Mountain Biking Tips for Intermediate Riders

1) Brake before you enter turns or corners so you can ride through them WITHOUT braking. Braking during a turn or curve causes you to lock up your rear wheel and skid or slide. Sliding lessens your control over the bike and is very destructive to the trail. Ride it, don't slide it...or you'll make yourself very unpopular with people who love trails.

2) Use the front brake simultaneously and in combination with the back brake to slow you down. But don't pull too hard on the front brake or you'll go over the handlebars. Remember that 70 percent of your braking force is in your front brake.

3) Learn to move your weight back and lift up your front wheel to get it over obstacles, like rocks or bumps. Otherwise, your front wheel can get trapped, causing you to fly over the handlebars. Your back wheel will usually roll over obstacles.

4) Lean inside and forward into turns and curves. This keeps your center of gravity over your tires.

5) On downhills, get your rear end as far back on the bike as possible--behind the seat and over the back tire if you can.

6) When you are approaching a long, steep downhill, stop for a moment and lower your seat. You want to be able to stand in a crouched position without the seat getting in the way.

7) Never ride in mud; your tire tracks will encourage erosion. Walk your bike around muddy areas; don't ride around them and create another trail.