mountain biking chicks

by @according2kelly on March 16, 2011

in my mind i have this picture of what mountain biking chicks are… tough, strong & fearless. when i grow up, i want to be like them. the only thing that’s holding me back?  i hate mountain biking.

mountain biking chicks

womens-mountain-bikes

okay, okay… to say i hate mountain biking seems harsh. hate is probably a bit strong. maybe i should say i dislike mountain biking, or that i’m not extremely fond of it.  whatever synonym you use, it all comes down to this – i’m seriously not a fan.  just thinking about mountain biking makes my stomach get queasy & my heart skip a beat or two…. honestly, mountain biking gives me the heebie-jeebies. no, it’s more than that – it scares me to death. white knuckling the handlebars, as i speed downhill, avoiding the ruts in the trail, just hoping that i don’t go over the front? oy vey!

“give it up!” you say, “why do it?” you ask? well… my husband mountain bikes. my friends mountain bike. even my kids are starting to mountain bike. i fear if i don’t learn to like, or hopefully one day love mountain biking, i will soon be exiled. i’ve already been told “we still love you even if you don’t like mountain biking, we may just never hang out again.”

as you can see i’m in quite a quandary – so i’ve adapted a new motto… “mountain bike or die.”

unfortunately, adapting the motto alone, wasn’t enough. so, i’ve been riding. almost daily.  i’ve been perfecting my bunny hops, performing wheelies & practicing my track stands. & thanks to the ultimate mountain biking chick, i now have more confidence, than ever before, when it comes to my mountain biking skills.

mountain biking skills

womens-mountain-bikes

now i wish i could say that mountain biking suddenly doesn’t suck. that magically, i am no longer scared of falling, going over my handle bars, or speeding downhill fast. but i am & it does.

luckily, it doesn’t suck as much as it did before. slowly but surely, i am getting better. & one of these days i may just surprise you, by exclaiming my love for mountain biking. until then, i’m willing to accept any & all tips on mountain biking. in the meantime, here are few i’ve learned along the way…

tips on mountain biking

  • don’t wear underwear under your shorts. in fact, the ultimate mountain biking chick highly recommends all mountain biking chicks to invest in a big tube of chamois cream & a brazilian wax.
  • go clipless when it comes to pedals. it may be a wee bit scarier at first, but trust me, you’ll be so much happier in the long run.
  • you’re right hand break controls the rear brake…. if you apply this brake “full on” (by itself) you’ll skid. the left hand brake controls the front brake… if you apply this brake “full on” (by itself) you’ll stop immediately – be careful, though. without the proper weight distribution it’s easy to fly over the handle bars. it’s best to use a combination of the two brakes for stopping purposes.
  • whether you are turning, going downhill or uphill… look where you want to go. i don’t know why, i don’t know how – it just works.
  • pick your “line” & stick with it – don’t ever hesitate, just go with it.
  • try to think 2-3 moves ahead. don’t focus on what’s right in front of you, instead concentrate on what’s coming up.
  • when it’s time to descend… stand up & shift your weight back, behind your saddle & stay low.
  • shift your gears before you have to.
  • when you’re climbing uphill, move yourself forward to the front of your saddle & keep your head low to your handle bars… keeping your body weight forward, towards the front of your bike.

so there you have it… pearls of mountain biking wisdom from a girl who can’t wait (but is scared to death) to be part of the mountain biking chicks club.

7 comments
Amy
Amy

These are some great tips. I started Mountain biking with my boyfriend, now husband years ago and I was so scared, honestly still am and I haven't really gone much lately. We live in the Northeast and my husband loves to climb and have fun. Unfortunately, I kept getting scared and would psych myself out of having a good ride. Maybe some day I'll got over my fear and enjoy it!

Shannon
Shannon

Hi Kelly- I am new to your blog, so HI! Have you check out Trail Angles? We are a group of women mountain bikers in OC. A great group of women in all skill levels. I started on a mountain bike about 10 years ago and I went through everything on your post! I spend most of my time on the road these days, but I am looking forward to getting back in the dirt!

Norma
Norma

You are so inspiring!!! I recently took up a few hobbies (scuba & tennis), and while I may not like them at times, they are not nearly as scary. Seriously, good for you and GOOD LUCK!!!

Todd
Todd

"just thinking about mountain biking makes my stomach get queasy & my heart skip a beat or two…. honestly, mountain biking scares me to death. This is why I LOVE mountain biking!

BikingBrian
BikingBrian

Do you envision yourself eventually enjoying mountain biking - assuming you can get away from the fear of falling, going over the handlebars, etc.? If so, there's hope, as a lady friend of mine has been through almost the exact same situation as you. She used to be so afraid on the downhills that she was actually going too slow, making it harder for herself to deal with the terrain. But she gradually got over that with some coaching, and now she enjoys her riding even more. She rides with a "meetup" group in OC, tweet me and I can get you the info on the group if you're interested.

Julie
Julie

I live in Texas, so no mountain biking for me. But I like the idea of shared interests with your husband and kids. I have all boys at my house so I'm learning to play tough, too!

Tran
Tran

Good tips, Kelly! I highly agree with the first one.. I haven't gone so far as getting a brazilian yet, but I definitely can understand the reasoning behind it. Also, when going up a long (seemingly neverending) hill.. I just put my head down and keep spinning my legs. I find that this helps me concentrate more on the biking and less on the fact that "just a little more" is always longer than you think.

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you’re interested in picking up a mountain biking hobby (which I highly recommend), my friend Kelly has some great tips HERE (especially if mountain biking scares you out of your mind) […]

  2. […] ramping up our “training.” I guess I’ve learned that the only way to conquer my fear of mountain biking is to face it head on. So who’s with me? Whether you’re a newbie […]

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