Mountain biking is an exhilarating and fast-paced sport, but sometimes it can get repetitive for experienced riders and extreme sports enthusiasts – especially if they don’t have access to many trails.
Here are five tips to make your next mountain bike ride more exciting and reignite your passion for the sport.
1. Go Back to the Basics
High-tech gear isn’t always a good thing. Things like cycling computers and heart rate monitors might give you cool insights, but they can make the cycling experience feel inauthentic and cause unsafe distractions when you’re on the trail. Take your advanced gear out of the picture and go back to the basics.
A barebones bike ride will force you to have sharper fundamentals and rely on your instincts, making the most routine rides more challenging than before. You will also be a few pounds lighter without the extra gear, which can make a huge difference in getting up steep inclines and navigating sharp turns.
A ride with you, your bike and no add-ons will remind you of your first mountain biking experiences. You will remember why you started this sport in the first place: to stay active, get an adrenaline rush and spend more time outdoors. You don’t need fancy technology to do any of those things.
2. Update Your Wardrobe
The right clothing is essential for a productive bike ride, but that doesn’t mean you have to be boring and wear the same clothes every time. Update your wardrobe and include more creative biking apparel. Something out of the ordinary like a Hawaiian shirt or funky socks will help you feel more loose and relaxed on the trail.
Other cyclists you encounter will also get a laugh out of your outfits, making your rides even more enjoyable. Everyone likes to put a smile on other people’s faces, especially in “serious” situations like mountain biking. If you frequent the same trails, you might earn a reputation as the cyclist who wears wacky stuff.
Mountain biking is supposed to be fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously. Escape your comfort zone and dress in a zany outfit on your next ride. Just make sure you dress appropriately for the weather, because safety always comes first.
3. Explore New Environments
Riding new trails might make mountain biking exciting again, but it won’t make much of a difference if you go from woodland trail A to woodland trail B. Mix things up a bit more and travel to different environments. Take your bike to the beach and explore the coastal trails. Visit the desert mountains in the southwest and experience the region’s intense mountain biking scene.
The United States has trails in many different climate zones, so there’s no reason to confine yourself to your local biome. If you’re serious about mountain biking, pack your bags and organize a trip to a new climate zone where new trails await.
4. Ride With Better Riders
Riding with a group is always a good idea, both for safety and enjoyment. However, sometimes a group can hold you back and prevent you from attempting more challenging trails. If you want to take your riding to the next level, get active in the mountain biking scene on social media and try to join more experienced groups in your area.
Better riders will give you advice off the trail and push you to the limit on the trail. The learning curve might be overwhelming at first, but it’s better than the slow and simple rides you were doing before.
5. Practice New Tricks
Fundamentals are important in any sport, but once you become confident in your basic skills, it’s okay to get creative and try new tricks. Mountain biking has many such tricks to give your rides an exciting twist and advance your skills beyond the required fundamentals.
Still, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and severely injure yourself. Start with simple tricks like wheelies, nollies and bunny hops before moving to more advanced maneuvers. Executing these tricks on normal bike rides will increase your confidence and make the same old hills and turns exciting again.
Give Mountain Biking a Fresh Start
If mountain biking no longer brings you the same excitement, you probably just need a fresh start in one way or another. It could be your gear, your wardrobe, the trails or the people you rid with. Rethink these elements to give your mountain biking career a fresh start and bring new life to your next ride.