Off-road: mountain biking, downhill, trials and cyclocross

Mountain biking is cycling that makes use of non-paved or rough surfaces.

It's a sport that can require endurance, bike-handling skills and self-reliance, and can be practised almost anywhere, from a back yard to a secluded mountain top. 

 

Cross country

This, the most traditional form of mountain biking, involves navigation of off-road trails consisting of country back roads, fire roads or single-track - narrow trails that wind through fields, forests and hills.

Since 2006, Cross country mountain biking ('XC') has featured in the Summer Olympics. The course for the London 2012 event was at Hadleigh Farm in Essex, and is open to the public.

Any off road route that's officially a bridleway can be ridden on a bike. You can find out more about these routes through local clubs, bike shops or websites such as bikely, or ibikeride.

You can also visit trail centres, such as Bedgebury which have signed routes and will usually offer bike hire.

Downhill

Involves navigating steep and rugged downhill courses, in competition done against the clock, starting at intervals, on courses which typically take two to five minutes to complete.

Freeride

Combining different aspects of the sport, but with emphasis on airborne skills such as dirt jumping.

Trials ('North Shore')

Negotiate man-made (often made from wood) and natural obstacles without your feet touching the ground. Made famous globally by Scottish rider Danny MacAskill. 

Cyclo-cross

Cyclo-cross originates in Belgium where it is synonymous with frites, maynonnaise and beer! Races usually take place in the winter, and are multi-lap, held on short courses with obstacles requiring riders to dismount carry their bike at points. The bikes used are similar to road bikes, but with wider, treaded tyres, and cantilever or disc brakes.

Many road cycling clubs also cater for cyclo-cross, and there is a full series of races in and around London, which can be found on the British Cycling website.

Cyclo-cross bikes are also frequently used for commuting - something which has inspired LCC to organise an Urban Cyclo-cross race at the London Nocturne!

 

Replies

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  • By Argery at 12:56am 11 November 2015

There should more of these events happening around so that everyone gets part of it. Some people really love the racing.

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  • By modfiles at 1:36pm 15 December 2015

I've recently heard about balance bikes for toddlers so they can learn to ride without stabilisers. They sound fantastic, and a perfect first bike for my nephew who is nearly 3. Does anyone have advice on which balance bike to go for. Thanks!  pdf to flash  and pdf tool software for pdf to word, excel, ppt, images   pdf converter mac  and  convert pdf files  to download free trial. pdf to word  ,  pdf to images    

Mountain biking is cycling that makes use of non-paved or rough surfaces - :(

 

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  • By Hiroko at 5:19pm 4 February 2016

If you ask me, I mostly like the freeride as it is feeling AWESOME!
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  • By wildan at 6:08am 23 February 2016

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own.

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  • By dodin04 at 4:45am 24 February 2016

It is a fun activity to do various activities of mountain biking, downhill, trials and cyclocross it will make life more healthy with the exercise done. I'm jealous of you whom hold such a thing, in Jakarta at my town where I live, of them that never existed, because everyone is just busy finding money. Right now I'm working as driver car rent. I hope one day there will be activities like that in my city.

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This post was edited by bikecyclerider at 7:17am 7 April 2016.

If you've ever ridden in a group and been dropped (I think we all have), then you know what it's like to want to go faster, climb better, descend quicker and clear every obstacle in the path.

While only lots of riding, great fitness and endless bailouts into the bushes will make you the hottest rider on the block, here are some basic skills that every aspiring mountain biker should know.

Braking

Using your brakes requires you to use your head, especially when descending. No, not as a stopping block it means using your best judgment on how much or how little to squeeze those brake levers.

The more weight a tire carries, the more braking power it has. When going downhill, your front wheel carries more weight than the rear. Braking with the front brake helps keep you in control without going into a skid. Be careful, though, not to overdo it and accidentally toss yourself over the handlebars. And don't neglect your rear brake. When descending, shift your weight back over the rear wheel, thus increasing your rear braking power as well. This balances the power of both brakes and gives you maximum control.

Good riders learn how much of their weight to shift over each wheel and to apply just enough braking power to each brake, so not to "endo" over the handlebars or skid down a trail.flex belt scam reviews

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