Mountain Biking Trips in the US
From the Potomac River Valley to the San Juan Hut system, there are hundreds of mountain biking trails in the US for the extreme sport enthusiast to traverse. Most trails are long enough to schedule a mountain biking trip. There are mountain biking tour companies that can help you schedule and plan a trip, or mountain biking groups that gather riders together for day long or week long treks.
Once you've chosen a trail or trip package, you'll want to begin to prepare for your journey. To start, be sure you are in excellent physical shape. Mountain biking trails require riders to endure rough terrain and sporadic weather conditions. The stronger you are, the more capable you will be of rebounding from a fall, a long distance day, or an uphill climb. Try also to focus on developing your mountain biking skills before hitting unknown trails. It is important to work on skills such as climbing, descending, cornering, balancing and wheel lifts.
Next you'll have to prepare your bike and pack your gear. Choosing a mountain bike depends on the type of riding you'll be doing and the type of terrain you'll encounter. Speak with a professional about your decisions. You'll have to figure out what type of frame you need, what type of suspension is best and what type of gear carriers to attach. Packing light is the best plan, but your mountain bike trip guide should be able to tell you the ins and outs of packing for the particular trail you've chosen. For more detailed information about mountain biking trips, check out this article by the Adventure Cycling Association.
How to Become A Mountain Biking Guide
Have you been mountain biking for years? Do you have a passion for big wheels and rough rididing? Are you craving a new, challenging profession? Then maybe you should look into becoming a mountain biking guide. But be warned, becoming a mountain biking guide requires more than yes to the questions asked above. Different mountain biking tour companies require their mountain biking guides have different skills and training. However, there are some basic things all guides must have. All guides have to be trained in first aid. It is inevitable that someone on your tour will get injured, even if it is just a minor scratch, and you will have to be able to safely assist them. Mountain biking guides can't be squeamish, because there may also be spills or falls that include broken bones and torn muscles. A good mountain biking guide is prepared for anything and always has in mind an exit route or back up plan while on the trail. You must also have good people skills. Mountain bike tours involve bikers of many different levels. You have to be willing to wait for and encourage the slower riders in your group. A third requirement for mountain biking guides is extensive knowledge of bike repair. This knowledge has to go well beyond simply repairing a flat tire.
If after all this, you are still considering becoming a professional mountain biking guide, look for the websites of bike touring companies in your area or an area you know well. You could also find or create a Mountain Biking Group here on FitLink to join and gain experience.
Mountain Biking: Climbing Tips
Eventually in any mountain biking excursion, you will come across a hill that makes you want to give up. But with the proper training and mechanisms in place, you can take the challenge with determination and confidence. The easiest way to approach a gradual but long distance incline is by sitting on the back of your seat and spinning in an easy gear. In a lower gear, you should be able to maintain a pace somewhere between 60 to 90 revolutions per minutes. Control you pacing to help with endurance. Avoid standing for the entire ascension. Standing makes your legs work harder and therefore makes them fatigue sooner. Try switching between intervals of more rotations and standing. Be sure to keep your elbows bent and your weight distributed throughout the bike, if just slightly forward. For more information on proper climbing techniques and other helpful mountain biking tips, look for a mountain biking trainer or coach in your area.
Free Ride Mountain Biking
For the daring and adventurous mountain biker, there is free riding. Free riding is typically done in terrain parks which are sometimes off-season ski resorts. Terrain park officials build trails and stunt tracks. The riders use the terrain, which is typically rough rock and root strewn, to attempt tricks, jumps and drops. Free riding is more dangerous then trail mountain riding and requires more safety equipment like padding and face guards. A free ride bike differs from a downhill bike in that is has more suspension and a lighter frame. Additionally, free ride bikes tend to have steeper head angles and shorter wheel bases.