herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Mountain biking helps you to shift up a gear

fitness

The hills are alive with the sound of music - and thousands of bikers on the off-road trails along the mountain ranges of Wicklow, Kerry and Cork.

The surge in cycling has been fantastic over the last five years, especially with tax incentives on the purchase.

The biggest increase has been in mountain biking, which you will see any day or night if you are walking in the hills.

I often think it's the walker who needs the body protection and helmets.

Yet six-out-of-10 hard mountain bikers wear no helmets, which is absolutely crazy.

Mountain cycling is obviously a very high adrenaline fix, speeding down over rough ground. But it also requires a good level of fitness, especially with the legs and hips.

The power is coming from the hips and back, transferring the energy to the legs and calves. It's certainly a great way to get fit and burn off excess energy, while getting plenty of fresh air.

quality

As a family sport, it is really fantastic going out at the weekend for a good 10km mountain climb. What a great way to build up a good healthy appetite and spend some quality time with your friends and family.

It will certainly burn give you a great night's sleep. Cycling gives your brain a total break from the mental dross with which we fill our heads.

To avoid injury and muscle strain, go to your nearest bicycle store and get fitted properly with a bike that suits your frame and leg length.

If not fitted properly, the over stretching of the legs can lead to hip and back strain and possibly back problems. When fitted properly your power and comfort will increase and most importantly you avoid injury.

Getting started prices range from €300-€10,000, depending on how serious you are and what your budget is.

Before you embark on that level of spending, make sure it's not just a whim and then let the bike get rusty in your garage.

The best thing to do is to join a cycling club where they give you advice.

They also give advice on what type of bike would suit you best, also members may be upgrading on their bikes and you could pick up a great bargain.

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