It could be weeks, months or even years that pass by before you revisit some of your very first trails. Perhaps you've moved away, or confidently thought you had mastered every feature and have since ridden on to more gnarly pastures. It could be time to pay your old favourites a visit...
As mountain bikers, we're always in search for a new thrill that can excite and exhaust our adrenaline junkie inner child. For many of us, our first dabble in the world of MTB was on some local trails which opened the floodgates for bigger, better and dirtier paths. While progressing your bike skills will naturally take you on higher graded routes, never forget the trails you started out on.
There's a number of reasons why every mountain biker should go back to their home trails and pay them a visit once in a while. You may think you're bored of them, or that you've out-ridden them, but we think you're wrong...
Assess your Progress
You've been riding for a while now, learnt some tricks, gained some speed and you've got the bruises and scars to prove it. Progression is one the best feelings you can get from riding your bike.
Attacking your old familiar trails with your improved skill set and more powerful engine legs, may surprise you at just how much faster and stronger you've become. You'll probably end up laughing at those once daunting features, which now just look like mole hills.
Same Trail, Different Feel
Your new shredding skills enable you to hit those high lines, take the rougher routes and smash your way down the looser sections of trail.
That familiar trail you thought you knew suddenly feels very different when you choose the more technical lines. With your developed talents comes confidence, and with that you can make your trail ride what you want and ride it how you like.
You know this trail like the back of your hand. Every berm, drop and shoot is mapped out in your mind so you know exactly what to expect.
By knowing your trail, you can make the conscious effort to pop the front wheel and practise your bike handling skills. Without any trail surprises, you can confidently hone in and master techniques to further your progression.
Trail centres are always looking to update, improve and expand their trails to keep them fresh for visitors.
Has your old favourite had a re-vamp? Maybe it's time to check it out, and enjoy those freshly built up rollers and high walled berms.
New Bike Test
One of the best tests for a new bike is riding it on a familiar trail. This way you can assess its handling, weight and comfort on a trail that you know well.
If you've invested in a new bike, something a little bigger and burlier than your entry-level hardtail, take it for a shred on an old favourite and feel a completely different riding experience.
Take a Friend
While riding solo can be fun and somewhat meditative, riding with a friend or group can be equally as awesome.
Your old faithful trail won't seem so boring when you're taking a friend on it for the first time. You can guide them and watch their excitement as they ride this trail with fresh eyes.
Ride it at night
If you still think you've mastered your favourite trail, then how about riding it in the dark?
Night time MTB is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the winter when daytime riding is limited. In the dark of night, with only your bike light to lead the way, the trail can suddenly feel totally different beneath your wheels - and a little scary too.
You may think they're a little boring, old or too easy for you, but sometimes going back to your old stomping ground is the best test for progression, and an opportunity to ride the lines very different.
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