Become the complete mountain biker by ticking off our essential adventures

Sure, we all ride our bikes but what can we do to get the full range of experiences mountain biking can offer? Try these for size:


Racing a mountain bike is a totally different experience to riding one — you could be competing on your local trails, on your regular bike and with friends, but adding a stopwatch changes everything. You’ll push yourself harder and become more deeply involved than on any social ride.

Try different types of riding

Dirt jump skills for trails first time

The feeling of riding a new trail for the first time can’t be beaten, so get out there and sample something different. Fancy a bike park experience? Try the flowy berms and big jumps at Black Mountains Cycle Centre.

Need a new trail centre? Try lesser-known ones like Cwm Rhaeadr in mid-Wales or Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails, in the Gawr Valley near Afan.

Love natural riding? We’ve got hundreds of GPS routes to follow, click here and download one.

Watch a race live

Norco rider Harry Heath had a good result, coming down inside the top 20

Norco rider Harry Heath had a good result, coming down inside the top 20

There’s a big culture around riding, from social events to festivals and full-length movies. We reckon the best experience off the bike comes from watching a World Cup live.

You might have seen it online, but to actually be there when a pro flies past at 40mph, is another experience entirely — you can taste the dust and feel the ground move. The after-race parties are good too.

The next race is in Lourdes, France, on April 9-10.

Engage with your local riding community

Make trails legal

Help mountain biking by offering your spare time — the sport will benefit and you’ll feel great too. Join a trail building group like the Dean Trail Volunteers or the Glentress Trail Fairies, help out at the next at Tweedlove, or promote your local trail advocacy group, such as Ride Sheffield.

Build your own bike

custom juliana furtado featured

An off-the-peg bike is great, but a little personalisation will make your bike feel different — it might make it ride better too. Start small and change things like colour-coded rotors from Range or a funky-covered saddle from Fabric.

Careful though, you might get tempted to go the whole hog and get a fully customised bike from Commençal, Trek or Rose.