Four ways mountain bikers can make the most of their commutes

Use your trips to and from the office to build your skills

If you’re a frequent BikeRadar reader, the odds are pretty good that you ride more than just to and from work. You’re probably also a roadie, a mountain biker, or both. If you’re a mountain biker, you can make the most of your trip through the concrete jungle by honing skills that will benefit your time on the trails.

Here are four ways you can make the most of your commute.

1. Take the long way home

Don't be afraid to take the long way home from work
Don't be afraid to take the long way home from work

Building endurance is just as important for mountain biking as it is for road riding. Arguably more so, since having a good base of fitness gives you the energy to ride aggressively.

If you’re time-crunched on the way to the office, you can search for longer routes on your way home to log miles and increase your intensity.

2. Use stoplights for trackstand practice

The trackstand is one of the most underrated mountain biking skills.

The ability to balance in place gives you time to pick a different line on slow-speed technical sections. If you’re a racer, trackstanding can allow you to pause and navigate riders in front of you when they falter.

Using stoplights to balance in place without putting a foot down will pay off when you hit the trails.

Here’s a quick primer on how to trackstand.

Learn how to trackstand

3. Seek out singletrack

Seek out singletrack on your commute
Seek out singletrack on your commute

Many urban centers offer multi-use paths, and it's not uncommon to find slivers of singletrack that link greenways together. Try adding in a few of these sections of trail to your commute.

Even tame trails such as these can be made challenging by riding a cyclocross bike or commuter rig without knobby tires.

4. Turn your commute into an urban assault adventure

Turn urban obstacles into opportunities
Turn urban obstacles into opportunities

This one is best left to the ride home from work, so you don’t show up at the office with scrapes and bruises.

There are a wealth of skills you can hone through city riding if you look at city features in a different light. Ask yourself 'What would Danny MacAskill do?' and then dial it back, way back.

Danny MacAskill's Wee Day Out

Practicing pedal-kicks off curbs, riding up and then down sets of stairs, and hopping on and off park benches will all come in handy when the weekend rolls around.

Remember, your 'sponsor' is your employer, and you’re not getting paid to send it down sets of stairs or drop off 20-foot retaining walls. So please, huck with care.

  • Sponsored: UK readers — can you go the extra mile this summer? By running or cycling to work you can be a part of Red Bull’s UK-wide Million Mile Commute. Join the club in Strava to be eligible for a Red Bull sample kit to set you on your way. Don’t forget to share your commutes by tagging @RedBullUk and use #MillionMileCommute
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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