Tackle the mountain with confidence.
Mountain biking is loads of fun and its popularity is skyrocketing. Here are some tips from Team Bicycle Network member and elite MTB rider Kate to help you have a great day on the bike.
Meet Kate Kellett
You might have crossed paths with Kate at Peaks Challenge where she represents Team Bicycle Network as one of our 11-hour leaders.
What you might not know about Kate is that she is also an elite endurance mountain bike rider with two Australian Solo 24hr Mountain Bike Championships to her name plus bronze and silver medals at the world championships in 2016 and 2018.
See below for some tips from Kate on how to have fun on your mountain bike while keeping it rubber side down.
1. Relaxed body
Loose on the bike. Mountain biking is a lot more enjoyable, less daunting and more fluid when you are relaxed. It sets you up to be responsive to changes in terrain and natural obstacles. When you are tense, you are fighting the bike. Think flow, be agile and put yourself in the position where you can move around on the bike and shift your weight around.
Momentum is your friend. Don’t be scared to pedal out of the corners as it gives you more control. Also don’t be scared to point the bike down those rocky descents. Easy on the brakes and let the bike roll. Mountain bikes are designed to tackle the rocks, but you need to enable them by keeping them moving.
3. Eyes up
Eyes up, looking forward. Focus on the line you want to take. Don’t focus on the obstacle, tree or thing that you want to avoid. This includes looking around the corners and constantly scanning what’s ahead.
4. Take the pressure off
If you are riding a new trail that you aren’t familiar with, don’t be pressured into thinking you have to ride the whole length of the trail or segment. If you come across a section or obstacle that you are unsure about, it’s ok to put the bike down and take a look at it first. If you decide you want to ride, go for it. If you decide to give it a miss and save it for next time, that’s ok.
Brakes are there to help you brush off speed, but if you brake too hard too quickly you could end up losing control of the bike and find yourself lying in a bush on the side of the trail. Practicse feathering the brakes and when coming into a corner, focus on doing the braking before you enter the corner, not once you are in the corner.