Okay, so you’ve decided you want to become healthy and also to put some extra muscles on those gorgeous legs of yours. What’s your solution? Mountain Biking.
Here are some useful tips for those of you (including us) who may want to take up this sport:
1. Own your bike.
Yes, we didn’t say “buy your bike.” We said, “own your bike”. This means that after buying your bike–it doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or the not-so-expensive kind of bike (spend a little though for safety concerns too)–you need to be familiar with all the aspects of your bike. Literally, your life is on the line when you ride the bike so choose wisely. It’s best to know all the quirks of your bike as well. Practice braking on both tires. What gear best works for this type of road? What seat position do I feel most comfortable in? Own your bike and own your life.
2. After getting a bike, get a helmet.
A helmet has saved a lot of lives. Or at least, lessened the pain of crashing. Pick those that feels comfortable on your head. Especially if you plan to go on long rides. Buy a full-faced helmet if you plan to do downhill biking. We have friends who don’t look the same anymore, believe us.
Other safety gears like gloves (for you to cushion a fall also aside from it giving you comfort) and sunglasses and knee pads and elbow pads are also advisable.
Also, wear shoes, for Chrissake’s.
Bring an extra interior and pump as well.
3. Get used to your pedals.
Plant your feet on the pedals and try pedaling inside your garage first to familiarize the feel of the pedal on your feet. Your feet and the pedals will be constant companions, remember.
4. Find a comfortable position.
“Sit on your bike and pedal around. Your arms should remain slightly bent. Your seat height should be adjusted so your leg is about 70 to 90 percent extended at the bottom of every pedal stroke. Keep your body loose and relaxed. There is never a situation when you should have your knees or elbows locked,” according to experts.
5. Proper shifting of gears.
“Higher gears are harder to pedal and will go faster while lower gears are easier to pedal and help you get up hills. Next, try to get used to what gears you need to be in to comfortably go up different pitched hills. As the hills get steeper, it is best to shift before you get to the hill rather than while you are on the hill,” they added.
For us, this is key to biking.
6. Learn to pedal while standing
This may be useful when you encounter difficult roads. It is recommended to try this on higher gears when on flat surfaces and in lower gears when uphill.
If you encounter a long climb alternate between riding in and out of the saddle for about thirty seconds at a time this will help you climb faster and more efficiently.Uphill.
7. Where to look?
Not at the bike in front of you (if you see headlights then bail!) but a couple of meters in front of you. Always be aware of your surroundings.
8. Join a local cycling group.
Aside from acquiring new friends, other riders, especially those who have been biking for a longer time than you, can give you tips about biking.
Also, as much as possible, try not to bike alone.
9. Bring lots of water.
Hydration is also one of the most important things to remember when biking. Aside from providing you with extra strength and resistance, water can compensate for the liquid that your body is spewing out when biking.
10. Safety first.
Lower the volume of that MP3 player. It’s okay to listen to music but it’s also wise to be more aware of your surroundings. We don’t want to see you on the evening news so be careful. You may be the safest driver in the world but you can’t control the other drivers.
We’ve covered SOME tips here. Please feel free to add to the tips in the comments section of this entry.
By the way, we recommend a newly-opened bike shop if you’re near Angela Village (Talon) in Las Pinas:
See you on the roads!