what, why, and where to ride
What to ride depends on how and where you are going to ride. This page takes the view that Mountain Biking is off road riding on a bicycle. If you want to try Mountain Biking, the best way may be to go with someone who is involved already. Some riders even have an extra bike you can ride. This situation would be ideal for anyone wanting to try it. Larger shops rent bikes and can tell you the other important factor of where to ride. What you need to ride is a good quality bicycle designed for off road riding. A poor quality bike just won't be as enjoyable to ride. For more information about bicycles read what kind of bike is needed to ride off-road.
Why to ride is easy for me to tell you. It is just plain fun. So many sports enthusiasts are just fans. Sports for them is only at the spectator level. This is fine if someone is satisfied. I am not a spectator. Many people's enthusiastic evolvement at only the spectator level to be quite honest really puzzles me. Get Out While You Can !! Be involved in something at a hands on level. I don't play golf, but people who do are involved hands on. If a person is healthy enough to do so, it is a sad thing that they don't involve themselves physically. But rather choose to watch other people play games, while they are reduced to the spectator level. Get Out While You Can !! Mountain Biking may not be for you, but it sure is fun. It is for people of all ages. I am in my fifties and love it. Biking will also get you in shape. It will bring attention to your diet and health as you ride more. It is good for your cardiovascular system and not as hard on your legs as jogging. Biking is fun because it gets a person outside in the forests and mountains. Face to face with nature where many people long to be. It will move you rapidly across terrain. You can go from stream side to mountain over look and back from open areas to deep forests and back all during an hour ride.
Where to ride your Mountain Bike is a question that is never completely answered. In the years that I have been riding I have seen many good places to ride become unsuitable for riding for one reason or another. Some have grown up with bushes, briars, or similar vegetation. Some have washed away and became too rough to be fun to ride. And some have been closed to bikes or even everyone. All you need is one good place to ride. One really good place where you can learn the basics of bike handling and get in shape. There are some places listed on this page under Alabama Trails and Other Bike Trails. Your local bicycle shop can tell you some places to ride. If he can't do so there may not be any good places around and you would not even want a bike? You do not need a bicycling specific place to ride. Almost any woods to which you have access can do. National Forest always have dirt roads and jeep roads to ride. Many state parks have bike trails. Private property often has jeep roads you can ride with permission. Hunting club land can be open to you during the summer months. Timber companies and Paper Companies often have large tracts of woodlands. Much of the time this is open land and can be ridden by you. If it is leased by a hunting club, as much of it is today, you may not be able to ride it during hunting season. Often you can contact the club and find out about riding the land. I have found anything within thirty miles does not seem too far away. The drive is not very long. I loose just over an hour of my riding time hauling my bike to a place twenty-five or thirty miles away. There are good places to ride and maybe one will be near you.
Actually this is more than a disclaimer. Protecting yourself is wisdom at work.
Before you start riding be sure you are in good health for physical exertion. A check up by a physician may be in order.
Riding a bicycle off road is a potentially dangerous sport. The rider must assume all responsibility for how he or she rides. It is the riders charge to wear the proper protective equipment. Some public riding areas require helmets, etc. The first and foremost item is never ride above your ability. This applies to both speed and terrain. Don't hesitate to go slow or even walk your bike down steep sections when on more advanced trails. Riding a mountain bike is great fun. Getting hurt is no fun.
Written by: Aaron Bruce
May not be reproduced without permission
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