Mountain Bike Riding

BAD HABITS THAT RUIN BIKE RIDES

Seasoned mountain bikers will know there are some things people do which kill a ride dead. They don’t mean to do these things, but sometimes riders don’t think about what they are doing and before you know it a great ride out on the trails turns into an effort and chore.

GOING TOO FAST TOO EARLY

You set off on a long ride at a breakneck pace. Maybe it is the adrenaline and excitement, or the ego, or you feel you have something to prove, but the end result is the same; you can’t go as far and the rest of the ride is a slog. If this sounds like you, you need to change your habits.

LETTING YOUR EGO GET IN THE WAY

Which brings us to our next point, letting your ego get in the way. If someone is going out too fast too early, say something. Struggling to keep up with them will only ruin the experience for you. Most riders like the social side of a bike ride and will be more than happy to go a little slower.

BECOMING OBSESSED WITH DATA

Tracking your distance and time is a good way to measure progress, but becoming obsessed with it sucks all the fun out of the ride. We go out on rides to have fun, not to pour over segment times and scrutinise every detail. Don’t forget why we got into the sport in the first place.

WEARING TWO LAYERS OF CHAMOIS PADDING

Unfortunately, wearing two chamois for extra padding does not necessarily mean more comfort. I speak from experience when I say, it only leads to more soreness. If you are still experiencing a pain in your behind from your longer rides, look at changing your saddle.

A POORLY MAINTAINED BIKE

Rider’s bikes springing mechanical faults hold the whole group down, and if the fault isn’t repairable out on the trails, seriously inconvenience someone who might have to drive out to offer support. Accidents do happen and sometimes it is just a case of bad luck, but you can minimise your incidents of bad luck by giving your bike a thorough inspection before you head out.

NOT BEING PREPARED

Dress for the weather. Nothing will spoil a ride like getting chills you just can’t get rid of. Similarly, make sure you bring enough water and food. It is essential to keep your body well-hydrated and well-nourished. Neglecting this is guaranteed to lead to misery.

This also means being mechanically prepared for any issues. A puncture repair kit and small tool kit should be in the day bag to fix any mechanical faults, along with a first aid kit to amend any mechanical faults with your own body.

Preparedness even extends to remembering to bring every component of your bike. I once turned up to a ride, to find that my friend had forgotten his front wheel after removing it to fix the bike to his bike rack. Needless to say, this seriously delayed our bike ride.

Don’t be the person that has that annoying habit which has the potential to ruin a good day out on the trails.

 


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Oli Ward
oli@dinga.com.au

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.