Everyone wants to try extreme sports at some point. Some people prefer extreme sports where they don’t have to do much, like parachuting with an instructor. Others prefer getting their hands dirty so they try something like downhill biking. But, this is a very dangerous sport and you shouldn’t just dive head first into it. You need to have a learning curve before you go down that steep hill. Here is what you should do if you want to start downhill mountain biking.
Get the Right Equipment
Your regular road or commuter bicycle will not work here, not in the slightest. They will break on the first or second jump, depending on the bicycle.
You need a mountain bike, specifically a downhill bike, which are made to withstand a lot of pressure and to help you survive your extreme adventures. A hardtail mountain bike might suffice for starters, when you are still learning the ins and outs of downhill mountain biking. As soon as you want to go faster and harder, with bigger jumps, you will need a bicycle with both rear and front suspension. You will also need a full face helmet and elbow and knee protection. Falling off a bicycle while going down a hill can break you in so many ways.
Start Practicing – Slowly
In order to even comprehend downhill cycling, you first need to start practicing regular cycling. Once you feel good on a bicycle, you can ride and break properly, judge your speed and positioning before you take a turn. Then, you should take your mountain bike on a soft trail and start practicing some off-roading. Then, you can slowly progress to hills with some larger roads, preferably off road ones. There are probably trails near your city, and you can ask people around for directions. Local cyclists will know where you should be headed and you might even get some downhill tips on the way.
Start Riding Downhill
Downhill riding doesn’t have to be wildly fast for you to enjoy it. Though, bicycles do require a certain speed in order to be stable, so moving really slow also isn’t recommended. Find the right speed and start riding. You will eventually learn the tricks of the trade, making you a formidable rider, one that can tackle steeper hills with faster speeds. Whether you choose to go hard as soon as you learn a bit more, or whether you take it slowly is up to you, but the latter is a much safer option, which should extend your life expectancy.
Take Regular Breaks
One shouldn’t go hard downhill riding at all times. It is a very difficult way of cycling which requires you to be focused 100% of the time. One slip and you might be dead. It also exerts the body, meaning that if you are not present, both physically and mentally, you are putting yourself at even more risk. Given how risky downhill riding already is, more risk is not something you want. Take breaks, go cycle on normal routes, work on your physique and endurance, because you will need all of those to become a better downhill cyclist.
These are but some tips on how to start downhill cycling. Start slowly and build towards your goal, without putting yourself in more danger than necessary.