Gearing Up

Just like skiing, mountain biking is a wonderful sport that can be fraught with frustration if not started the right way. The problem is that, if we can ride a bicycle, we generally assume that we already know everything about the technique and the equipment, and don’t need any lessons. While this seems logical, mountain-biking is a totally different universe, because there is highly specialized equipment just for it, plenty of gravity going up and down, uneven terrain, and most often than not a narrow, single-track involved!

These differences are the key reasons for considering professional help that can take a rank beginner into a smart mountain-bike rider. Things like learning the basics of using the brakes the proper way, understanding the “platform” concept, knowing about correct body placement and feeling comfortable with obstacles and single-track riding. These elements where probably not part of the curriculum used by your mom or dad when you learned how to ride your first bike!

This said there are countless reasons for getting into mountain biking; most folks get into the sport either by accident, special circumstances, like a visit to Deer Valley Resort, or just because they want to try something new. There are also many ways to get started. First, there’s the gentle one, which consists of beginning on asphalt bike-paths, staying on flat terrain and progressively tackling the more challenging trails. Then, there’s the “full-immersion” program that takes rank-beginners into the heart of the matter, with guts and gusto, straight up into the mountain. These forms of entry points often match certain age groups too. Middle-age people will gravitate towards the former, while teenagers and young adults may pedal more assertively into the sport and enjoy a faster learning curve.

Going at mountain biking progressively is probably a good idea for middle-age and older individuals. These riders can be a bit apprehensive and often don’t have as much time available for the sport. They can transition naturally from their regular biking experience into some slightly heavier equipment in which familiarity with the proper use of gears, brakes and terrain requires some time to be learned. After practicing these skills for a while on bike path or gravel road, they’ll be ready to explore more complex terrain and get familiar with uphill climbs, descents and single-track trails.

If the riders aren’t quite ready for taking that step, either because they are just afraid or don’t have the stamina the activity requires, they might be better off switching to a lighter, cross-country mountain bike design that can be used either on gentler terrain and on wider trails covered with asphalt, gravel or dirt. Before they do, however, it might still be an excellent idea to take a few more lessons. On the other hand, if riders get comfortable on single trails and their ups and downs, improvements will largely be a function of time, mileage and increased level of difficulty. It is at this stage that a good combination of lift-assisted biking and practicing on blue runs can provide this key ingredient that’s so important in mountain-biking: Experience!

If the riders are young, energetic and fearless, they can literally take the plunge either by mean of lift-assisted, downhill biking or ease into single-track cross-country riding. As mentioned earlier, the participant’s age plays a crucial role. Teenagers and young adults can learn with buddies and thanks to a combination of grit, good balance, athletic abilities, peer pressure and lots of practice; they will learn the rudiment of the sport and improve quite rapidly.

Again, for all of these groups, the best way to get started is by taking lessons as there is a technique to be learned and this can save a lot of grief to the newcomer. Without lessons, these skills must be acquired the hard way and this can translate into a much longer process. In fact, unless the rider can get out 20 or 30 times each season, like some of the locals do, the morale of a successful mountain biking experience is to take lessons from the start, stick to practicing and getting out as often as possible.

Now, don’t delay, take that first step into mountain biking before the season is over!

Leave your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Feed

Deer Valley Resort is at Deer Valley Resort.

It was a beautiful bluebird day at Deer Valley Resort.
... See MoreSee Less

It was a beautiful bluebird day at Deer Valley Resort.

Gloria Guarna Alexander, Susan Remington Carr and 879 others like this

View previous comments

Bob GarretsonKevin Willy was unbelievable good. Very quickly found three things I was doing wrong in my ski form. Working to correcting these mistakes and had me enjoying skiing again within an hour. Wow

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Sibyl BogardusLoved my tune up lesson today with Kevin Willy! The snow was a surprising good mix. Deer Valley snow crew and groomer staff are amaaazing!

14 hours ago
Avatar

Ed KennedyHad a great time today.

17 hours ago
Avatar

Cheri Bullerman SeymourI Love Deer Valley Skiing!

55 minutes ago
Avatar

Terri DenningHow’s the snow

15 hours ago
Avatar

John TredentYes it was..

17 hours ago
Avatar

Dixie KarpinskyLove dear valley

18 hours ago
Avatar

Cheryl HlozekI ❤️Deer Valley

4 hours ago
Avatar

Andrew WellsBlow that stuff!!

14 hours ago
Avatar

Peggy Jane LackeyWow

6 hours ago
Avatar

Jared JARachel Anderson

20 hours ago
Avatar

Alex TalaricoSean Lawrence

13 hours ago
Avatar

James Bruce WalkerNatalie Christensen

5 hours ago
Avatar

Candace McKey StrongDB Strong

4 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Deer Valley Resort shared KUTV 2News This Morning's Winter Road Trippin' at Deer Valley - Goldener Hirsch Restaurant.

KUTV 2News This Morning
... See MoreSee Less

Caitlin West is Road Trippin' at Deer Valley Resort and she's sampling the delicious menu available at the Goldener Hirsch Restaurant.

Rick Bishop, Sherry Larsen Woodard and 133 others like this

View previous comments

Joanne FlanaganKristi Chapman Young isn't this our apre ski place?😉

1 day ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Kc Fiedler"sexy, stinky, swiss cheese"

1 day ago   ·  1
Avatar

Kristy French GrahamLooking forward to New Year’s Eve!!

23 hours ago
Avatar

Scot AsherSheila Asher

1 day ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Deer Valley Resort shared KUTV 2News This Morning's Winter Road Trippin' at Deer Valley - Avalanche Dogs.

KUTV 2News This Morning
... See MoreSee Less

Caitlin West is Road Trippin' at Deer Valley Resort and introduces us to Ninja and Rooster, two of the avalanche dogs that work on the mountains and keep people safe.

Angeline Justice, Geri Jensen Scott and 305 others like this

View previous comments

Erik JonswoldIf anything I have to turn down the tickets I got for my parents who are visiting me for the Christmas week... I gave them my free tickets but I guess I let them down... thank you Deer Valley for for me working full time and I was sick for firing me and ruining Christmas

9 hours ago
Avatar

Erik JonswoldI used to work full time at deer valley but was sick for 3 days and they let me go... right after I found myself a own studio and I won’t be able to afford if i can’t work again

9 hours ago
Avatar

Erik JonswoldI was sick for a couple days and in the hospital and tried to get my job back but got let go... help me get my job back help do ski instructing?

9 hours ago
Avatar

Eric AlexanderYeah Sue..!! These dogs work the summer too and they are the best..!

2 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Anne SorensonAre you working there this season?

21 hours ago
Avatar

Matt N BentleySue you killed it! 😄

2 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Sheryl BarberLove my Rooster!

2 days ago
Avatar

Brad LazarusSo California.....

Attachment1 hour ago
Avatar

MaryEllen BighamGreat place to ski!

2 days ago
Avatar

Shay M. WeaverBeau Burrows Addie Weaver Bill Weaver Larry would be GREAT at this 👏🏼👍🏼

2 days ago
Avatar

Sue Stevenson MikulskiAwww Paul Mikulski

2 days ago
Avatar

Chrissy SudlerHi Susan! 🙌🏼

17 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley