Do you know how to ride a bicycle? If you do, you can become a mountain biker. Mountain biking is an exciting sport that most anyone can do. Although, compared to the average bike ride today, it does present some dangers. Because of those dangers you should master these basic skills before you hit the trails.

 You can start by practicing these skills just about anywhere. Try your local park, school, bike path, or just around your house. One of the best things to do is try to find an area that has a steep hill.

 You absolutely must get a feel for the pedals on your bike. One way to do this is to sit on your bike and practice moving your foot away from the pedal. Do this with one foot on the ground. Next you can do this while pedaling around your area for a while. It does not make any difference if your bike has toe clips or not, you need to practice while in motion.

 Shift gears while you are riding around. Get a good feel for the gears while shifting them. You will find that the higher the gear the harder it is to pedal, but you help you go faster. The lower the gear, the easier it is to pedal and go up hills. You will soon learn it is better to shift to a lower gear before you get to a hill rather than when you are on your way up it.

 Sit on your mountain bike and spin for position. All you do here is simply sit on your bike and pedal around. Your seat should be adjusted up so your legs are 70 to 90 percent extended when at the bottom of every stroke. Always keep your body relaxed. There should never be a position where you would need to keep either your elbows or your knees locked.

 While you are out there riding around get some practice coasting, especially while standing on your pedals. Don't actually sit on your seat while doing this. Keep your arms bent and don't lock your knees. Try shifting your body to the front and rear of the bike.

 You will also need to practice pedaling while standing. You should become as comfortable as you can while standing and pedaling your mountain bike. Lift yourself off your seat and crank the pedals around. Do this while in higher gears on the flats and lower gears going up hills.

 As you continue on with your practice try dropping off a curb. Try finding a curb where you can easily find an upper portion of it and can get to it. Practice at a moderate speed standing and coasting off the curb. Go from the upper level to the lower level. Do this at different speeds until you can do this as if it were second nature to you.

 You will feel comfortable on your mountain bike once you practice these techniques. You'll be able to hit the trails with ease. Keep on riding. Before you know it riding your mountain bike will become second nature to you.