This last weekend I went on a mountain bike ride up Tumwater Ridge along the edge of the Bavarian style town of Leavenworth, Washington. I thought I would share a couple of lessons from the two hour ride up and down the hill.
1) Always take your own bike if you think there is even a small chance you might go for a ride. My brother in-law brought one of his old bikes, he is a bit shorter than I and so the bike was not quite the right height even after I raised the seat as high as it would go. Don't get me wrong I really appreciated the use of the bike, it was a real blessing. On the uphill my legs never quite got a full extension causing them to work harder, on the downhill the handle bars were too low giving me a little less control.
2) While riding uphill on a forest road, always ride around the outside of a hairpin corner. The road grade is not quite as steep on the outside as it is on the inside. If you want more of a workout then by all means ride around the inside, but most expert athletes know that conserving energy is as important as having enough fuel to complete your task.
Mountain biking is a great activity which requires some measure of stamina. With a little knowledge you can increase the amount of time you have to bike and decrease the amount of energy needed to get up and down the hill.