We’ve all been there, out on the trials enjoying ourselves, or getting ready for a good spin when one of these things gets in the way. Maybe you see some more often than others, but more often than not, they’ll grind your gears. We’ve listed a few bad MTB habits that we could all be better off without!
Standing in the middle of the trail
Whether you’re going up or coming down, this is one of the most annoying bad MTB habits to encounter. You can be cruising along, minding your own business when all of a sudden, there’s a rider or a group in the way. If you need to stop, try and be conscious of the riders around you, and the space! Move to one side, and if there’s no space, try to stop a bit further up or down. It can also be quite dangerous if you’re in the way of a steep descent and the rider doesn’t have time to stop!
Riding with no water
We’ve all got that one friend that does it. It’s right up in the list of bad MTB habits, riding with no water. They’ll tell you they don’t need it, they drank before they came or it’s not hot enough to need water. Then when you get to the top of the first or second climb, you can see them struggling. Exercising at any level without water isn’t recommended, no matter what the weather conditions. Don’t get caught out constantly asking your friends for water when you know you’re going to need some!
Making excuses not to ride
You could be letting your friends down, or you could just be letting yourself down. We’ve all been there, full of excuses why we can’t or don’t want to ride. But you’re only ever one ride away from a good mood! It doesn’t matter if you can only get out for a brief spell, put away the excuses, throw your leg over your bike and get out there. You’ll thank yourself for it!
If you don’t know anyone else in the group that you spend your whole life waiting for, then we’ve got bad news… it’s probably you! Messing about with your bike, your kit, this, that. Keeping everyone waiting in the cold at the start of the ride. It only means you either have to finish late, or cut the ride short. And nobody wants that! Make sure everything that can be is ready before you set out, and make sure you’re efficient in getting ready.
Not saying hello
Granted, this can be tough if you’re in a busy bike park. You can’t say hi to absolutely every rider you meet. Though the odd not of the head, or grunt while you’re climbing is enough. Acknowledge the other bikers around you. At the end of the day, we’re all doing it for the same reason, because we love riding our bikes. So why not make it that little bit more pleasant for everyone, after all, that’s what it’s all about right?!
Attacking the first half of the hill
One of the more annoying bad MTB habits. The people that attack the first half of the hill, then blow before the second! You can sometimes see them pushing their bike up the second half. This isn’t efficient, or how to get fitter! It’s much better to ride a consistent pace up the climb, something you can sustain from start to finish, then increase the pace for the next attempt!
Skidding on occasion can be a useful technique, but it can damage the trails you or someone else has worked hard to design. We know as a kid it was the most fun thing in the world, and well, as an adult it’s still pretty fun. But try and limit this one so that we can sustain the trails for longer!
Riding without a helmet
This is one of the really bad MTB habits. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of riding without a helmet. We’ve heard all the excuses. It doesn’t quite fit, it gives you headaches, it’s too warm/stuffy, you can’t see properly. But the hard fact is: it can save your life. It’s easy to say it won’t happen to you, but all it takes is one little slip and a misplaced rock, and it’s not a scenario even worth thinking about! Make sure you keep your brains safe and just slip a helmet on, you could thank us for it!
Not having the bike ready
Bad maintenance, a flat your forgot about, the tools you don’t have. We’ve all been at the start of the ride, ready to leave, when someone turns up with a bike that certainly isn’t fit for purpose. Make sure at the end of a ride, or before your next one you have the machine up and running in at least a reasonable state. A clean bike is a happy bike, and your legs will thank you for it if you look after it. And so will the bank account! This person is probably also associated with the gaffer from earlier.
Dropping your riding buddies
If you’re interested in going hard and fast all of the time, it’s probably best to shave your legs and find a pointy helmet. And ride some of that rather boring smooth stuff. Attacking a climb here or there is fine, but if you’re constantly riding off into the distance and ditching your buddies, what’s the point of riding together?! And who cares who’s the fastest anyway. Make sure you keep linking up and enjoying the ride together, after all, that’s how we all improve and it’s far far more enjoyable.
Blaming everything else
We all know someone with this as one of their bad MTB habits. Blaming everything for a bad ride, or their bike braking. They slept wrong, the brakes are catching, they’ve got the wrong gear on, the weathers bad. Amongst an infinite amount of excuses. You’re there to ride your bike and enjoy yourself, make sure you do that! As we said before, nobody cares who’s going fast and who isn’t anyway. We all just want to get round with a smile and some mud on our faces.
Not being conscious of space
Not everyone can be as superhuman fast as you are. If you’re blazing up or down the trails, make sure you leave everyone plenty of room. Some people can still be a bit wobbly, we all started somewhere! Don’t unnerve them by hammering past with an “on your left” yell, as if that’s all it takes. Slow down, give them space, let them past. It goes both ways and if everyone starts riding with the same etiquette, the trails will be a much nicer place for us all.
This isn’t so much one of the bad MTB habits, it’s more just a general bad habit. Take your litter home with you. Someone has to clean it up, and if they don’t, some poor little critter is going to end up in a bad way because of it. Save the planet, save the trails. All it takes is to slip the wrapper back into the pocket it came from, and drop it in the bin back at the car or the house. It’s only minor, but we can all make a difference!
If you do any of these yourself, or one of your friends do. Give them a little nudge. Lets keep everyone on track to make the trails fun for everyone, and not ruin it for each other. But no matter what, get out there and enjoy yourself!