Before mastering the trails or the road, there’s a few basic skills you’ll want to ace: flat riding, descending, climbing and cornering.
When riding on flat terrain, there are a few things to keep in mind, but your number one concern should be your vision. You want to always be looking ahead, because this will allow you to see any upcoming obstacles, climbs or descents.
Comfort is key when riding on flat trails, so you can either sit in the saddle or stand on the pedals. As long as you keep a steady pedaling pace, you can ride flat terrain either way. Flat riding is also a good time to get a stretch in, so alternate from sitting to standing if you need a break from sitting on the seat.
Lastly, when you coast on flat terrain, which we all do from time to time, try and keep your pedals level. This helps keep them from getting caught on any debris that might be on the trail.
During a descent, you will want to position yourself standing up on the pedals with your knees bent and hips back slightly behind the saddle. This positioning helps with keeping your balance and overall steadiness through the ride. Keep your arms and legs bent with your pedals even to absorb some of the bumps and rolls that you’ll encounter.
The last thing to remember when descending is to keep your weight into your heels. If you roll over something or hit the brakes, your feet should stay firmly on the pedals.
One of the keys to climbing is to focus on the obstacle ahead and to get yourself in the right gear. An easier gear will make the climb much more manageable. Once you’re in the proper gear for your ascension, you’ll be able to pedal at a steady pace.
Remain seated while keeping your weight toward the center of the bike. This will make sure you have weight in the front for steering and weight in the back for traction.
When cornering, you want to make sure that you are comfortable with your speed. There is no set speed for this, so just be sure to feel alright with how fast you are going.
As you approach the corner, stand up and bend your knees. Lean into the corner while keeping your body centered over the bike. Lastly, always remember to look through the corner and find your exit.
Now that you’re on your way to conquering the four basic biking techniques, you’re ready to ride. Get out there and have some fun.