Every mountain biker remembers their first time. You’re on a bicycle, which makes sense, riding over rocks, across streams, and over all types of amazing terrain - which, at least at first, feels like it makes no sense at all.

It’s fun and exciting yet nerve-wracking and terrifying all at the same time. It gets easier - and more fun! -- with time. But there are a few tips every mountain biker wishes someone had told them when they were just starting out. Here’s what to know when you’re first learning to ride trails.

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Stay loose. Your bike’s job is to roll over technical terrain. Your job is to let your bike do its job. That means keeping your body loose, so it can move beneath you. Hover your butt off the saddle when riding over obstacles like roots and rocks. The more technical the terrain, the more room your bike needs to move. When ripping down a descent, think “pushup arms” and “cowboy legs” and flare out your elbows and knees so your body allows the bike to flow rather than fighting it.

Momentum is your BFF. It’s going to feel counterintuitive, but holding speed - and even speeding up - when the terrain gets challenging makes clearing challenging sections of trail easier because your bike has the one thing it needs most to keep moving forward: momentum. Momentum is your best friend out there, maintain it whenever you can.