Mountain biking is such a great sport as there is always something new to learn. Progressively learning new skills and gaining confidence is very rewarding. When you feel that you have no more skills to learn. Firstly you are probably mistaken and secondly you can always get fitter!
Mountain biking in the alps brings it’s own set of challenges. We are going to describe briefly which skills we require everyday on the mountain trails and singletrack. For some it will be far too simple, for others they might learn a little…
Climbs on forest roads
These are often steep with loose gravel. It is important to have the seat raised so that the legs are used efficiently. A low seatpost will soon overstress your quads. A correctly set saddle height (and lateral position) will give you better balance and far greater pedalling efficiency.
Gently scratch your seatpost (unless it is carbon!) to mark your favoured height. As you will have to raise and lower it depending in the varied terrain you’ll encounter. A couple is inches shy of full leg stretch is a good starting position to try out.
Easy and obvious but when the forest road is steep, slippy and you’re a bit tired, it’s a little harder. If possible start at an angle, don’t point your bike straight up the mountain. Push off with your stronger foot whilst standing. This is the important part now…
Glide, balance, sit and then pedal with your other foot. This whole process will only take a couple of seconds. If you rush to pedal which is really natural. You might either not have your balance yet or your tyres might slip as you aren’t sitting in the saddle. Traction is very important when starting on a steep gravel incline.
We’ll have lots more information that you may find useful in future posts. Make sure you get out and practice these skills and enjoy your mountain biking.