Fast and fun: Even if you never
plan to race, an upcoming trip to an
epic location should be all the motivation you need to get stronger.
Climbs can actually be enjoyable
when it doesn’t take everything
you’ve got just to get up them.
right before you go to bed. Skip the
feast at dinner, as well as the midnight
snack, and you’ll thank yourself on
your next ride.
HYDRATE LIKE IT’S
GOING OUT OF STYLE
Get in the habit of drinking more
water. A common rule is 1 liter, or
about 34 ounces per thousand calories
of food per day. For most people, this
will be about 68 ounces or more water
per day and about 16–24 ounces on top
of that for every hour during exercise.
We’ll be honest; it’s tough to do, but
make it a challenge. Keep a full water
bottle around at work and try to constantly drink from it. You’ll feel better
on rides and won’t cramp up as easily
on hot days.
The reality of many trail locations is
that, in the winter, they are covered in
snow. Unless you have invested in a
fat-tire bike for riding on snowpack,
you will probably have to supplement
your mountain biking with some other
physical activity. The key is staying
active, whether on the bike or not.
Even sports like tennis and basketball
PUMP YOU UP
can benefit your riding, as they
strengthen your muscles in different
We know. The reason you mountain
bike is to avoid the gym. Well, you
don’t have to actually join a gym if
that’s not your cup of tea. Instead, use
the garage or clear some space in your
home to do some cross-training.
Mountain biking is a taxing sport.
You not only work your legs pedaling,
but also your core as you remain bal-
anced on the bike over rough trails.
You also work your upper body when
pulling on the bars on a climb or hang-
ing onto the bars on a rough descent. It
is important to strengthen your entire
body to better deal with these stresses
and to help prevent injury.
A good place to start is with your
core. While pedaling on the bike, you
stabilize your body against the pedaling
motion primarily with your core mus-
cles. The stronger these muscles are,
the more comfortable you will be on
the bike and the more power you will
be able to produce. Start with some
simple workouts, like crunches, planks
and leg lifts. If you are having trouble
getting into a routine, try forcing your-
The power within: Strengthening your core muscles gives you a more stable platform to
pedal from on the bike.
Alternative activity: Fat bikes have grown
in popularity in the past couple of years,
allowing riders to mountain bike year round.
However, even if you hang up the cleats
during the winter, that doesn’t mean you
need to start from square one in the spring.
Enjoy the view: Even for the most hardcore racers, long rides in the offseason are a
good opportunity to cruise climbs at a comfortable pace and enjoy your surroundings.