Intro to Mountain Biking
MOUNTAIN BIKING 101
Welcome to your first day of class! We want to be clear – mountain biking can be a dangerous activity. To keep yourself and others around you safe, it is important that all riders understand common mountain biking responsibilities and techniques. Progress through these “courses” and learn valuable tips before hopping on a bike.
Starting out can be difficult, and we are here to help!
Below is the Mountain Biker’s Responsibility Code, developed by National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). It is the riders responsibility to know and follow the code at all times, both on and off the trails.
Riding a mountain biking trail is significantly more technical than cruising down a bike path. In order to keep yourself and others around you safe, follow the progression matrix, located on all Bogus Basin summer trail maps.
Off of the Morning Star Express Chairlift, start on Learner’s Permit – once you are confident, head over to Student Rider! Be sure to master all green trails before moving on to the more technical blue and eventually black downhill trails.
No matter your skill level or ability, Bogus Basin has a trail for you. Learn a new activity, enjoy the outdoors, and challenge yourself on the trails. We are excited to see all of your faces this summer!
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Welcome back to class! Today’s lesson features Global Mountain Bike Network’s Founder Neil Donoghue – a long time competitor who has notched multiple Top 10 World Cup finishes.
Take a look at Neil’s clothing and gear recommendations for a downhill bike park – this guy knows his stuff!
Pro Tip – We Rent the Following:
- Mountain Bikes
We know getting started can be spendy. Shout out to MTB Weekly for sharing these 8 Tips on Finding Great Deals on Mountain Biking Gear. Check out all the resources for finding gear that’s not going to break the bank!
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Now that we have covered the basic gear necessities, time to get riding. But before you get to the top of the trails, you ‘ll need to know how to ride the lift.
Our friends from Timberline Lodge explain in this video how to load your bike onto a chairlift and ride up. This way there are no surprises for first-timers!
Once you get off the chairlift, you will notice some signage – these signs are important!
- All signage shown has been developed by National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and is accepted on a national level at ski areas and bike parks.
- The green circle, blue square, black diamond, and double black diamond represent difficulty relative to Bogus Basin’s landscape.
- “XC” used to enhance a cross-country style trail.
- “Technical” – you guessed it… is a technical trail. Often narrower, you will find features unique to Bogus Basin’s landscape. This includes but not limited to roots, rocks, water crossings, logs, and man-made features.
- “DH” is used to enhance a technical trail as downhill only mountain bike route.
- Freeride trails contain reshaped terrain, enhanced to be wider and contain elements such as jumps, berms, banks, drops, and more.
- Freeride trails still incorporate technical features, but can be identified with their bright orange surrounding oval.
Now that you can identify all trail signage, check out our summer trail map and pick the perfect trail to fit your style of riding!
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Think you’re ready to take on the trails? Now that we’ve covered everything it takes to get you up to the top, here’s a few tips that will be required to navigate the bike park and cross-country trails.
One feature you will find on all trails is a berm – a raised bank to assist changing direction while maintaining speed. Watch as Neil explains the process of choosing your speed, adjusting your body position, picking your line, and how to utilize your front and rear brakes. All of these skills transfer into other areas on the trails, so listen closely!
Thanks again to Global Mountain Bike Network, check out their YouTube channel to find hundreds of videos for all your mountain biking needs and information!
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Made it this far and feeling confident on your bike? Time to get some air! You will encounter plenty of natural and man-made features on our trails that allow the opportunity for some fun.
Before sending it to outer space, make sure you have good knowledge of the trail build. The pre-ride, re-ride, free-ride is a commonly accepted mountain biking responsibility. Before riding freely into a downhill trail, a pre-ride and re-ride are necessary to get familiar with the landscape and build. Jumping features are designed to make the motion natural while riding, but here are some techniques and common mistakes to help on that first lip.
POP, PULL, PUSH. Good technique for jumping consists of these three motions – pop with your arms, pull with your legs, and push forward with your arms.
START SMALL. When learning how to jump your bike, it is best to pick a smaller jump, and one without a gap. This way you can focus on the motions, rather than focus on clearing the gap. A great beginner jump is located approximately two-thirds of the way down Student Rider.
LET THE LIP DO THE TALKING. It is common to get excited and jump premeditated, but really focus on popping off that edge of the lip!
BE CONFIDENT! Many people tense up while mid-air. Follow these tips, and you can avoid losing balance, turning your bike, or potential injury.
Thank you Blake from GMBN for helping us get up in the air! That wraps up all of our 100 level lessons for Intro to Mountain Biking! Stay tuned for more tips, techniques, and resources for those of you who have mastered these skills!
Check again soon for the latest Intro to Mountain Biking Class!
page updated July 28th