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Mountain Biking

Mountain biking involves cycling off road.

See Also:
Cycling

An Overview of Mountain Biking

Mountain bike racing takes place in a variety of off road venues. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross-country, downhill, four cross, and freeride.

Cross-country races often use parkland, woodland and forestry sites, with the terrain chosen to incorporate climbs, descents and technical features. Looped courses are designed and built specifically for events by skilled course designers, with man-made technical features such as 'rock gardens' incorporated to increase the technical challenge.

Downhill courses are shorter point-to-point courses exploiting a venue's steep terrain, incorporating technical features such as rocks, tree roots, jumps and drop offs. Like cross country courses, these tracks are often created specifically for events or form part of a trail centre or bike park's established courses.

Four cross courses are, like downhill courses, built on steep terrain with manmade jumps, berms (banked corners) and other technical features. They're much shorter than downhill courses but wide enough for four riders to compete shoulder to shoulder.

Away from racing, the 'venue' for recreational mountain biking is huge; it's the great outdoors. Britain's network of bridleways and other legal rights of way extends to thousands of miles. For the adventurous type with a bike and an Ordnance Survey map, it's ripe for exploration. If however you like your riding more 'point and shoot', mountain bike trail centres are where it's at, with way-marked, graded routes, generally in forestry land, with all the amenities such as bike hire, bike wash, bike shop, cafe and changing facilities provided. Think of them as one stop shops for mountain bikers.

Involvement

Go-Ride clubs throughout the country run mountain bike skills sessions to help young riders get into the sport, teaching them the essential techniques of off-road riding. British Cycling also provides training for mountain bike leaders, equipping people with the skills to lead groups of riders in an off-road environment. Many trail centres also run skills sessions where you can learn the basics of off-road riding in a fun, friendly and risk managed environment.

Find Mountain Biking Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

This Girl Can

This Girl Can seeks to tell the real stories of women who get active or play sport in the way that’s right for them using images that show what activity really looks like in all its glory.

National Governing Bodies

British Cycling

Contact Name
General Enquiries
Contact Telephone
0161 274 2000
Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing

Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing

Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing is a free magazine in the Sevenoaks District in Kent which hosts an annual Showcase Event for local sports clubs.

Wigmore Cycling Club

Wigmore Cycling Club

Cycling club for adults and children.
Weekly coached sessions (Go-Ride) for children 6-16

Sheppey Sea Cadets

Sheppey Sea Cadets

The aim of the Sea Cadet Corps is to inspire young people to the best possible head start in life through nautical adventure and challenge. The ethos and traditions of the Royal Navy are at the heart of the Sea Cadets and we follow the same corps values.