by Patick Qualls
Patience is a virtue. That, and a tremendous amount of skill, is what the hunter needs as they head into the woods to bag their prey. Stamina, however, is a whole different category; and when it comes to outdoor sports, stamina can be had when you ride off on that new adventure into the mountains.
Mountain biking is so expansive, and covers so many different types that almost everyone can find a specific category of mountain biking they will absolutely love. Now, these are not the bikes for the faint of heart; although mountain bikes share certain qualities with standard bikes, they also have extras that are all about durability and achieving the best performance possible when you head over that truly rough terrain found all over this country.
Whether you become fond of cross country, where you not only have the stamina but also the excitement of being in a brand new place; or you are into the more difficult categories that involve dirt jumping or trail riding – mountain biking is a sure way to enjoy the Great Outdoors while building serious muscle.
Endurance, strength and balance are keys to being an expert mountain biker. But there are other skill sets that are truly interesting to learn and hone. One of the largest that mountain bikers must rely on is themselves. Self-reliance and the ability to not be wary of some of the most difficult and sometimes brutal terrain out there is a ‘must-have.’
The more advanced a rider becomes the greater their ability to descend from the steepest hills; and to become downhill free riders (which is much more scary than downhill skiing), as well as learning acrobatics and aerial maneuvers they can achieve off natural features.
Off-road trails are the most exciting for the mountain biker. These can include everything from countrified back roads where the hunter/mountain biker may spot the mighty whitetail they will be heading after when the cold season begins; to fire roads, old logging roads, and narrow (more unknown) roads that head straight through the forest and mountain ranges.
As with anything in life there are some true favorites out there; locations where the avid mountain biker heads out to when they have a brief respite from everyday life. One of the most talked about is Oak Mountain State Park, located in Pelham, Alabama. This park is not about a few trails – this is about an entire spider web of trails that lead the mountain biker through ridges, into valleys, and over epic terrain.
If in the northern part of the U.S., then head to North Dakota and hit the Maah Daah Hey Trail in Medora. This trail is almost one-hundred-miles and mountain bikers find it to be extraordinary because of the amazing landscape that can be found. From the badlands to the grasslands, some of the surrounding environment can almost feel as if you’re stuck in a sci-fi movie where everything is not what it seems to be.
Wisconsin offers a great deal of fun with the CAMBRA Trails. This is the location that’s the epitome of ‘winter season sports.’ But what many miss is the fact that there are six areas of mountain bike trails that total 300 miles that range from logging and fire roads to snowmobile and ski trails.
Teton Valley is waiting there in Idaho for you to visit, and the experts love the truly hard terrain and trails they have to beat. Talk about stamina!
And the Lone Star State offers the largest state park, Big Bend Ranch, with over 300,000 acres to ride and, most definitely, explore. This is an area that provides massive mines and archeological sites that you do not want to miss.
But if you want to push yourself harder than anyone else, hit Death Valley and enjoy those trails by drinking a great deal of bottled water. This is the desert, after all, and even in the ‘nice’ months you can be riding in triple digits at all times.
So while you’re honing your patience waiting for that mighty buck, use your off-season time to build up some serious stamina!
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Source: Baret News Wire