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Sunday, October 30, 2011 | 0 Comments
Entering a bike shop, it is very overwhelming for beginners to see a wide array of mountain biking products, each shouting, "buy me!" The question now is, "should you give in?" While many biking product are indeed necessary, there are some you can ride without or nice to have. Here is a list of necessary mountain biking accessories that you must have. Unmentioned ones are optional.
Not only it is stupid not to wear one, most public parks and trails prohibit riding without a helmet. Buy it the moment you buy your bike. Many serious head injuries can be prevented by just wearing a helmet. Look for a helmet that provides better insulation; fits properly to your head; and with chin strap to secure it to your head.
Gloves serve double purpose: to improve your grip on the handlebar and to protect your hand from cuts and bruises in case you crash. Since the natural tendency during crash is to stretch the arms to cushion the fall, the palms take the most beating. While I do not advice you to use your hands to protect your body from the fall, I will not recommend riding without it. You can choose between cutoff and full-fingered gloves, but I suggest full-fingered. Gloves are the second most important accessory you should have next to helmet.
There is nothing worse than having a breakdown in the middle of nowhere and you cannot do anything about it. Make sure that you put equal importance to repair kit as you can never tell when you will hit a major bump and blow your tire out or when will your chain break due to excessive metal stress. That said, your repair kit should include chain repair tool and tire repair tools such as patches, glue, portable pump with gauge and a spare inner tube. Also include multi-tool set with wrenches to repair mechanical damages.
Just like any other physical activity, mountain biking causes your body to heat up and sweat to keep your core temperature normal. As you sweat, you lose substantial amount of water, and even more if biking is extended for a longer period of time. To replace the water lost and avoid dehydration, you must drink fluid regularly. Water bottle is enough but if you can afford a hydration pack with bladder, it is much better.
Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. Glasses offer protection from dust, insects, wind and other foreign objects that can enter your eyes while mountain biking. Glasses also protect you from infrared radiation and ultra-violet rays and it can be used to filter or enhance lighting.
The point of buying clothes especially made for biking is to provide enough protection and comfort while riding. But regular shirt and sweatpants are good enough.
Choosing among different brands of bike clothing can be difficult and expensive. Your task is to prioritize what to buy. I suggest that you invest on padded biking shorts first since you have shirts and jackets you can readily pull out from your closet.
To add comfort while pedaling, specially-made bike shoes are available. Pick the right shoe that will fit to the terrain you will be riding in and will fit to the type of pedal your bike has.
The accessories are listed according to importance. If the combined cost of all these products goes beyond the budget you set, prioritize on buying the things from the top of the list down.
Friday, October 21, 2011 | 0 Comments
Taking the first stride is always the hardest thing to do so I have compiled the basic mountain biking skills you should possess to get you started. For some, these are very obvious; for beginners, these are very helpful.
Brake better, go faster
Every sports car has 2 things in common: large engine and high-performance brakes. This way, even if it runs fast, it can slow down quickly. No sports car is eligible to run at high speed without having good set brakes. This should also be your principle when riding a mountain bike. If you want to improve your speed, invest on good set of brakes.
The Gear Factor
If you know how to drive a car, then you know how important it is to drive on the right gear. The same thing applies on a mountain bike. Low gears are easier to pedal, but slow on acceleration. High gears are much harder but will give you abrupt acceleration. Low gears will help you climb stiff hills. High gears will drive you fast on level terrain. Do not start on high gears. Start low and gradually increase as you gain speed.
The Instant Turn
If you are about to hit a tree, a car or a large rock, you have to learn how to make a quick turn. To turn sharply to the left, steer sharply to the right. This will make your body lean to the left. Then make a hard left turn, steering into the lean and away from your obstacle. While this takes some practice, it can be very useful on emergency situations. Ease up on the rear brake if your rear tire begins to skid. Ease up on the front brake if your rear tire lifts off the ground.
Riding fast lessens your reaction time significantly. So if you need to slow down to avoid something in front of you, do the following procedures: Shift your body weight as far back as possible, lower your body as low as you can, and squeeze front and rear brakes evenly. Avoid hitting the brake hard if your body is not properly aligned with your bike or if you are making a turn.
I think I'm falling
Yeah, yeah… It may sound so cheesy but the fact is, there is nothing cheesy when your face is about to crash on the rocks and you are about to experience wipe-out of a lifetime. Aside from learning how to ride the bike, the second, most important things you should learn is how to take the fall. The key is alertness. Anticipate all the possible scenarios that can happen on the trail. While the best thing to do when you know you are about to fall is to slow down by braking, make sure that you have an escape route in case your brake fails. Do not go flying up into the air while sticking your arm to protect your fall. Instead, tuck your body and plan your fall – choose where to land best. Do not keep your eyes off the trail. Do not stiffen your muscles.
Practice is said to make one perfect. But in the case of crashing, there is no better way to make the perfect fall than by keeping in control at all times even if you are about to fall 30 feet down the cliff.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Dalam meninjau ke beberapa blog yang aku miliki, tanpa disedari rupanya blog gapis4wd ini sudah pun berusia 3 tahun pada 30/07/2011 lalu.
Selamat Hari Jadi pada mu Gapis4WD.
Mungkin selepas Hari Raya nanti blog ini akan mula rancak beroperasi kembali dengan beberapa aktiviti meredah hutan rimba yang akan aku anjurkan nanti.
Salah satu daripada acara itu ialah menjejaki trek pahlawan (Mat Kilau) daripada Ulu Slim ke sempadan negeri Pahang. Perjalanan selama satu hari itu akan melibatkan perjalanan dengan kenderaan 4wd dan berjalan kaki meredah laluan-laluan mendaki dan menuruni bukit yang curam.
Tapi daripada gambar-gambar yang aku lihat daripada peserta yang pernah pergi, terdapat tempat camping yang sangat cantik di tepi sungai deras.
Jadi kalau ada sesiapa yang rasa teringin nak ikut sama, boleh hubungi aku melalui emel.
Friday, August 05, 2011 | 0 Comments
Once an adventure man, you will always be adventure man! That's is what happening to me at the moment. Actually I'm having a mild stroke....but just hope I will recover soon.
However, I'm planning a major camping event sometimes next month. The journey will be both on 4WD vehicles and trekking for half a day before reaching to the beautiful river deep in the jungle.
As a remembrance, I uploaded some photos of my Janda Baik adventure trip on conducting 4WD driving training to the Lada Niva 4WD owners some years ago.
Sunday, June 26, 2011 | 0 Comments