Top tips for safe and fun biking
1Stay at a reasonable level for the first few outings. If you go overboard and push too hard, you may get disheartened when you find some climbs too difficult. Especially going downhill, which can sometimes be more difficult than the climb itself.
2You need quick reactions to avoid falling and getting injured and also good balance. Book a few lesson with a SMBLA instructor. You will learn a lot about avoiding injury.
3Get the best bike and clothing you can afford. It may be a full suspension bike. The better quality bikes have a stiffer frame, which helps transfer energy to the back wheel and stops you bouncing up and down on the saddle. A good cross-country bike should do it.
4Join a good club like Mountain Bike Ireland. The advice and support is invaluable. Getting good tips and correct clothing, shoes, and corrective head gear is really important and could possibly save your life or stop a serious injury.
5For a trial day out for all the family to give you a taste of biking, visit Ballyhoula mountain trail near Mitchelstown, Co Cork, a really great day for adventure. Or Ballinastoe in Wicklow.
6A basic level of fitness is required, even for an intermediate course of biking. The course normally lasts for three hours and covers roughly 10km.
7It is important to wear warm clothing, a good helmet, gloves and possibly knee and elbow guards. And most importantly, check your tires, breaks, chain and gears - especially if your bike has been stored away for a long time. Also avoid baggy tracksuits as the legs can get caught up in the chain and lead to injuries. Invest in a good pair of padded shorts, it will save you getting a high pitched voice. And don't forget to take on plenty of liquids beforehand to avoid dehydration.