From an initial impression, mountain biking may appear like an irrational sport for a trail runner to take up. When you can get the joy of singletrack by walking, why spend loads of cash on bikes and parts, put yourself at the mercy of a cranky machine, risk bigger physical injury, and go too fast to enjoy the view? Does mountain biking help running in any way? Stay tuned for more!
The plain physical advantage of mountain biking is that it builds muscular strength in critical places that are often undeveloped in runners. A stable core enhances stability and command on the run, while powerful glutes will increase your uphill running power.
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What is Mountain Biking?
Mountain biking is riding a bike on various kinds of off-road tracks. It demands persistence, pace, balance, and technical skills to steer through wild terrains.
Notably, mountain bikers seek barriers and see the world as a realistic and demanding playground full of spiraling paths. Upright downhill areas, vertical ascents, easygoing rocks, water crossings, and tree roots. Everything is a chance to put their powers to the test!
There are diverse mountain biking fields. They go from adrenaline-pumping drops to peaceful rides on panoramic woodland trails. Whether a seasoned biker or a total newbie, you are likely to uncover an excellent trail to fit your level and capacities. For those new to mountain biking, going out with a guide is highly advisable.
Learning how to run a mountain bike, and feeling relaxed and confident with the gear is essential for this sport. Being able to fix any mechanical issues that may arise along the way is another critical skill.
Mountain biking is a vibrant sport that affects a whole body workout. On a ride, you will not just work out your legs and nourish your heart and lungs. You will also strengthen your upper body (when climbing with your bike or steering with your arms). Cycling also provides riders with harmony, coordination, and resilience.
Note: Did you know that due to its impressive landscape, New Zealand is home to extreme sports?
Why Do People Love Mountain Biking?
Studying the outdoor world and altering scenery on every ride makes mountain biking also a mentally calming activity. So if you feel a bit down lately, consider mountain biking. Or, what does skydiving sound like perhaps? (Yet, don’t worry, as you are able to skydive even with a fear of heights!)
Some individuals take mountain biking as an activity, join various races, and are always searching for new exciting paths and experiences around the world. Others just enjoy the activity that lets them exercise and also lets them feel close to nature.
Feeling enthusiastic about hitting the off-road? Make sure to scan your gear carefully, pick up a trail according to your level and drink enough water throughout the route. Relish the ride!
Tip: You definitely know some lovely trail plans, but they may not be excellent for mountain biking. Examine the regional mountain bike club for maps and advice.
Sorts of Mountain Biking
- Trail riding is an entertaining form of cycling. It’s all about a pleasant ride on trails with uphill and downhill sections. This can be quite exciting!
- Cross-country cycling (XC) is the most widespread field of mountain biking and also the less severe. It consists of achieving a limited round course or point-to-point long trail, on a landscape that can vary from a single track to even paved roads. There are technical areas described by either raw or hand-made obstacles. The sport needs persistence and very reasonable bike handling skills, yet it does not concentrate too much on speed. The bikes for cross-country cycling are very light.
- Downhill biking is a stimulating type of mountain biking that focuses on dropping a trail at a very high speed. Often, bikers reach a peak by using a vehicle or a lift and then race down on their bikes. Ski resorts during the summer are an excellent location for this. When riding downhill, bikers are standing up, so the movement is quite weakening. Downhill bikes are weightier than cross-country bikes and are particularly ready for high-speed descents.
- All mountain mixes the best of two domains: cross-country cycling and downhill. It points to riding on a wild terrain full of barriers, either up a peak or downhill.
- ‘Enduro’ refers to a particular contest held in Europe, which consists of various stages that a rider has to finalize, including uphills and downhills. It’s the same as ‘all peaks’ except that you are really racing.
Tip: Do you like rock climbing? If so, be aware of how cold is too cold for rock climbing. It happens that the weather is against us.
The Best Time to Go Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a perennial activity, by all means. The same site can look very distinct relying on the time of the year and the temperature conditions. Yet, that is what makes mountain biking so demanding and exciting. With the exception of icy trails (these are clearly risky to ride― even riding on snow can be pleasant if you have the guts to undertake the outdoors!
Mountain biking tracks at National Parks or any kinds of guarded sites are often under maintenance. Periodically the tracks can be shut if the weather is too soggy, making the track too muddy and dangerous for the riders. Track closures are typical during the rainy months. Relying on the place, some tracks can close during the winter and reopen in early spring.
Does Mountain Biking Help Runners?
The most evident crossover bodily benefit of mountain biking is that it builds athletic strength in critical areas that are often not developed in runners. That includes the glutes and core. A solid core improves resilience and command on the run, while strong glutes will grow your uphill running ability.
What Gear Do You Need?
- Mountain bike. As you know, there are various types of bicycles (downhill, enduro, cross-country, etc) relying on the cycling domain you have in mind. Some other term you may hear in the peak biking planet is fat bikes. These are mainly useful for riding on snowy trails as well as sand and mud, per se. There are also modern E-Bikes, standard bikes with a battery-powered motor to make pedaling more manageable. E-Bikes are growing their popularity all around the globe, mainly among sporadic riders.
- Mountain bike helmet. Never ride a bike without a helmet! There’s a high risk of slipping when peak biking, so head safety is critical. The features of the helmet will vary on the type of cycling. Downhill biking, for instance, is thought to be overly risky, so it needs maximum protection. This goes without saying! (Please, do not use a bike helmet for rock climbing!)
- Knee protectors, elbow protectors, and riding gloves.
- Footwear. Water-resistant shoes with suitable grips for hiking and comfy for using the bike’s pedals.
- Protective glasses.
- Hydration loads are often standard for mountain biking. Never forget the water!
- Other items you can take include: food, an aid reserve, sunscreen, a compass or GPS, spare clothes, and a bike-repair kit.
Hiring a Guide for Mountain Biking?
When traveling to an unknown place, striking the off-road with a mountain guide is your best option for a pleasant experience. A guide understands various trails in the region and can advise you which one to pick, relying on your background, skills, and desires.
He or she can also handle all the logistics of the journey, supply a vehicle or help you go through any problems you may have along the way. Similarly, you will have the possibility to improve your skills and challenge yourself on various terrains while feeling safe. Keep this in mind!
Note: For more interesting topics in regards to various extreme sports, make sure you check out our blog page!
Top Places for Mountain Biking
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most exciting places for mountain biking. Take a look at these down below:
- French Alps. From the legendary Tour du Mont Blanc to amazing peak biking routes in the Ecrins or Vercors, the French Alps deliver an infinite landscape for those who appreciate cycling!
- Iceland. Maybe not the first country that jumps to mind in regards to mountain biking, Iceland has stunning topography and a rough landscape of fjords and woodlands to investigate on two wheels.
- Andes Mountains (Argentina). Bariloche and San Martin de Los Andes hold some of the most mythical peak biking routes in Central Patagonia. Enter an exciting mountain bike traverse and uncover outstanding locations!
- Italy. From the astonishing Dolomites to the rugged shore of Sardinia, Italy boasts peak biking routes for all preferences and levels.
Tip: Are you interested in water sports like surfing? Keep in mind that it is not safe to surf in a thunderstorm.