Here are a few notes put together to help those just getting started in, or considering taking up, Mountain Biking.
Firstly, you can spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on a bike but the amount you spend doesn't always increase your enjoyment, skill or fitness, therefore the best way to get better is to get out and ride - lots!
The most important factors to consider are that the bike fits you, offering plenty of clearance when stood over the cross bar, and that the bike is well maintained. We have members who ride rigid single speed bikes as well as ones on full suspension race bikes. There is a massive choice of fancy MTB's on the market but as long as everything works, and your tyres have a decent tread, then you're ready to off road.
It's always best to get your bike regularly serviced, ensuring brakes and transmission are working effectively.
Spare inner tube
Tube repair kit
Under saddle bag, bum bag or rucksack/hydration pack for storage
Drinks bottle or hydration pack
Energy bar: SIS Go Bar, Powerbar or similar
Sun cream (in summer)
Spare top and warm gloves in winter (some areas visited van be very exposed and the weather can change quickly)
Cycling shorts have extra padding to make riding more comfortable, this is the one item that is highly recommended, baggy or lycra. Although specific jerseys and shoes are a good investment they can follow, once you're bitten by the bug. A waterproof top can also be useful, but a kagool or pack a mac will do in summer.
The fitter you are the more you will enjoy riding, however no matter how fit you are the more you ride the fitter you will become. If you're starting out cycling. then mountain biking is a great place to start. There are plenty of traffic free routes around York and the surrounding area.
Places to ride
Although York and the surrounding area offers lots of riding opportunities, it can be a bit lacking in proper MTB routes, however further afield there are lots of excellent places to MTB. The Howardian Hills have several routes ranging from 1-2 hours with are some climbs to challenge your fitness, and the North York Moors and Dales offer endless top quality riding.
The jewel in the crown has to be Dalby Forest which is currently undergoing a massive investment program to improve the trials and facilities for mountain bikers. Dalby offers graded rides which are way marked so they are easy to follow,Some of the routes are all weather and great at the wetter times of the year when other places can be a mud bath.
National Places to Ride
Over the last few years, as Mountain Biking has gained popularity, dedicated Mountain Bike areas have been developed. These provide graded trails in, mostly, car free locations and in stunning areas. They’re specifically designed for mountain biking so are challenging, often separated from other path users (walker, horses) and great fun for all abilities. Want to know more? Try:
Other Useful Resources
The Mountain Bike Book by Steve Worland. ISBN 1859609546
For the ladies