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Key questions guide this page

Like newspaper headlines, we use key questions to help you find the information that is relevant to where you are in your learning journey.  Here are the key questions in this section.

  • How might you learn (or improve your) mountain biking? Because this sport has been around for decades, you can find a wealth of information online. We offer a few helpful videos to get you started. When you are new to a sport, you will learn more safely and quickly if you access appropriate training resources and get training from a professional.

The sections below expand on the summary of what mountain biking is and how you might increase your skills. (Feel free to let us know about other helpful resources: we want to continue learning, too.)

What is mountain biking?

Mountain biking is a style of riding on a bike that is built to go over rough terrain. This style of riding offers the beauty of nature, like other styles of biking, and it provides unique challenges like riding over roots and rocks, through mud and varying terrain, over jumps and balance obstacles, and up or down steep slopes, as you see in this video.

Mountain bikers ride on easy trails like the Black Diamond trail, a 10.5-mile trail between Ithaca and Trumansburg, NY.  And they access more advanced terrain in places like Shindagin, in Caroline, NY.

Mountain bikes have special features so that they handle the varying terrain. Mountain bike manufacturers build the bike frames to handle rough and steep terrain. Many of the bikes have front suspension forks, and some mountain bikes have rear suspension, too. Forks and full suspension take some of the shock out of riding, helping the rider keep the bike in control over rough terrain--and making the ride more comfortable. Mountain bikes have wide tires and aggressive tread to handle the terrain and create traction for the rider.  And the drivetrain (gears, shifting, and cranks) is also specially designed to handle the terrain.

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How might you learn mountain biking?

Because mountain biking has been around for decades--and has been quite popular since at least the 1990s--many resources exist to help you prepare for (and improve in) mountain biking. 


We offer a few resources below, and you will likely find endless videos and articles online to supplement what we offer here. When you are new to a sport, you will learn more safely and quickly if you access appropriate training resources and get training from a professional. 


For example, one resource, Daniel Espada, is a passionate mountain biker and engineer: on his website geardventure, you will find in-depth posts about bike gears, bike suspensions, and more.

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Where to MTB in the Finger Lakes

Mountain bikers, including us at ActiveLeading, ride easily accessible places like the Black Diamond trail.  When we have more time or really want to challenge ourselves, we visit the advanced terrain of Shindagin, Greek Peak, and Hammond Hill.

Additionally, we have heard several people talk about the AllTrails website and app. You can use such apps to learn about new trails, check conditions on trails, and log your own experiences.

If you're willing to share your favorite places to mountain bike in the Finger Lakes area, let us know, and we may post your spot on our site.

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