The decision to get into any kind of sport more seriously is an important one, to say the least. When it comes to cycling, the variety you can practice ranges from a couple of loops around a park with your family to hundreds of kilometers in competitions. Backcountry cycling is a very common option for those with the possibility of getting out there into the nature without long hours of commuting. And it’s great because it’s so much fun. That being said, backcountry cycling requires a lot more dedication when it comes to understanding how to stay safe, healthy, what to known when purchasing gear and other aspects than many other types of cycling. If you’re seriously considering picking up backcountry cycling as the free time activity of your choice, here is your beginner’s guide.
Consider your options
I can say upfront – backcountry cycling will require quite a bit of investments when it comes to your time and money, so before you do all of that, think carefully what options you have to actually practice it. You live in a tiny, idyllic town in the mountains of Colorado, where endless forest trails are at hand? Great, backcountry cycling might actually be one of the most exciting options you have for active free time. But what if you live in a huge city surrounded by suburbs and only highways and endless plains lie past that? You will need an hour or two to get to a place where you can actually practice backcountry biking, and if you’re any kind of busy, it means that you won’t be able to do it as often as you might want to. That means a lot of money and research invested into a hobby you can’t actually practice all that much. Perhaps yoga, fit-boxing or indoor cycling is a little more worth considering?
Make a plan
If you decide that the possibilities you have are satisfying, hesitate no longer. However, in order to start practicing backcountry biking successfully, you can’t just dive in and expect the best – you need to make plans and set goals. Explore maps, marked trails, find a local backcountry cycling community on Facebook, read some in-depth blogs about how to start your journey – anything that comes to mind when you think about a good and well-informed start. Then, dedicate how many days you want to dedicate for biking; make sure to remember that if you want to build up to advanced, long-distance backcountry biking, you will need to incorporate other types of workouts, especially strength training, so plan accordingly. In the very beginning, do not set unrealistic goals. Even if you’re not new to cycling, backcountry biking can be more demanding in so many ways, from physical to mental. Designate paths and trails you’ll take in advance, estimate their length and changes in elevation – all of that needs to be accounted for in the beginning to make sure you can finish your trip without completely exhausting yourself.