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Mountain Biking 101

If you love the mountains and staying active, then mountain biking might be the sport for you. But beware, it is not as easy as it sounds!

Mountain Biking - Three Categories

Mountain biking can be divided into three different categories - cross country, downhill and free riding.
  • Cross Country - This is the most common form of mountain biking. Cross country mountain biking is a more recreational form of the sport. Generally, mountain bikers ride from point to point or in a loop on a variety of different terrain.
  • Downhill - Like the name suggests, this style of mountain biking involves riding downhill. Typically, downhill mountain biking is the most difficult because the courses are long, steep and rough. Downhill mountain biking is a true test of strength, endurance and mental toughness.
  • Free Riding - Whether it's uphill, downhill or jumping, free riding is riding your mountain bike wherever you feel like. A combination of all the different styles of mountain biking, this method of riding is typically the most extreme, where riders express their creativity through different jumps or places to take their bike.
  • Mountain Biking - Bikes

    Mountain bikes are different than bikes made for the road in a variety of ways. The frame of the bicycle is smaller and stronger. The tires on a mountain bike are wider and the traction is thicker, to handle the all-terrain conditions better. You have a wider range of gears since the conditions on a mountain can change quickly. Also, the type of mountain bike you purchase depends on whether you are a downhill, cross country or free riding biker, since each has its own specifications.

    Mountain Biking - Other Equipment

    Mountain bikers wear a special type of shoe - one that has good traction, is comfortable and most importantly, is durable. Bikers should also wear goggles, a helmet and elbow and knee pads. In mountain biking, you will fall a lot (especially as a beginner), so you must make your personal safety a priority. Since mountain biking occurs in more remote locations, make sure to always bike with a partner.

    Mountain Biking - Benefits of the Sport

    Mountain biking is an excellent way to stay in top physical shape. It requires a lot of stamina and strength. With the falls, mountain biking can be a very painful sport, so it also requires a lot of tolerance. But the more you do it, the better you will get. On top of the physical rewards, mountain biking allows you to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and is an activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family!

    Mountain Biking - Getting Involved

    There are numerous mountain biking camps across North America that you can participate in. For more information, visit www.mysummercamps.com.

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