Mountain Bike Tip #1
Sharp turns on flat surfaces giving you trouble? Try leaning the bike (and your lower body) into the turn but keep your torso upright. Your body should bend like the hands on a clock at 4:00 or 8:00. Keep your outside heel down and drive your weight down onto that outside pedal.
Mountain Bike Tip #2
If riding in a lot of soft sand lower you air pressure … this makes your tire flatten out and allows you to “float” on top of the sand.
Mountain Bike Tip #3
To Improve your Skills: Try to find a riding partner that is better than you. Tell him/her you want to follow them closely. While following … watch how this more skillful rider handles different situations and try to mimic her/his moves.
Mountain Bike Tip #4
Look down the trail as far as you can while riding. Don’t stare at obstacles right in front of you … instead look past them and focus on the next section. You will still see the whole trail yet you’ve given your mind a chance to plan a line to follow.
Mountain Bike Tip #5
When washing your bike … rinse with water, spray with multipurpose cleaner (e.g. 409), let cleaner soak for 5-minutes, scrub with long vinyl-bristled brush, spray with soft stream of water, turn bike over and do the same, wipe down with old towels, spray WD-40 on all moving parts, dry in the sun if possible.
Mountain Bike Tip #6
Always land on your rear tire first when going off a jump.
Mountain Bike Tip #7
When traveling to a new mountain bike area, go to a couple of bike shops to ask about the best trails and current trail conditions.
Mountain Bike Tip #8
To climb up on a steep rock or log, pedal hard and stay seated until you are about 2-feet from the object … set your pedals horizontal (ready position) … quickly thrust your entire body forward and upward (without pedaling) lifting the bike … then resume pedaling once your pedals have cleared the object. Practice at home on a curb or a railroad tie.
Mountain Bike Tip #9
For pedaling on mostly uphill or flat … set the seat high. To get the correct seat height mount your bike and lean against a wall with your butt on the seat and one leg straight … the heel of the shoe for your straight leg should just barely be able to rest on the down pedal.
Mountain Bike Tip #10
Always carry a GPS (or cell phone with GPS), whether riding alone or with others … familiar trail or new … short ride or epic. If you should need to be flown out because of injury or sickness, having the exact coordinates really helps. (Trust me, I know this first hand)!
Mountain Bike Tip #11
Need help riding SWITCHBACKS?
- Uphill: Approach the curve wide and look past the turn where you want to exit. Lean your head and upper body slightly toward your uphill hand. Pedal hard.
- Downhill: Approach the curve wide and look past the turn where you want to exit. Lean your bike slightly toward the uphill side and your vertical and your inside pedal up.
Mountain Bike Tip #12
Lower your seat about 4-inches to descend a steep, rocky stretch of trail. It will lower you center of gravity and make your ride handle more like a downhill bike.
Mountain Bike Tip #13
When preparing for a ride … don’t put any sunscreen above your eyes. Your helmet will shade your forehead, and your eyes won’t burn from the sunscreen.
Mountain Bike Tip #14
Use only one-finger for applying the breaks. Keep the others loosely wrapped around your grip.
Mountain Bike Tip #15
In preparation for a long, hot, ride … drink plenty of liquids while getting ready and driving to the ride. Often people get severely dehydrated due to a “liquid debt” at the start of the ride.
Mountain Bike Tip #16
Downshift to the small front gear when approaching a creek or stop sign. You will then be able to climb the opposite bank with that lower gear.
Mountain Bike Tip #17
Buy a helmet that fits well. The top of your head should come in contact with the top of the helmet … then all you have to do is adjust the headband to a comfortable position.
Mountain Bike Tip #18
Use tubeless tires with Stan’s or Orange sealer inside. Heavier sidewalls prevent blowouts and any punctures will be immediately sealed.
Mountain Bike Tip #19
When lubing your chain … put ONE drop of oil on each barrel, spin the pedals 10-15 times. Then wrap a rag around the chain, squeezing lightly as you spin the pedals another 10-15 times. This will remove all excess lubricant. It is important to remove the excess to prevent a massive accumulation of dirt.
Mountain Bike Tip #20
When riding down a rough, steep trail, keep your pedals level, lower your heels, and bend your legs and arms slightly, and keep your hands loose. This will put you in the perfect position to absorb impacts and stay back on your bike.
Mountain Bike Tip #21
When washing your bike … do not powerwash!! Power washing often forces water under the seals of your shocks, causing them to not function properly … and eventually leak and fail.
Mountain Bike Tip #22
Blowing snot while you are riding? Lift your opposite elbow up (right hand to close left nostril), reach over the bridge of your nose, push your nostril closed with your index finger, and blow hard … yes, now you can breathe! Make sure no one is riding beside and your Camelbak nozzle is out of the way.
Mountain Bike Tip #23
When riding down steep slickrock or a steep hill with good traction … stay back on your bike and primarily use your front break.
Mountain Bike Tip #24
When riding at night use a light mounted on your handle bars and another on your helmet. Lighting from two directions will eliminate more shadows and give you more perspective.
Mountain Bike Tip #25
Bring a floor pump and some extra tools to the trail head. You never know when you might have to make some adjustments or re-inflate a tire. I have helped others who needed more than their multi-tool while prepping for a ride.
Mountain Bike Tip #26
When approaching a rider on horseback, get off your bike and walk it past. Horses are unpredictable. Some horses do not like the site of a rider coming at them fast. The last thing we want is someone getting hurt out on the trail due to a mountain biker.
Mountain Bike Tip #27
Take photos early in the early morning or late afternoon for more striking results. Shadows add more texture and depth and the sunshine has more color as it travels horizontally through the atmosphere.
Mountain Bike Tip #28
If getting to your ride requires a bit of traveling … bring a towel and a dry set of clothes to change into after the ride. Also leave some drinks in the car, preferably in an ice chest.
Build sandcastles on world famous Cabarete Beach (on the north shore of the Dominican Republic) – or go driftwood hunting near by at a very affordable family vacation spot called “Vecinos”!
Your Canadian expat hosts, Les & Lynda welcome your whole family and promise to make you feel right at home 🙂