4 Mountain Biking Tips For Beginners

Shake up your summer workout routine: hop on a mountain bike. Not only is mountain biking great cross-training for the sports you love, it doesn't actually feel like a workout. Riding singletrack is more like an adventure. At more than 500 calories burned per hour, it's also the perfect outdoor activity for fitness and endurance addicts.

While beginner singletrack trails are mostly packed dirt, they do serve up enough obstacles to keep you on your toes.

These basic mountain biking tips will help you tackle the trails with confidence.

More: The Basics: Mountain Bike Skills You Need to Know

1. Watch the Trail

Cliff Krolick, owner and operator of Backcountry Excursions in Parsonsfield, Maine says, "Your arms do not steer the bike, your eyes do."

Many new riders keep their eyes focused on the trail directly in front of their tire. This can cause delayed reactions since it's often too late to respond to obstacles that are right in front of you.

Instead, focus your eyes about 15 feet in front of you. This gives your mind time to process what's ahead, so that your body can respond appropriately.

2. Steer With Your Eyes

The best way to tell the bike what to do is to look where you want it to go, and lean in that direction. If you look and lean right, your bike will turn right. Look and lean left, and your bike will turn left.

More: Turn Without Skidding

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