Mountain biking in Ruidoso offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for beginners eager to explore the sport. Nestled within the Sierra Blanca range, Ruidoso’s diverse terrain and scenic trails provide a perfect backdrop for those new to mountain biking. Here’s your guide to getting started on your mountain biking journey in this enchanting mountain village.


Gear Up for the Ride

Before hitting the trails, it’s essential to have the right gear. A reliable mountain bike that suits your size and skill level is crucial. The folks at Pinnacle Trails Bike Shop can help you get fitted for a great rental bike to get started. For beginners, a hardtail bike (a bike with front suspension only) is often recommended for its simplicity and efficiency on the varied terrains of Ruidoso. Don’t forget a helmet, gloves, and appropriate eyewear for safety, along with a repair kit for any unexpected issues on the trail.


Choosing the Right Trail

Ruidoso is home to numerous trails that cater to all skill levels, making it an ideal place for beginners to start. Consider trails like:

  • Cedar Creek Trails: Just across the street from Innsbrook and offering a network of easy to moderate trails, Cedar Creek is perfect for beginners looking to build their confidence.
  • Grindstone Lake Trail System: With over 18 miles of multi-use trails ranging from easy to difficult, beginners can find segments of the trail that are perfect for getting comfortable with mountain biking techniques.


Understand Basic Mountain Biking Techniques
  • Body Position: Learn to adjust your body position based on the terrain. Standing up on your pedals while descending and leaning slightly back can help you navigate downhill sections more safely.
  • Braking: Practice using both brakes evenly. Knowing how to modulate your speed without skidding is crucial for maintaining control.
  • Shifting Gears: Get familiar with shifting gears before tackling steep areas. Efficient gear shifting can help conserve energy on climbs and provide stability on descents.


Safety First

Mountain biking comes with its set of risks, especially on unfamiliar trails. Always wear a helmet, and consider additional protective gear like knee and elbow pads. Bring plenty of water, a map or GPS device, and let someone know your planned route and return time.


Join a Local Group or Take a Lesson

One of the best ways to improve your skills and enjoy mountain biking is to learn from more experienced riders. Ruidoso has a welcoming biking community, with local shops and groups often organizing rides and clinics. Joining can provide valuable insights, safety tips, and maybe even a few new friends.


Respect the Trail and Other Users

Mountain biking trails in Ruidoso are often shared with hikers, runners, and wildlife. Practice good trail etiquette: yield to uphill riders and hikers, control your speed, and stay on marked trails to minimize your impact on the environment.


Enjoy the Ride

Mountain biking is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Take the time to enjoy the stunning views, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and appreciate the natural beauty of Ruidoso. Remember, every rider started as a beginner, so embrace the learning process and enjoy the ride.


Start Your Journey

Embarking on your mountain biking adventure in Ruidoso not only allows you to explore the great outdoors but also offers a rewarding challenge. With the right preparation, respect for the trails, and an adventurous spirit, beginners can unlock a whole new world of outdoor enjoyment. Ruidoso’s trails are waiting – it’s time to start pedaling.


Photo Credit: Jerod Foster