5 tips for beginners in Downhill Mountain Biking - Jay Williamson
There are few sports out there that give you the pure adrenaline rush of Downhill Mountain Biking. The speed at which professional riders tear down the trails, dodge rocks, jump tree roots and generally defy gravity is mind-blowing.
To reach that level of performance though takes both a lot of practice and a fearlessness that very few people possess.
We recently caught up with dryrobe ambassador and elite level downhill bike racer Jay Williamson (AKA the Cornish Fasty) at the Gawton Gravity Hub in Devon. Jay gave us his top tips for getting into downhill mountain biking and improving your performance.
Jay has over 15 years experience racing and riding bikes all over the world, including competing at the highest level at UCI Downhill World Cup series events and HSBC British National Downhill series. He also works as a coach, helping riders of all riding abilities to reach their goals.
Here’s Jay’s advice for anyone looking to get into downhill mountain biking:
1. Check out the tracks first
After heading to your nearest bike park, make sure you arrive with enough time to take a look at the tracks on foot first, to see what they have to offer.
2. Get the right kit
Prepare yourself with the correct riding kit, and make sure you feel comfortable wearing it. A full face helmet, knee pads and gloves are the main bits of kit that will keep you safe and confident to try new riding challenges.
3. Try different courses
Be willing to travel and ride in different locations. This will help build your knowledge of various terrains and riding styles, both of which will link together and help to improve your riding.
4. Set your goals
This might be a particular track you're building up to riding, a certain jump or drop you want to improve your performance on. These fun goals help you to keep focused, and you get a great feeling from improving on each ride.
5. Focus on your own riding
Everyone’s learning and progression is different, so don’t worry too much about other peoples development. You can still work together with your riding buddies though, helping each other work on areas you want to improve on.