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A beginner’s guide to mountain biking

Written by Fiona

April 12 2018

I still rate myself as a beginner mountain bike rider. While I have ridden many, many miles on my bike and enjoyed so many great trails and trail centres in Scotland, I am still a bit of a novice at the skills and techniques. However, I continue to learn and I still like getting out o my mountain bike.

I was asked to contribute some etiquette tips to a comprehensive Halfords guide to mountain biking.

Learn the etiquette of the trails

Make yourself known: When approaching walkers or horses on the trails, let them know you are in front or behind without startling them. Slow down and ping your bell or shout a cheery, “Coming up behind you!” or “Rider on your left/right!”.

Left is right: Just like driving, you should ride on your left. This lets riders going in opposite directions pass one another with ease.

Patience is a virtue: If you find yourself closely following another rider, either on a long trail or any stretch of single-track, stop to give them space. Then, once you have given them some space you can ride the route as fast as you want.

Perfect partners: Cycling while chatting with a friend is a great way to ride but you should aim to be courteous. Ensure you’ you give your friend enough room to ride alongside while not bumping handlebars. When the trail becomes too narrow, one of you should take the lead and let the other ride behind.

The Good Samaritan: The best mountain bikers always stop to help a rider in distress. Even if it turns out that they didn’t need a hand after all, it’s always favourable to ask!

I have created some blogs about Scottish mountain biking:

Summer turns to autumn

The skills of mountain biking

Also see the great guide by Halfords for more information for beginner mountain bikers.

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