When you go riding, are you all about the competition with yourself or are you going to just have fun mountain biking? Some could say I have an overly competitive personality, I am highly driven and I do want to be the best at what I do. Every time I take the bike out I am gauging the time it takes, my average speed and constantly trying to get faster and better.

Sometimes though, I  just need to relax, last week was one of these times. My mind was scattered and disorganized, I was stressing myself out with my riding and constant competition with myself. I started thinking about it and decided that I needed a break, I had to do something different. So I came up with this list.

7 ideas to have more fun mountain biking.

1. Take a picnic lunch

Get together a small cooler and pack it full of sandwiches, fruit, veggies and maybe even a chilled cold beverage. Do a lap of your favorite trail and then sit down for a relaxing lunch under a shady tree. Once you finish eating you will feel relaxed and recharged for lap number 2.

2. Go somewhere new

A change in scenery is always great. Sometimes you just need a new trail to ride, something fresh and new where you don’t know what is coming around every turn. The first time you ride a trail is almost always a relaxing experience. You don’t have prior times to judge your performance by and you get to take in new sights along the way. Sit back on your bike and enjoy the new experience.

Have more fun mountain biking by bringing some friends3. Bring some friends

Bringing along your friends is a great way to get some more fun out of mountain biking. I ride with several friends just about every week, but we are all really really competitive, often racing each other through the course. Some weeks that’s just not as much fun as it was before and it’s time to grab a new buddy and share the experience. Teaching someone who doesn’t ride as often as you can be both fun and very rewarding as you get to share your love and passion of mountain biking. (Sharing that passion is the biggest reason I started this site!)

4. Stop and smell the roses, or any other flowers

Literally. Check out a patch of wildflowers and just take in their beauty. Watch the sunset as it dips out of the horizon. Appreciate the beauty of the earth God has given us.

5. Go slow enough to check out the surrounding trail

Goes hand in hand with #4. Slow it down a little bit and let your heart rate ease up. Personally I have ridden Erwin Park in McKinney hundreds of times, and I just noticed that there is a house on the property about 3 weeks ago. Sometimes we get carried away with performance, it’s good to take in the surroundings around us.

6. Try a new part of the trail or  a new obstacle

A lot of our trails have some unique challenges to overcome. Pick something on your favorite trail that you have never done before, whether its a climb, a new section of trail or even a see-saw like the one at Rowlett Creek Preserve.

7. Explore somewhere new in your own neighborhood

You never know what you will find until you put yourself out there and do some adventuring. Last week my wife and I went for a slow casual ride around our neighborhood. We have only lived in our house for 3 months and really hadn’t explored the area yet. Well, our ride took us through a neighborhood we hadn’t ever seen before and we ended up at a hidden boat ramp on the lake.

Have you got any ideas for getting in a relaxing ride and having more fun mountain biking? Leave a comment below or on the Texas Mountain Bike Trails Facebook Page.