Downhill Mountain Biking – Know the Rules and Succeed

Downhill Fun

So you’ve got a great new mountain bike and you want to hit some serious downhill trails. It’s a lot of fun, to be sure, but you don’t want to get caught up a mountain unprepared. This guide will help you plan ahead to get the most out of your downhill ride, and be safe too.

Always be Prepared

You need to be fully prepared before such an intense excursion. Be sure to take the bike out for some practice rides on easier terrain first; don’t take an untried bike on tough terrain. And you’ll need some leg and arm strength, to keep the bike on track. Try light off-roading or a local singletrack first, just to get a feel for it.

Also, be sure to double-check your bike. It is advised to always perform a routine check before hitting the mountain. As little as 15 minutes of preparatory work can save you a world of trouble later on.

Also, don’t forget the all-important helmet, and a good pair of gloves and riding shorts or pants as well.

Maintain your Balance

When you begin the ride, keep your body weight leaned as far back on the seat (or saddle) as is comfortable, to compensate for the downhill angle. However, if you feel like you’re not in full control of the front wheel, lean forward a bit until you regain full motion. Keep experimenting until you find the perfect angle.

If the trail is particularly rough, it’s important to keep your limbs bent, as this helps absorb the shock. A good suspension helps, certainly, but you want your body as free as possible. Relax your muscles and don’t keep a death-grip on the handlebars: if your body is too stiff, it’s much harder to control the descent.

See the Trail Ahead and Know What’s Coming

Some trails are real tight, while some are wide enough for several bikers at once. Always keep an eye on the coming trail, and know where your plan of action. You don’t want to hit a rough bump or patch without knowing it’s coming; that could be dangerous.

Ideally, you should maintain a line of sight of at least 15 feet in front. That way, you always know that your front wheel is aligned with the trail and you’re heading exactly where you need to go. It’s safest to head for the smoothest, simplest path. You don’t have to be a maniac extreme biker, especially your first time on a new run. Control is always more important than thrills.

Keep Your Wits About You

Inevitably, you’re going to hit some unsure patches. It’s important to not lose your cool in a rough situation. With the wind in your face and your adrenaline pumping, you have to work hard to stay on track. Slow down if you have to, and always be aware of the trail around you. Watch especially for rocks, trees, and other hazards.

Maintain Your Speed

Slow and steady wins the race. This doesn’t mean you have to go so slow it isn’t fun, but letting your speed get out of hand is the single most common way to lose control and take an ugly crash. Always be ready to hit those brakes, and most importantly, always hit the rear brake first. A reactionary pull on the front brake can cause the bike to flip over forward, possibly ejecting you. This is a time when a helmet is necessary.

Also make sure to watch ahead for other bikers. It’s better to slow down and let the next rider keep going than try to pass him or her. He/she may not see you coming and you could crash into them, or knock them off the trail.

Now go Hit that Mountain!

Now you’re prepared. Get to that mountain and have some fun!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Detailed SWOT Analysis

If you are an advertising or marketing student, an entrepreneur or a business professional – be prepared to learn about one of the most basic and functional tools for marketers still practiced heavily today – the SWOT Analysis. Like many topics in school that students seem to avoid (learning the quadratic formula in Calculus, reading a Brave New World for English lit or that extremely uncomfortable topic everyone in health class is embarrassed to learn about) – the detailed SWOT analysis is just something you are going to have to face learning and get used to writing regardless of how advanced our advertising methods get. The detailed SWOT analysis will be around forever and can really help you get a grasp of the environment your product or service is getting into and what you have to give to your potential customers that your competitors have forgotten. So here it is in plain English – the good, the bad and the ugly of the detailed SWOT Analysis.

As a professional marketer that has been working in this field, representing a multitude of companies throughout North America for over 15 years I continuously stand behind the benefits and effectiveness of developing and using a detailed SWOT analysis. Before I start any new project, whether for myself or for a customer, I have, and will continue to include the development of a SWOT analysis. My suggestion to you is that if you want your marketing initiatives to perform like a professionally developed plan then you need to think and act like a professional marketer. In this article I am going to share with you…

o What is Good about developing a proper SWOT Analysis “The Good”
o What is the downside of developing a proper SWOT Analysis “The Bad”
o What if the SWOT analysis doesn’t appear to provide value to my marketing plan? “The Ugly”

So why do seasoned advertising executives claim that a detailed SWOT Analysis of your product/service could open your eyes to an opportunity you had never imagined? Let’s put it this way – if you are the owner of a brand new company and you need to sell your business to your future employees who are ultimately responsible for reselling the idea of your business – it is probably best that you have a clear sense of what your enterprise is about. Your business’ vision, mission and core values are so important to determining whether or not customers see your product/service as a need. Is the product category you are in thriving, full of competition or are you yesterday’s trend? All these answers can be yours – by breaking down your company in a SWOT Analysis.

What’s so great about a SWOT? The easiest way to answer this question – is found in the acronym – plainly stated – a SWOT will tell you what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are for your business. Strengths and weaknesses are attributes of your business that are identified internally -what’s going on within your own company’s environment? Some of the strengths you may have is that you were the first entrant into a category (i.e. Red Bull in the energy drink category), has your company won any awards, what makes you different from your competitors (do you have something they don’t that difficult to copy?) Weaknesses could be that you were not “one of the originals” and you are lumped in with all the other gazillion varieties of soap available today – you lack that “must-have” feature. Or maybe your product or service is a seasonal item – so your key selling peak only happens during a certain quarter of the year – in which case – how does the company survive for the other 3 quarters? Strengths and weaknesses are easy to identify if you really sit and think about what your company is, stands for and what it offers your customers. Opportunities and threats are identified externally – these are aspects that happen outside of your company that you are unable to control. Going back to the Red Bull example, the fact that the general public was finding themselves more frequently exhausted and looking for a “pick me up” – paved the way for Red Bull to really pack a punch with the public. And perhaps, the easiest example of a threat is something most companies seem to be facing today – the depressing state of the economy and the public cautious with their spending. These four aspects are quick and easy ways to access your company and with a little thought – you may open your company up to opportunities you have not have originally seen.

What’s so bad about a detailed SWOT Analysis – well for a first timer, be prepared this is only one of a gazillion SWOT Analyses you will do on a variety of companies and products. But don’t worry – practice makes perfect. Sometimes the first few SWOT’s can take a fair bit of time to nail down the formula, but soon it will become as simple as riding a bike.
The ugly of the detailed SWOT analysis is very rare but has seen the light of day. Perhaps the product category is so complex that a SWOT really doesn’t answer any immediate questions for your business. Or you’ve finally completed what you thought was an amazing analysis, only to realize that after investing a large amount of money in your “dream project” you’ve entered into an overly-saturated market and your product (with no great added value) will soon be lost in the masses – YIKES! Also, some companies mistake their internal strengths as external opportunities – in which your SWOT analysis becomes skewed and rendered non-helpful.

So even though as a first timer you become frustrated with what makes an attribute internal or external, the fact that sometimes you need to research your category to really get into some interesting opportunities once you become familiar with this process, there’s a good possibility you may begin to dream about SWOT analyses and begin applying them to your everyday life – one of the great things about a detailed SWOT analysis is that it’s a basic structure that really puts your business into perspective for yourself, your employees and most importantly what you have to offer your customers.

Great Commuter Diamondback Bikes – What You Should Know About This Cycling Equipment

For anyone who has to commute on daily basis on a bike as to how comfortable his bike should be in comparison to its looks and efficiency. All the factors have an important place when it comes to buying a bike for your daily traveling needs.

Personally I would not like to be seen on an ugly looking bike which may be very comfortable, but on the other hand my wife will not compromise on comfort. The efficiency factor is common for both of us, because if the bike is not efficient or is too heavy, we will end up huffing and puffing half way to home.
After a lot of research in the market and on the internet we came across a bike which we both for once agreed upon (we both love to travel on identical bikes).

We had used comfort bikes (My wife’s selection) which I did not approve in appearance and neither were they efficient enough. Then we went for road bikes (My choice) and my wife kept complaining of discomfort, but they were comparatively more efficient and less tiring for me.

Though we both enjoyed trying out the mountain bikes, but decided against them as they do not suit our personality (We both are in late forties and are college professors who teach Philosophy and Math at a local college ) which we have to maintain in front of our students who most are fervent users of them.

What clicked us most were the hybrid diamondback bikes. I will without any hesitation accept that I also find our latest discovery very comfortable and efficient in paddling. They are even good to look at. My wife has no complaints about this and probably this will be the one we will stay with for a long time, as diamondback bikes are not just good looking they are very light weight as compared to the comfort bike and far more efficient than a regular road bike. These high performance bikes are great at keeping us in good health and great physical condition as far as shape and muscle build up is concerned.

What I would advise my friends who are out there reading my article, that daily commuting should be avoided by means of powered transport as much as possible for health and well being reasons. Our world is getting physically unfit at a very fast rate. The only reason is that we have removed all aspects of physical exercise from our routine and we also do not get time for special workouts.

Why You Should Buy a Bike Trailer for Your Dog

Many dog owners love involving their pets in everything they do. They treat their pets as if they were their kids and take them to their daily routines including exercise and leisure. Of course, taking your four-legged friend for a walk is easy. However, how do you go about it if you wish to ride on the bike? The answer to this is this: buy dog bike trailer.

Some people let their dogs run along while they are riding a bike. Although this is possible, it’s not exactly safe. In fact, it can be very dangerous. For your pet, nothing’s really difficult with running along. The problem arises when he or she gets distracted by something. You know how dogs are. When they see something catchy, their instincts tell them to investigate. It’s not exactly a nice sight to have your dog jerking away from your bicycle, right?

To prevent this from happening, it is wise to invest in a carrier, which allows your dog to comfortably take the ride with you. When you buy dog bike trailer, your pet won’t have to run alongside your bike and pant afterward. More importantly, you will not have to worry whether he or she would lead you somewhere ugly in case something distracts it.

A dog bike trailer has two wheels and easily hitches to the back of any bicycle. It is typically roomy so even big breeds could fit into it like golden retrievers. It is also pretty low to the ground so even if your pet decided to jump out of it, it won’t be dangerous at all.

Most bike trailers for dogs are made of steel frames and nylon tent. The materials make them both durable and comfortable. They also make the trailers easier to clean and maintain. Once the weather goes berserk and unexpected rain falls, the nylon tent can also be zipped up so you won’t have to worry about your four-legged friend catching a cold before you get home safely.

Now, you have to remember that before you finally enjoy a bike ride with your dog with a trailer, you need to get him or her used to it first. You just can’t expect him or her to hop in and enjoy cycling with you. You need to introduce the vehicle to your dog.

One thing you can do is leave the trailer around the house for a few days. Just let your pet get used to its sight. You may even make him or her sit on it. Once you think that he or she is very comfortable with the trailer already, go on a test ride. Make sure that it’s only for a short distance so as not to overwhelm your dog. After a few rides, your pet must feel comfy enough to ride for a longer distance.

If you wish to enjoy cycling with your dog, you should really buy dog bike trailer. It will not only make cycling with your dog possible, it will ensure that the ride is safe and fun too.