Mountain biking means different things to different
people. Some take up mountain biking as a recreation,
while others take it up for the competitive
If competition appeals to you, there are many
different events that make up this growing sport.
Off-road racing includes hill climbs, downhill,
cross country, stage races, dual slalom and
others. Road racing is comprised of road races,
stage races, point races, sprint, team pursuit
and more. Whether you bike for enjoyment, transportation
or racing, there's a Cycling BC membership and
an affiliated club that's right for you. Be
safe, have fun!
Mountain biking for recreation means physical
fitness, back country adventures and biking
skills. In British Columbia there are numerous
paved trails located in or near the cities.
Other areas that are open to mountain biking
include most forest service roads, some dike
systems, a number of cross-country ski trails
and many abandoned railways.
Be Knowledgeable When Purchasing that
Before you buy a new bike, make sure you know
what type of cycling you plan to do and how
much money you wish to spend. There are different
bikes for different activities. If planning
to ride off-road on rough terrain, you want
a mountain bike. Buy a hybrid bicycle if the
riding you wish to do will be on both paved
and unpaved roads. If you are going to be commuting
or enjoying long distance rides, a touring bicycle
is the type to buy.
The price range of bikes is anywhere from $300.
to $1500 and up! Test ride bikes before you
buy, find the one that suits you for weight
and sturdiness. Check the bike for frame size,
you should be able to comfortably straddle the
frame, not the seat when standing. The other
important factor is to shop locally, as most
bike shops include checkups and a one-year service
warranty. Its easier and more convenient when
repairs are needed if the shop is close to home.
They are the experts and will match your particular
needs to the appropriate bike.
Bike Helmets and How to Buy Them:
In British Columbia it is mandatory for all
cyclists (operators and passengers) to wear
a safety helmet. Statistics prove that wearing
a helmet can help prevent head and brain injuries.
When buying a helmet make sure it has been approved
by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI),
the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American
Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Helmets come in a number of styles, prices and
construction. The outer shells come in different
materials but the liner is made from a hard
styrofoam that gives you the needed protection.
Your new helmet will come with foam pads that
will make it possible to fit the helmet to the
shape and size of your head. Chin straps should
be adjusted to fit you and must never be loose.
A proper fitting helmet should cover your forehead.
When purchasing your helmet, ask the salesperson
to show you how to adjust the straps and read
the enclosed brochure. It's a good idea to replace
your helmet every three to four years, after
an accident or when cracks appear. Check with
your local dealer.
Before you do any biking make sure your bike
is properly adjusted. Both the seat and brakes
should be adjusted to suit you. Learn to master
your balance, braking and pedaling at slow speed.
Practice both front and rear wheel lifts and
tight circles. When it comes to cornering, look
ahead to where you want to be out of the turn,
lean the bike not your body. Relax your shoulders
and bend your elbows and pedal smoothly. Set
your own progression pace, and before long you
will be able to ride to those out of the way
places. Be safe, have fun!
Knowing and Sharing the Trails:
Before you head out, find out how physically
and technically demanding the trail might be,
and take into account your experience and fitness
level. Local maps are available from bike shops
in the region and the staff is always willing
to help you out.
Many trails and paths have to be shared by hikers,
horseback riders, cyclists as well as the people
out walking and jogging, so it is essential
that you always practice good manners.
Proper Biking Conduct:
Learn proper riding techniques. Don't cause
trail damage. Always stay on the trails,
never ride when it's wet or muddy.
Before starting out make sure your bike
is in good condition and be prepared by
having spare parts, adequate food, water,
clothing and a small first aid kit.
Yield to other, slow down or stop when approaching
others on the trail.
Be aware of others on the trail. Use a bell
Always be courteous, as conflicts could
lead to trail closures. Mountain bikers
are the newest kids on the block and would
be the first to go
Watch for wildlife and livestock and give
them a wide berth.
Bike with a buddy. When heading out for
the back country leave word about your route,
destination and when you can be expected
Always help protect the environment. Garbage
in - garbage out!
When biking on a highway, the cyclist has
the same rights and duties as the operator
of a motor vehicle. Know the biking laws
of the land and be sure to obey them.