9 experiences every mountain biker should have in 2014

Get used to riding roots, rocks and uneven ground, and your skills will skyrocket. Plus the views can be spectacular. Image copyright Phil Hall

No, we don’t mean naked. That would probably hurt. We mean breaking away from the blues, reds and black routes on trail centres, and heading out into the wild!

You’ll have to do a little bit of research into where you can ride, but there are literally thousands of miles of natural trails waiting to be explored. The Peak District, Lake District, Scotland and Surrey Hills are just a few of the places you could try.

Natural trails are different to trail centres trails in a number of ways. Although there may be a clear track, it won’t have been designed and built, so won’t be groomed and gravelled in the same way as a lot of trail centre routes are. Expect roots, rocks, technical features and thrilling views.

This kind of riding will push you, help develop your technical riding skills, and provide a mental challenge as much as a physical one.

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