Mountain biking is one of the best ways to get fit and have fun. Mountain Biking does take a lot of skill and effort, but the best part is, after a long ride, you don't feel like you worked out, you only feel like you went on an adventure and had fun!
Most people think mountain biking is for the pros, or it's too difficult or hard to
get into. While it is true that there are a lot of difficult intermediate and black diamond runs that do need advanced skill and effort, there are tons of trails that are flat and windy, but also beautiful and exciting.
Growing up in Florida, it took me years to discover all of the amazing places to ride. I never imagined that there could be 'mountain' biking in Florida. I by chance discovered that mountain biking is not about riding down mountains, but rather riding through the trails and various terrains on a bike that is capable of handling all the bumps and obstacles that you may come across.
You may be thinking that buying a good mountain bike is expensive, and you are right, it is. If you are truly going to take this on, you can not get a cheap bike from Walmart. It is best to get one from a local bike shop and have it fitted to you so that you are comfortable. Plus, your local bike shop will often give you free maintenance and tune ups on the bike, which mountain bikes need more often than road bikes. I recommend starting off with a $400-$600 bike from a local bike store or from craigslist. The only thing I would recommend would be making sure you have disc breaks and not caliper breaks, calipers are great for the road, but not for going downhill or taking fast turns.
To get started, I recommend finding some local places in your area with trails. You may have to drive up to an hour away, but I guarantee that anyone can find trails to ride within an hour of where they live. It's best to hike the trails first, see what they look like, what the conditions are. Hiking can be just as fun, adventuress, and rewarding as mountain biking. Once you get a lay of the land, it's time to take out the bike. Make sure you have:
- Camel Back (for carrying water)
- Good shoes
Once you have your gear, get used to the bike a bit, then take it to the trail, just go for it. I promise you, within minutes you will have a smile on your face and feel like you are 5 years old, riding a bike again for the first time.