Do you really know your Mountain Biking Trails

by | Aug 21, 2021 | Atherton Tablelands

Do you really know your mountain biking trails?

I suspect some of you reading this article are mountain bikers and may even ride our awesome trails right here on the Atherton Tablelands. Even to those of you who ride regularly, I ask, do you really know your trails?

There is an unspoken rule when riding- no one wants to be the one who slows down the group. For example, when riding with others you may be at the front of the pack, often trying to set the fastest pace you can without blowing up. (Come on, we’ve all done it!). Or are you just keeping up with the others and you do not want to keep anyone waiting? But unless you are on your training ride, I would like to suggest a few options for you to try. And I suggest, it could be the best thing to do if you are trying to improve your mountain biking skills. As a mountain bike coach, I first teach the foundations and followed by my next coaching tip is ‘Play!’

Play?! What does that mean? For me, ‘Play’ when mountain biking is slowing things down, taking the time to try something challenging and have some fun while doing it. I recommend taking a pause during your ride (at least once per ride) and consider how you could approach a section better. Have a good look at a section of trail, get to know your trail…. And then play!

    Are you taking your best line?

    Mountain bike trails often have a line that is more worn. But you may find a less conspicuous option you have not have ridden before and could be only centimeters from your current line. There is a good chance if you don’t stop to have a look, you will ride right by without seeing it. Or if you do see that line as you promptly pedal pass you are likely to forget to try it next time. ‘Play’ while it is still fresh in your mind. Do not follow the main line, experiment, there is more than one option, see if you can find another stellar option.

      Anyone for pop rocks?!

      No, not those overly sweet lollies that break your teeth. Pop rocks or roots are small rocks or roots protrusions on the trail often seen as little minor obstacles you need to avoid. But in fact, it could be a mountain biker’s best friend. You do not have to find a big, structured mounds of dirt to practice your jumps. It may surprise you what you can use to get a little air. These morsels of fun are everywhere, and you will find lots of them.

        Stop avoiding sections of trail.

        Off Camber_PedalingOften when the hustle has started, the riding pack has momentum and then it is hard to get the group to stop. But if you see the rest of the group ride around those little drops or steep sections, be brave. Say “Hey!! Let’s give that feature a go!”. Often, riders who may avoid features may not have considered if they could in fact ride the feature. Get off your bike, have a good look at the feature. It might surprise you that the feature is not as difficult as you first thought. (If it is too difficult, call Off Camber. Our details are at the end of the article.)

        So next time you ride your regular mountain biking trail haunt, why not try a couple of these tips. Ask yourself, do you really know your trail?

        Article published in the What’s On & Where To Go magazine – August 2021 Edition

          by | Aug 21, 2021 | Atherton Tablelands

          Leah Stevenson

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