Able to travel fast and far, mountain bikers can enjoy many vistas in a few hours. Spanish rider and Sports Tracker Ambassador Sònia Colomo explains how to get going with this fun adventure sport.
Adventure has always been a major part of Sònia Colomo’s life. “I enjoy the feeling of uncertainty that surrounds every adventure – I take every chance to explore, live, feel and learn from it,” she says, passionately. “It’s not about going somewhere to tick off another spot in the map; for me it’s grabbing my bike, my surfboard or my climbing gear, and exploring as much as I can.”
Mountain biking (MTB) for Sònia was an inevitability, then. She started a year ago only, but has already competed in epic multi day races and explored routes all around Spain and beyond. “The most epic MTB race was the Vuelta Ibiza 2019; everyone expected Ibiza to be sunny and warm, but it rained the three days of the race, with strong wind and a mud party!”
Her favourite style of MTB trail are ones that combine flowing singletrack (instead of forestry roads, for example) with rocky terrain. “You can feel your arms shaking when jumping and dodging rocks and then feel the wind, the speed and the bike reactivity when the trails are clean,” she says.
New to MTB? Sònia offers her five tips to get going.
Right motivation: enjoyment
First things first, your sole motivation for getting into MTB has got to be enjoyment, Sònia says. Sure, it improves fitness, but not MTB isn’t going to the gym or running. It’s not about maintenance of the body, though it will get you fit.
To help you really enjoy it, Sònia recommends starting on easier trails. “Go for easy routes that make you feel capable and strong,” she says. “After a while, push your limits a little more and start doing things that are more of a challenge.” Look for local MTB routes in Sports Tracker’s heatmaps!
Know your tastes
Different strokes for different folks – some MTB riders are more drawn to downhill trails, some to the mountains, other forests, and some prefer coastal rides. “Everyone has different tastes and what is a great route for me it is not as great for someone else,” she says. “I always dream of endless singletracks in the middle of the mountains; those trails that when you finish them, you can’t stop smiling and keep having them in your mind for the whole day.” Choose terrain that inspires you.
Track your rides
Sònia is a big fan of tracking her rides. It helps her to see what she’s been doing, and her progress. “Using Sports Tracker is definitely a great way to keep you motivated,” she says. “Get on your mountain bike, start tracking and check afterwards what you have done. Share your activities and pictures with your community so you get positive feedback and memories of where you have been. It feels good to receive support and encouragement to keep mountain biking.”
Get the right gear
Aside from the mountain bike, essential items for Sònia are a helmet (100% essential!), sunglasses and riding gloves. For longer rides, consider taking a small rucksack for holding water and snacks.
Find a fun race
Sònia is firm believe that what might inspire you, might not inspire me. So words like “best” and “top” carry little meaning for her. However, she admits one thing. “My dream right now is going to New Zealand to do a MTB race called ‘The Pioneer’ and I’m pretty sure that it would probably be one of the best routes,” she says.