10 Reasons Why You Should Give Downhill Mountain Biking A Try

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8. It’s a great way to challenge yourself.

You may be surprised at how quickly you’ll gain confidence. As I said, I’m not a strong mountain biker, yet on just my second day of DH biking, I was riding Valhalla, the marquee trail at the Snowmass Bike Park. And while I may have skipped the Wall Ride (a nearly vertical wall of wooden slats around a turn), I happily took on three consecutive table-top jumps known as the Three Amigos.

Downhill mountain biking is all about flow and consistent momentum. With gravity fueling your descent, your role is to scope and anticipate the trail and smoothly shift your weight through the turns and over obstacles.

So, embrace the flow. While it can be tempting to clamp down on the brakes as you approach corners or features, this will actually make the ride more difficult. Let gravity guide you down the mountain and always think of flowing through the turns and effortlessly rolling over obstacles.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the brakes or that you have to fly down the mountain at top speed. I don’t. Instead, I find a personal sweet spot where I feel comfortable and at ease.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed after your lesson, choose just one focus. Maybe you want to concentrate on balance and stance, or on shifting your weight as you turn. I find that emphasizing just one aspect of technique makes everything else fall into place.

My go-to focus when I need to concentrate? Head up. Eyes forward. I look where I’m going and anticipate what I need to do. – I think it’s good advice for any type of biking (and life itself!).

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