Extreme sports are getting more and more popular these days. Mountain biking attracts daredevils from all over the world who like to have an “adventure sport experience”.
The term mountain biking includes many different styles. The range is from gentle types such as cross country where you ride up and down the hills, and cyclo cross, which is a combination between mountain biking and road biking, to more ‘extreme’ styles. Downhill biking is one of the more extreme types and it is also one of the most popular forms of mountain biking.
In downhill mountain biking as the name implies, you only ride down the hills. The bike and the biker get transported up to the top by a lift and then begin the thrilling ride down. What you’re aiming for is to get to the bottom of the hill as fast as possible, managing to pass all the obstacles. The situations that occur often get pretty extreme. This includes jumps that can be up to twelve meters long, dropping three meters and other kinds of rough conditions that you can find on a mountain slope.
The people that are into downhill mountain biking are those that are looking for a good challenge, that long for the adrenaline pumping experience and don’t mind a few bruises. It’s for those that like to be on the risky, thrilling side of life.
The bike that is being used is a heavy bike compared to other mountain bikes, and weighs somewhere between forty and fifty pounds, so forget about pedaling uphill once you’re out there. If you’ve started your race, there’s only one way to go and that’s down. The bike has to be able to put up with extreme conditions so it is equipped with front and rear suspension and heavy tubing. For the biker, it’s necessary to use full safety gear with a proper helmet, goggles, a body suit plus knee and hand pads. You can expect to have some close contact with the dirt even if you are a professional downhill biker.
There are many ways to improve you skills, the most important one is of course to practice, and then to practice a bit more and a bit more. There are loads of books, DVDs and internet sites where people can watch stunts being performed by professionals sharing their tricks and ideas. That’s a great part of your learning, and you can bring that with you when you’re actually out on the hill. The only way to fully master it though, is to learn by the experience.
Even though there are risky aspects to downhill mountain biking, it’s a sport that’s very worthwhile. It has the ability to give you an experience that is both fun and exciting.