It’s that time of the year when the frost hits the ground and Bike Glendhu shuts the gates for the winter season (lame, we know). Maybe you need a little inspo to keep the stoke alive over the chilly months, or perhaps you’re just the type who wants to rip into spring with even better fitness than before. Whatever your reasoning, we’ve made a list of ways you can keep your muscles strong and your mountain biking spirit alive. Can you tell we’re pumped for September opening day already?
Be rude not to include skiing as a great way to keep fit for MTB missions and enjoy those lovely mountains that New Zealand has to offer. You can certainly get your flow on during the winter season, making it the perfect complement for a cheeky lap on Jairolla when spring (finally) rolls around. It doesn’t have to be flowy though – if you’re more of a mayor of Send City, the dynamic movements you pull in both sports complement each other perfectly.
Downhill skiing is top-notch for strength in your legs and core as well as the ol’ cardiovascular fitness (especially if you’re earning your turns in the backcountry or fitting in a bit of XC skiing). Better yet, it’s ideal for balance – something you’ll need for both skiing and mountain biking.
Did we mention HOW GOOD both are for a crew of mates (and après)?
This one’s gotta be done if you’re the type who throws down. If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie when it comes to the trails you choose, get a bunch of pals together and head down to your local trampoline park. In Wanaka, we’re lucky enough to have one of these trampoline parks for bike enthusiasts open until 7.30 pm each night – that means there’s plenty of time to work on your air awareness, body positioning and acrobatics skills during the darker times or when it’s pretty wet outside.
Not only does trampolining provide you with transferrable skills to the bike, but it’s also an unreal (and fun) way to boost your fitness, build strength, and improve your balance. If you’re the competitive type, we recommend bringing your riding mates– it’s guaranteed to bring out a whole lot of stoke for the trails!
Hit The Gym
Build some extra muscle and work on your fitness for mountain biking with some functional strength and conditioning exercises. Working on isolated muscles can help you to improve your joint stability – but make sure you’re working on a range of muscles (and the ones you’ll actually use in the bike park!) Try ‘em out at either a regular gym or dabble in the world of CrossFit.
If you’re not sure where to start with this one, think of squats, lunges, planks, and balance exercises. Not only are they functional for ripping down the trails here at Bike Glendhu, but you’ll notice it makes life easier on a daily basis – whether your job is sedentary or full-noise (tradies, we’re looking at you).
Buuuut that’s only half of it. Don’t neglect the balance and fitness side of things, cause as you probably know, those are important for a fun time on the MTB trails. Why not give yoga a nudge, or maybe even a cheeky spin class?
Winter Riding, Anyone?
Why not take the dog for a run, you’ll be fit as a fiddle from all those extra pedals (for those bike geeks, we love you, and we mean cadence). There are a few ways to get amongst the bike trails over the winter. You can opt for flatter, easier trails to get that fitness up over the winter. Less speed means less braking, and less chance to slip out on those muddy days. Building a bit of extra confidence and stoke on the trails means that when we open our gates for the 2023.24 season, you’ll come in hot without any qualms.
If you’re planning on a few winter trails, here’s a few pointers to make the ride smooth sailing:
- You’ll get waaay muddier (time to invest in some mud flaps?), so you’ll need to put a little more mahi into the cleaning side of your bike.
- Cold and sloppy trail conditions can create a bit more wear and tear on your bike, so make sure that you give it a solid clean and regular maintenance check after every ride (check out some tips from our bike mechanic if you’re not sure where to start).
- You’ll burn more energy in the cold. Make sure you eat a little extra and always pack an extra layer.
- Don’t forget to check our blog about How to Prep your Mountain Bike for Winter. Whether you’re riding over the colder months or not, there are plenty of nuggets of information to keep you riding smoothly.
Summertime, but Somewhere Else
Maybe winter riding is not for you (we get it, it’s cold). Sounds like a great excuse to venture somewhere warmer instead! Check out a slice of paradise from the Northern Hemisphere instead. Destinations such as Spain, Morocco, and Italy are known for their unreal mountain biking terrain, as well as glorious sunshine and beautiful scenery.
Rest and recovery can sometimes be just what we need, especially if the weather is cold, wet, and miserable. Netflix is overrated – you’re better off keeping the stoke alive for the mountain biking season by watching your favourite athletes send it.
The best way (in our opinion) to do so if binge the ol’ Bike Glendhu YouTube channel – from course previews to the legendary Crankworx Summer Series, you can bet that you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting for spring riding to be here.
One last thing you can’t forget to keep your stoke going strong – make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter. We’ll make sure you get a good fix of off-season hype and news about the important stuff for the season (especially early bird passes and opening day).