Similar to other adventure activities such as skiing and canoeing etc, it is advisable to get a mountain biking lesson before heading out on the trails. There are a number of activity providers who offer mountain bike taster sessions and indeed skills improvement days across Northern Ireland. These activity providers will cater for groups and individuals and will also share their own knowledge of the purpose-built trails in Northern Ireland. Click here for a Full List of Mountain Bike Courses available across Northern Ireland.
Mountain bike trails are graded as follows:
Green – Easy
Blue – Moderate
Red – Difficult
Black – Severe
Orange – Downhill (Extreme)
Those new to mountain biking should start on green trails to become familiar with their bike and adapt to the variations in handling a mountain bike compared to hybrid or road bicycles. Then when confident with all the equipment, the blue trails will offer some sections of singletrack and a number of obstacles to manoeuvre including roots and rocks. Beginners should be aware that mountain biking can be very tiring and it takes time to build up trail fitness. As such, novice riders should not embark on long-distance trails as tiredness can lead to accidents.
Red trails are also not suitable for beginners and only very experienced mountain bikers should ride the black trails. The orange downhill trails are purpose-built for speed and are full of technical features which again are only suitable for those who are very confident mountain bike handlers.
Click here for Full Trail Grade Specifications.