You want to share sweet singletrack with your sweetie, but you’ve got to be careful not to get your better half in over his/her head. Here are tips from pro biker Namrita Odea, who teaches women’s mountain bike clinics at Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway in Ellijay, Ga.
Make sure your new riding partner has decent, working equipment. Find a demo bike that is the right size or borrow a decent bike from a friend.
Pick a trail that is a true beginner trail. What may seem like a beginner trail to you may not seem like one to your significant other. Keep in mind her/his skill set, too. A trail with some small obstacles is fine as long as there are ride-arounds or the opportunity to hop off and walk, if necessary.
Let him or her follow your lines. This means one of you may have to slow down a bit.
Give your significant other a quick rundown and demonstration of some basic skills ahead of time. For example: “Stay relaxed, keep your weight back, and look ahead.”
Don’t take him or her on a big group ride unless you’re sure the entire group is at a beginner level.
Keep things positive and relaxed and remember to encourage and compliment him or her often.