You've probably picked up by now that we kind of like Mountain Biking here at booicore - oh, who are we kidding, we LOVE it! But we know not everyone has made the leap yet. If you can ride a bike but haven't ventured off road yet, then take a look at this crash-course (not literally) in the basics of mountain biking...
What to Ride:
Now the easy answer would be a mountain bike - but there are so many different types out there that it can get a little confusing. Keep in mind there are three main types of mountain bike: rigid (has no suspension), hardtail (suspension fork at the front and no suspension at the back), and full-suspension (suspension at the front and the rear). It is all down to budget really and personal preference - so head down to your local bike shop and see if you can take it for a test ride first.
What to Wear:
Comfort is key, and you don't want to be wearing your best clothes as you are going to get muddy - but that's all part of the fun. Don't invest in all the available kit right from the get-go, ease yourself in gently and just buy the essentials i.e. some gloves and a helmet.
What to Carry:
If you are mountain biking in the UK, it is essential to bring a waterproof as it is highly likely you will get wet! You may also want to slip one of our changing robes into your car as well so you can get changed out of your damp, muddy clothes after your ride without flashing the entire forest. Some other things that may be wise for you to carry are some snacks and water to keep yourself hydrated and to help your energy levels, and a pump and a spare inner tube just to be on the safe side.
What to Expect:
Mountain biking is very different from road biking; it will give you a whole-body workout. A good trail will see you using your arms, core, and shoulder muscles, but boy is it worth it! Make sure you start off with at least a ten-minute easy ride to warm your muscles up and always finish off with a few stretches. Don't overdo it to start with and keep your rides to under 2 hours and you should get used to it quickly.
Where to Ride:
A good place to start out mountain biking is one of the many great trail centres we have in the UK – for a beginner blue trails are the best as they tend to be risk-free. Some of our favourites include: