Mountain biking is a great way to exercise, compete against others, and challenge yourself. Hoping on a mountain bike in the Mountain State, AKA, West Virginia, will have your adrenaline level up in no time! After all, this beautiful state is almost entirely a mountainous region!
You will find elevation drops around the Ohio River and Shenandoah River. Over in the Monongahela Nation Forest, high peaks great you with a cooler climate and the highest point of the state. At 4,863 feet, Spruce Knob is part of the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and provides outdoor recreational enthusiasts with 75 miles of hiking trails.
A lot of the mountain biking trails throughout West Virginia on varied terrain, so prepare for steep climbs that require you to push the pedal hard.
CORNER THOSE TURNS
It does not matter if you have been mountain biking for years or just starting; cornering is a non-stop improvement skill. A lot of riders kill their speed in the turns. When you hold the turns, riders use less energy.
Think about your turn as you see it, and approach in a wide, crouched stance with weight equal on both pedals. Open your knees and let the bike lean under you.
Remember to lean the bike, not your body. Leaning the bike allows you to get your side knobs on the tires to grab traction and hold the edge. Brake before the turn and ease off as you are in it. Think of your navel as a laser. Point it towards the exit and ride!
CRUISE OVER ROOTS AND ROCKS
Roots, rocks, and other trail obstacles are small enough for you to cruise right over with your mountain bike. Just maintain proper form and some momentum. As you see the obstacle, stand up, put your weight equally on both pedals, keep your elbows out, and a good bend in your knees. Hit the obstacle at what one would consider a jogging speed.
Avoid looking down, focus on what is in front of you. Also, do not lean forward on the handlebars. Leaning forward could cause you to snag the obstacle, and the outcome may not be favorable for you. Let your arms and legs absorb the shock as you meet the obstacle and cruise right over it.
KNOCK OUT THOSE UPHILL OBSTACLES
West Virginia has hills, and avoiding even one can be more trouble than just going for it and knocking it out. Mountain bikers in West Virginia should not fear the hills and mountains. Yes, it can be exhausting to get over one; there is an energy-saving technique that can be used.
Use the pedaling front-wheel lift to help you conquer that hill! Put your dominate foot at the one o’clock positions and punch the pedal hard to the six o’clock. As you are making this move, put your shoulders back, keep your arms straight, and you should feel your front wheel come up. The pedal’s power is what causes the rise, leaving you not so tired.
After you have cleared the obstacle, stand up in a crouched position on the pedals, and bend your arms. Shove those handlebars with a little force and move your rear where over whatever you encountered.
PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
Accidents and injuries occur regularly, and the possibility of one happening in the mountains of West Virginia while you are mountain biking is no different.
Pack a first aid kit with adhesive bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, and anything else you think you may need. When you are mountain biking with others, it is a good idea; to ensure that everyone in the group has a first aid kit. You never know when someone may get lost.
Cell phone reception is not always the best on a good day in West Virginia. Before you venture out, let someone know the area you will be in and how long you plan to stay out. Also, plan to notify them when you do get back so that they know you are safe. This way, if you do not return, someone will come and look for you!