Mountain bike racing is a demanding sport, as anyone who has attempted it will know. If you’re thinking of trying it for the first time it’s important to make sure you are prepared for the demands it will put on you physically. This will ensure you are able to enjoy the race without running the risk of injury.
How Fit Are You?
If it’s been years since you have even ridden a bike, you will need to get some practice in before you even think about going mountain bike racing. If you don’t, getting saddle sore on race day will be the least of your problems.
To begin with, a regular program of cycling will build up your fitness levels and strengthen your leg muscles. This is vital if you are going to stand the pace when mountain bike racing.
Test Yourself On Different Terrains
Cycling on the road is an ideal way to begin to improve your fitness levels, but as soon as you can you should venture off road to get used to the rougher terrain that is the key feature of mountain bike racing.
Experiment with gears and speed as you begin to gain confidence over the terrain, and try and ride different areas during both wet and dry conditions. This will prepare you far better for the race itself, as you will know how to handle your bike depending on what conditions you’ll be up against.
Preparing For Your First Race
Just as you would give your car the once over before setting out on a long journey, so you should also check your bike over to make sure it’s race ready. Make sure the tyres are pumped up adequately and everything is well oiled for the best performance.
Loose chains are a real hazard in mountain bike racing, as they can easily get caught on a loose branch or stick as you go flying along. Do the best you can to ensure everything is in tip top condition.
Be ready for whatever the weather may throw at you during the race. Wear comfortable sneakers and lightweight clothing that will dry easily if it should rain. As you gain experience you will find a combination of clothing that suits you best. You may even want to invest in proper cycle clothing.
Mountain bike racing is a great way to spend a few hours and improve your fitness levels at the same time. Preparation is the key to having the best time, so make sure you’re ready for anything.
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