Mountain bike racing can be a demanding sport, as anyone who has attempted it will know that. If you’re trying it for the first time, it’s essential 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 the possibility of risk of injury.
If it’s been years since you’ve 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 sore from the saddle on race day will be the least of your problems. To start, a regular program of cycling will build up your fitness levels and strengthen your leg muscles. This is very important if you are going to stand the pace when mountain bike racing.
Cycling on the road is a good way to begin to improve your fitness, but as soon as you can you should venture off-road to get used to the rougher terrain that is a big feature of mountain biking. Experiment with gears and speed as you begin to gain confidence over the terrain, and try to ride in different areas during both wet and dry conditions. This will prepare you for far better for the race itself, as you will know how to handle your bike depending on what conditions you’ll be up against.
Just as you would give your car a 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 tires are pumped up adequately and everything is well oiled for the best performance. Loose chains are a big 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. You need to 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 are ready for anything.
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