Mountain biking is a very fun and healthy activity to get involved with. If you're interested in mountain biking but have never done it before then you need to remember that there's no need to be intimidated. Here are a few tips to help get you started in the world of mountain biking.

Bike shops

Your local bike shop is going to be your best friend. You want to ensure that you buy an entry-level mountain bicycle from your local bike shop as opposed to a big box store such as target or Walmart. No matter how nice or fancy the bikes look at Walmart you can always count on them being junk. It does not matter if the components are Shimano branded or any other brand name because they are complete junk.

In the long run you're going find mountain biking much more enjoyable if you stick with a mountain bike from your local bike shop. You can also be assured of getting fitted properly for the bike and you will also be assured that the bike is properly assembled. If you buy a bike from Walmart you will hate it because it is not reliable like a good bike from your local bicycle shop.

Wear a Helmet

Don't worry about how you look. Sometimes younger people try to shy away from wearing a mountain bike helmet because they think they might look stupid. If you're riding hard you're eventually going to crash one way or another so you need to protect your noggin. Even if you just ride casually around your neighborhood you still should wear a quality bicycle helmet. Once again I recommend that you buy your bicycle helmet from your local bike shop. There's a lot of different styles of bicycle helmets and you need to get one that is suited for your style of writing so if you're going to be mountain bike riding it's better to get a helmet designed more for mount bike riding as opposed to cycling on the road like Lance Armstrong did.

The best tip to finding a mountain bike helmet is to get one that feels comfortable. If the bicycle helmet you pick out is not comfortable then you will not wear it and if you're not wearing a helmet then it cannot protect you. Ensure that you wear a mountain bike helmet that is comfortable.

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Around Town Riding

Just because you have a mountain bicycle it does not mean that you have to ride up in the mountains or off-road all of the time. A lot of people buy mountain bikes and have no intentions of ever riding it off-road. When you get your mountain bike feel free to ride around your neighborhood and your town on hard packed pavement. That will help you to get used to the way it feels and then you can start going on some local trails if you want to.

Have fun

It is vital that you have fun. A lot of people worry about learning technical skills or trying to ride like the pro riders see them do on the extreme DVD mountain biking sports videos, but you don't need to do that. The key is to get on the bike and have fun.

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Amazing Mountain Bike Photography
Credit: Flickr/Zach Dischner