Go easy on the brakes
Most beginners will be brake (trigger) happy and will at times no let go of the brakes. The main skill to learn is to first understand the section you’re about to traverse, adjust your speed and maintain your speed throughout. Your brakes are your friend but don’t squeeze them with all you got, go easy on the breaks and your speed and momentum will help you down the trails more so than your constant use of the brakes.
This takes time to master, but an important tip to always consider is, go easy on the brakes.
Look where you want you and your bike to go
It’s widely known that staring at what you don’t want to hit will almost ensure you hit it. Our advice is knowing the areas you want to avoid but don’t fixate on them. So, look past the obstacles to where you want to go, keeping your eyes forward, your chin level to the ground, look forward at where you are going and let your peripheral vision negotiate and avoid obstacles in front of you.
Don’t be afraid to use your gears (all of them)
Most trails are both down and uphill, ours are no different. This will mean you’ll need to use all your gears are you traverse the trails. Our advice for beginners is to first understand your gears and which are better for up, down, rocks, jumps, sharp turns etc. Once you know that, it’s up to you to shift your gears before it’s too late, as you at all times want to keep your momentum, which you will soon learn is your best friend.
Be at one with momentum as momentum is your best friend on all trails. It might feel scary and wrong to hold speed or even go faster as the mountain bike trails get more challenging but the one thing your bike needs is to keep moving forward is momentum.
Go easy on the brakes and your momentum should always be there. If you lose momentum you will need to get those legs moving, another reason why mountain biking is better for your fitness over road riding.
Shifting your weight
On every trail you go on there will be both steep inclines and declines. When climbing we advise you shift your weight forward as it helps to further build momentum and when going downhill it’s best to sit back over the rear wheel, this is also for safety so you don’t go over the front handle bars
Your job is to stay on the bike, steer and get the momentum going. Your bikes job is to handle the trail and obstacles. A couple of extra tips;
- Hover your butt of the seat when riding over obstacles like roots and rocks.
- When going downhill let your elbows fly out and your legs be loose as you roll (with momentum) down the trail.
- If you lose momentum and you’re going uphill, it might be best to jump off and walk you and your bike up to the next section.
- One more time, go easy on the brakes