Teaching Mountain Biking

  I’m used to teaching middle school science to a bunch of a teenagers that have no interest in it, but changing over to being a mountain bike instructor is a totally different experience.  I feel like I am inadequate when it comes to teaching it.  My new guinea pig was my sister this weekend.  We went to the local bike shop and rented a bike for twenty bucks. 

First of all, the bike was extremely heavy, so I felt really bad for my sister, but she was such a trooper.  The main thing I would suggest before taking a rookie out is to make sure they have the right gear.  Helmet is a must, gloves are nice, and I highly recommend finding spandex for them.  I forget how it took me days for my rear end to feel better after riding a mountain bike (especially if you are riding a hard tail).

I took her on a basic trail that was a three-mile loop and then we upped the next ride to a six-mile loop.  Mike and I discuss the difference between road and mountain miles and we claim that you take mountain miles and double it to make it similar to each other.

For example, a 9 mile mountain bike ride is the same as an 18 mile road ride.  You have to do more miles in road to feel the burn of a 9 mile mountain bike ride.

Anyway, she did great.  I kept her in her middle gears and then when we hit uphill, had her switch down to the lower gears, but never touched the big ring.  I didn’t use my big ring until I started racing.  (In case you don’t know, the big ring is when you have a harder gear to pedal in and it takes a lot of leg work). 

I’m so proud of my sister for trying out biking.  She did a great job and put forth a great effort.  She told me she wants to do it again when she comes back! 🙂  Such a trooper!

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