How To Pedal Your Way Through The New River GorgeApril 7, 2009
Mountain biking is a great way to get around the New River Gorge, even if (especially if?) you’ve never been mountain biking. Just grab a bike, head out to the trail, and you’re off. With the equipment available today, the sport is more accessible than ever before. And the gorge is a cool place to go for a ride, even if it’s your first time.
In fact, some of the old rails-to-trails railroad grades around the New River are the best places to start. Think about it: flat, off road, and scenic. That pretty much fits the bill for beginner mountain biking. If it is your first time, here are some tips to help you get started.
You Don’t Have To Buy A Bike
There are plenty of places to find mountain bike rentals in West Virginia, and a bunch of them are right around the gorge. The shop pros can get you all set up with whatever you’re needing- bikes, gear, helmets, the works. In fact, it’s better to not buy a bike and try some out first, just in case you get hooked.
Find Trails to Suit Your Ability
This is all about having fun, right? Well, then don’t go testing yourself on the big steeps of the Appalachians before laying a good foundation. There are trails for all ability levels around the gorge, and they’re all fun to ride. Just pace yourself, and you’ll be in for a rewarding experience.
Only Go As Fast As You Are Okay With
The great thing about riding a bike off road is the sheer bumpiness of it. Life is texture, right? Well, a lot of how you handle those bumps has to do with your speed. And when you’re riding, you’re in control. You can go as fast as you’d like, or as slow as you’d like. If you’re new to it, start slow- your body will thank you for it.
Ask a Local
Got questions? Ask at one of the shops. Our local bike culture is strong, and those guys and gals can point you in pretty much any direction you seek. And you don’t have to limit it to bike stuff- you can ask about human or natural history, weather, anything. If we don’t know, we can definitely make something up that sounds great.
Stand Up, Look Ahead, and Shift Your Weight Back
Okay, so those are some technical pointers for beginners. But you can’t start too early. The best tips on how to ride come with experience, and lessons from some of the seasoned mountain bike pros here in West Virginia.