Have you ever been interested in mountain biking? I know I have, but a little intimidated. Luckily, there is an uprise in women’s only local rides all around the country, women’s only weekend skills clinics, women’s only races, and now a women’s only mountain bike festival (happening this week in Sedona, Arizona!). Now is as good a time as ever to get in to mountain biking, especially since Fall offers some of the best riding conditions! And what better mermaid to learn about mountain biking than avid mountain biker and MI OLA brand ambassador, Briana @wonderlovebri , to get the best tips on how to start mountain biking. Check out her tips for getting started mountain biking and her story below!
How To Get Started Mountain Biking!
Two years ago, in the spring, I went road bike touring from Colorado to the Grand Canyon. It was an epic week of cycling with my best friend Liz. When I returned, my boyfriend at the time invited me to go mountain biking, seeing as I had a peaking interest for cycling. I wasn’t interested but his persistence landed me on a bike, on a dirt trail, in June. The first ride wasn’t very enjoyable for me. I felt outside of my comfort zone and had a lingering fear of biking into a tree or going over my handlebars. I stuck with road biking for most of the summer, but every now and then my boyfriend would persuade me to go mountain biking. It wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th ride that something clicked and I felt the flow of the bike beneath me, rolling along smooth dirt trail, wind in my hair. It felt good. And then winter came and I pondered the investment. A year after he initially invited me mountain biking, yet only a few rides later, I bought a bike and have been hooked ever since. In a year and a half of owning a bike, my riding has progressed, Ive attended multiple women’s clinics, I’ve assistant coached at the same clinics I attended, and just wrapped up a season of mountain bike team coaching at the high school I work at. Persistence pays off.
Here are some tips for how to get the ball, er, wheels, rolling.
- Get a bike!
There are so many options! Mountain biking is not a small investment, so I recommend you try many bikes out before you buy. Check out the local shop for rentals and demo events. A word of advice – – don’t think that you must get any specific model or brand. Every woman will find unique features that suit her body style, riding style, and preferences. This is why its so important to try different models and different brands. A few women’s specific crowd favorites: Yeti Beti, Liv Pique, Juliana FurtadoHeres a great resource for womens mountain bikes: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/biking/best-womens-mountain-bike
- Gather the essentials!
There are a handful of essentials that will not only increase your safety, but will also increase your level of enjoyment. Don’t skimp on these:Helmet: As soon as you are hooked, invest in a good mountain biking helmet. They are designed differently than road bike helmets and a nice, comfortable one is worth it.Jersey and Shorts: While a mountain bike specific jersey isn’t necessary, be sure to invest in comfortable, tech fabrics that breathe well. As for shorts, its debatable whether you will want padded shorts or not, but if you go without, be sure to get seamless (or minimum seam) wool boyshorts. There are pages of information regarding keeping it clean down there – – if you go with padded shorts, remove them as soon as you are done riding! Like fun prints? Check out Shredly.Good Shoes: You can wear any type of comfortable shoe, but be warned that most pedals will shred your soles. This is because the pedals have sharp points to assist in grip, but without solid soles, it will eat away at your point of contact. In the beginning, go with what you have, but eventually, you will want to invest here.
Research local trails by visiting a local bike shop. Learn about trail etiquette and conditions. Find a friend or a local group of riders. And most of all, enjoy the ride!
Lessons from the bike:
Hold on, but not too tightly.
Just keep pedaling.
Look where you want to go.
Enjoy the ride.
Resources: VIDA- https://www.vidamtb.com
Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?
Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?
Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com