Just want to ride a bike - 12 things to start you off

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If you are visiting for the first time or are beginners it can be a bit daunting: do I have the right bike; what clothes do I need; can anybody do it; can I take the kids; is it compulsory to wear a helmet?

At the end of the day, it’s all about riding a bike, you don’t need all the latest gear or to be able ride down a hill faster than anyone else.  It’s about getting on the bike and out into the fresh air.

12 things to start you off:

  1. You can wear anything you like on a bike.
  2. It doesn’t need to be a top-notch bike.  Any bike at any cost can be used, as long it has been maintained properly.
  3. It is important to stress that the tyres should be blown up properly, have some grip and most important of all their brakes must work!!
  4. Whilst a helmet is not compulsory, we would encourage everybody to wear one.  You only have one head and it is likely to come off second best when in contact with a tree.
  5. Know the grades of the trails, get used to a green or a blue, have a go at the skills area and progress from there.
  6. There isn’t a bike police or anybody waiting to point out that your bike isn’t suitable.  Just follow the above and ride your bike.
  7. Pushing of bikes is allowed! Not everybody has the strength and fitness to make it up the hills first time.
  8. Gain confidence on trails that suit your level of riding.  It’s about having fun and not about saying ‘I did the black on my first visit’.
  9. If there is a section of a trail that looks difficult, jump off the bike and have a look first.  If you feel confident then give it a go, if you don’t, push past and jump back on the bike when it is safe to do so.
  10. On shared trails, such as Good Game, just stop and let the faster riders through.  Don’t be put under pressure because somebody wants to go past.  Hopefully other riders will be courteous and let you know they are there.  This applies to both the ups and the downs.
  11. Know the number of the mountain biker ranger, should anything happen.
  12. Have fun and enjoy it!

Have a look at the CTC Off-Road Cycling Code

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