Introduction: How to Prepare for Riding on a Mountain Bike Trail
Have you ever wanted to ride on a dirt mountain bike trail? If you follow the steps in this instructable, it will help prepare you for a ride down a dirt trail. It is important to prepare for dirt trail riding because you can cause harm to yourself or other riders if you do not take appropriate precautions for riding on a mountain bike trail. The items you will need are just you and your bike. The skills required for this activity are how to ride a bike and knowing your limits. It only takes between five and fifteen minutes to adequately prepare yourself to start riding down the trail, and knowing the process for preparation will allow you to quickly master any trail you want to ride.
Step 1: Locate Trail Head (beginning of the Trail)
1. Read any rules and warnings about the trail
A. Always give courtesy to other riders or anyone else enjoying the trail
2. Pictured above is the sign at the trail head of my local trail
A. Note maps and rules
Step 2: Prepare Your Bike
1. Find air pressure information on the side of your tire and stay on the low end of the range
A. CAUTION: Underinflated or overinflated tires may damage your wheels
2. Make sure your wheels roll straight
3. Make sure your brakes work properly
Step 3: Prepare Yourself
1. Get loose and nimble
A. Trails can often get tight and require quick maneuvers
2. Do some wheelies and bunny hops
A. These are necessary to get over certain obstacles quickly, but not the only way, you can always get off the bike and lift it over
Step 4: Ride Down the Trail Slowly
1. Watch for potential hazards
A. In the pictures above, tree roots while going down a small hill can be tricky to navigate, and a puddle of mud can make your wheels stop or slide around making turns tricky
B. Always watch a few feet in front of the bike, it’s the difference between hitting the tree and not hitting the tree
2. Learn where the trail goes and figure out the best way to get around obstacles
Step 5: Have Fun on the Trail
1. Watch out for other riders and people who might be walking on the trail
2. The main goal of riding on a trail is to get off the bike as few times as possible
3. The above picture is me at a little rolling hill that was fun
Congratulations, you now know the basic process of learning new trails to ride your bike on, you can always apply this process to different trails. If you experience any troubles on the trails you can always try asking other riders how they do certain sections or how they have their bikes set up.
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