Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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Head and back hunched, legs pumping and coasting, the biker seems almost relaxed as he wipes the sweat off his face. However, mountain biking takes a lot of preparation. I spent a lot of time choosing the right (1) mountain biking equipment, in order to have fun when I started on the (2) right mountain biking trail, but I learned soon enough how easy it is to get hurt without "safe" (3) experience. I love mountain biking, because I can see nature first hand. Mountain biking is fun and gets your adrenaline going, but you cannot be afraid to get hurt. [THESIS] Even though [transition] I spent a lot of time choosing my (1) equipment, it was worth it in order to have good, safe fun. For example [Transition A], a mountain bike is a mountain biker's main piece of equipment. For my main piece of equipment, I chose a 20" red MT Sport SX with an enlarged frame, front shock, and six gears.

I made sure that the top tube of my mountain bike's frame was about 2" below my crotch, and that the frame wasn't too heavy. Since I ride up and down steep hills, I had to make sure my bike had deep treads so that I wouldn't slip and slide so easily. I likewise made sure that the front shock didn't have too much bounce or else it would break easily and it would be a pain to replace. Another thing about my main piece of equipment is it's best not to stay in one gear throughout the trail. Since the lower gears have better acceleration, I use them for going uphill. In contrast, the higher gears have better top speed, so I use them for going downhill. Doing it this way I've found that I don't get tired out so easily. Equally important, [Transition B] I chose a helmet which was lightweight, strong, durable, and easily cleaned so that I would have comfortable headgear which would also protect me. I've probably spent more time picking out equipment than having fun riding! [clincher] Although [Transition] starting on harder (2) trails would have been more exciting, I may have become afraid and then all of the fun would have been gone. Therefore [Transition A], I found that no matter how good I was on a bike, the Novice Trail is where I should start as a first timer. For example, on mountain trails there are large roots, mud, elevation changes, and snakes just to name a few things which can cause injuries. Snakes slither here and there on the trails, however they're usually gone by the time I've reached that spot. The Novice Trail has relatively small hills and gullies and is mostly packed dirt. Conversely [Transition B], on the Intermediate Trails the inclines and declines are much more severe and mud is found everywhere. These trails all have road width changes. Sometimes the trails squeeze so tightly in between two trees that there is barely enough room to get the bike through. There are parts where the trail goes almost straight up for ten feet and is solid rock. Right after leveling off, the trail may make a u-turn to the left and go straight down! Certainly I've had tons of fun slipping and sliding down these injury inflicting trails! [clincher] Unfortunately [transition] for me, I learned from (3) experience that having fun can still cause you fear. Thankfully [Transition A] I've only had one major wipe-out. This is how it happened. I came down a steep hill. I wanted to try and ride it out without using my brake. Even if I had hit the brake a split second earlier than I had, I probably would have made the turn. To my great misfortune, the trail turned to loose dirt and I had to make a sharp turn. When I finally hit the brake, I had already started into the turn. I must have looked quite a sight! I flipped sideways and landed with the bike on top of me. Fortunately all I got was a badly scraped elbow, a hole in the rear inner tube of my tire and a small dent in my helmet. But if I had landed differently or hit a tree on my way down, the outcome would have been much different. Despite [Transition B] my biking accidents, I still love mountain biking, because of the feeling you get. It feels like nothing can go wrong. It is one of my favorite recreational activities, because it is and isn't a one person activity. It's something that you can do by yourself or with friends and family. Gathering experience on how to have fun wiping out is the easiest thing in the world, however learning not be afraid of wiping out isn't. [clincher] For the most part [transition], mountain biking is like everything else. It takes practice, but I always remind myself to never take risks. Risking a human life for a thrill is not worth it, no matter how much fun may seem to be involved. So by choosing the (1) right equipment, by choosing (2) the right trail the first time around, and learning from (3) good and bad experiences then [THESIS] mountain biking can be all fun with no fear.