Beginner Guide to Mountain Biking Rules : 17 Tips

Mountain biking takes place in trails that are also used by hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Therefore, cyclists have to abide by some rules to avoid colliding with the other people using the trail. However, they are less strict than traffic rules because mountain biking is a solitary sport. Below are some of the rules that you should know before you head out for a mountain biking adventure if you are new to this sport.

mtb riding tips

• Use signals appropriately –biking requires maximum concentration; hence you might not be able to talk and remain in focus. That’s why it is always advisable to learn the basic signals that are used to alert the other cyclists on your next move or if they need to slow down if you notice any obstacles on the trail. They are common, and every biker who has been into this sport for a while can easily translate the signal, so you don’t have to worry about being misunderstood.

• Wear biking gear – biking involves cycling on rough trails most of the time; thus you need to be fully protected in case of accidents. The biking gear includes biking shorts, helmet, gloves, glasses, cycling shoes, and knee pads to protect your knees from the rocks in case you fall. These protective gears offer maximum protection; hence they reduce the risk of obtaining severe injuries.

• Don’t scare animals – most animals are used to cyclists and are calm most of the time, so the best thing is not to scare them and let them cross to avoid agitating them. Scaring them might provoke them to attack you.

• Control your bike – you should always be in control of the weight of your bike for you to make sudden turns. Mountain biking requires speed and quick decision making hence you need to stay alert and focused throughout the riding adventure to avoid causing accidents.

• Ride on open trails only – you should respect other people’s property so don’t trespass unauthorized or private land to avoid getting into trouble. Ride on open trails only that are designated for cycling.

• Plan – you should plan on your next move to avoid confusing other cyclists. Pack all your necessities to ensure that you are self-sufficient in case you want to repair your bike or if the weather changes. It is always advisable to pack your first aid kit and your toolbox before heading out to ensure that you got all the supplies that you might need on the trail.

• Embrace momentum – maintaining the momentum will help you stay in control and plan your next move. This way, you can sweep the corners smoothly to avoiding crashing on rocks or other obstacles.

• Stay focused – you need to clear your mind before heading out for a ride. Ensure that you are in a good mental state to make sure that you stay in focus throughout.

• Maintain a forward posture – position your body in such a manner that your body weight is exerted towards the front of your bike to ensure that your center of gravity is kept lower on your bike. Use your elbows and knees as suspension then bring your chest towards the handlebars and the stem. This position offers extra traction to the front when and helps you make sharp turns even on corners.

• Stay in the saddle when climbing – this position prevents the bike from wandering across the trail to avoid slipping off the ground especially on muddy terrains. It also ensures that you maintain balance and increases traction for the tires to grip on the surface.

• Look where you steer – instead of on focusing on the objects you want to avoid, keep your eyes on the trail where you want the wheels to be. Concentrating on the obstacles shifts your focus completely and you forget to balance the bike because your mind is thinking of how to avoid crashing on the rocks. This rule is easier said than done, but you should try your best to look where you steer.

• Learn how to hover – standing on the pedals with your knees bent is the best cycling position for mountain biking instead of sitting. The elbows should be bent too to act as shock absorbers then position your torso forward slightly to ensure that you are comfortable and in full control of the bike no matter how rough the trail is. Shifting your weight from one side to another, forward or back guarantees you a smooth ride.

• Do not litter the trail – keeping the trails clean and free of litter should be your priority because after all, that’s your space and rubbish tends to distract your mind hence leads to losing focus.

• Watch out for other users – watch out for other hikers and pedestrians, allow them to pass or overtake them slowly without being rude. Mountain biking should be fun and a good space to make new friends.

• Learn the basic mountain bike maintenance – every cyclist should know how to change the tires in case of a puncture to save time and get back on the trail. You should also know how to repair different parts and adjusting the tires air pressure to match the recommended pressure which is normally indicated on the side of the tire.

• Don’t cut corners – trail builders invest their time and energy to craft the trails; hence you should respect them by appreciating their effort. Cutting corners trashes the trail by eroding the land thus distorting the trail. Just follow the path and swoop corners to ensure that the trails stay in good condition for a long time.

• Be friendly – treat other cyclists the way you would want them to treat you and maintain a friendly tone when you are communicating. It is also polite to lend a hand if a cyclist is stranded because you never know what will happen the next time you need help. Remember that mountain biking is not a competition so just let other riders pass if you are not in a hurry and show gratitude if a person lets you pass. Mountain biking should be fun and a friendly place for all of us.

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