or turn yourself into a weight weenie! But some road riding in the mix can be a great way to improve your mountain bike riding. It’ll give some of your over worked muscles a rest from trail riding and also work some different muscle groups that you don’t use as often on the trail. I do it, and I’m sure there are others that do as well!
An added benifit of road riding is that it can help increase your awareness of whats going on around you. Cars add a whole new dimension of things to be aware of while your out spinning! This can also go along good with the above point of keeping your head up and focusing on where you want to go. So dont be afraid to get out that old road bike you have hanging in the basement and hit the town. Do this every so often and it will make your mountain biking experience that much better!
6. Try a MTB trials competition
This is one I figured out a few years back by accident, and I’ve done it every year since! If you want to discover the holes in your technical skills, this is the place to do it! You will fall down, you may get hurt, and some of it is just down right scary! It is however a blast! There’s usually beer too!
I decided to try this a few years ago at the Canaan Mountain Bike Festival where they have the “Run what ya brung trials.” If you’ve never been… just go it’s awesome fun! Now back to how this can improve your mountain bike riding right now… I noticed when I went for a ride a couple days after the trials, that jump… not so bad. That climb, was easier. Those rock gardens that just a week prior were a pain in the ass… were much easier! So if you’ve never been to a trails competition, go give it a try, you don’t have to win to get something out of it!
7. Stop reading and go ride!
Yep. That’s the last one! Finish reading up this last bit, get off the phone or computer, and get on your bike. Till next time addicts!