As part of the build up to the Olympics this year, SportsCover Direct will be publishing a series of blogs shedding some light on some of the lesser known Olympic sports and showing how you can get involved!
There are four main mountain biking disciplines; downhill, 4-cross, cross-country and endurance. Cross-country mountain biking is the only discipline which appears in the Olympic Games. Usually these take place in the countryside with participants racing for 1 and a half to 2 hours encompassing several laps of the track with various obstacles such as hills and corners.
Mountain biking originated in California in the 1970’s with cyclists involved in cyclo cross developing the idea of modifying their bikes and taking them off road and cross country. Mountain Biking made its debut at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Who can play?
Anyone can have a go at mountain biking – you must be able to ride a bike and be an adrenaline junkie to cope with the steep climbs, fast descents, jumps and corners!
There are clubs all over the country in which you can sign up to have a go or if you prefer to go it alone all you need is a bike and some countryside. Mountain bikes can be costly so its worth giving it a try first before committing to purchasing your own bike. Other than the bike you will need a good quality helmet and some appropriate clothing and you’ll be good to go!
As mentioned the main equipment is the bike and the helmet! Safety first!
When do you play?
Mountain biking can be enjoyed throughout the year although is more popular in the summer months. Many ski and winter sports resorts become fantastic mountain biking destinations during the warmer months.
Getting fit! An hour-long road race can burn up to 844 calories and an hour on the track can burn up to 782 calories! It also improved balance, co-ordination and strength!
Team GB prospects for Rio 2016
Names to look out for include Evie Richards, Sophie Wright, Grant Ferguson and Phil Pearce.
If this has inspired, you to give mountain biking a go then check out the British Cycling https://www.britishcycling.org.uk website to find your local Mountain Biking club and more about the sport!