Mountain biking intimidating? Change that to exhilarating! Bike Skills Instructor, Dan Lucas gives the beginners guide.


Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke Valley is America’s east coast mountain biking capital. One could be an avid rider and still not even be able to cover the epic trail systems in our region. However, it all begins with knowing where and how to start with the sport. If you’ve never experienced both the thrill and combination of speed and obstacles, mountain biking might seem a little intimidating… but it doesn’t have to be!

Like anything, mountain biking requires one to acquire necessary skills and practice in order to yield the best results.

Mechanic and Bike Skills Instructor at Cardinal Bike, Dan Lucas started mountain biking in 2006. He said it became more than a hobby when he started working at Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing as an instructor.

“I got into it too deep and just kept on. It’s a lifestyle choice.”

Dan Lucas, Mechanic and Bike Skills Instructor at Cardinal Bike

Lucas, an advanced rider, offers advice on how to get started with mountain biking.

“You need a good bike, something that’s going to be able to handle the terrain, knobby tires, sometimes full suspension, if required, and you’re going to need a great helmet. Please don’t buy something cheap, buy something that’s going to protect your head. A lot of the time gloves are a good choice as well.”

Dan Lucas, Mechanic and Bike Skills Instructor at Cardinal Bike

Lucas says there are some basic skills one needs to safely ride.

“What I like to start with is foundational skills for any mountain biker that they need to know to be on the trail safely. Number one, you just need to make sure that you have your fingers on the brakes, because you’ve got to stop if there are trees coming. Number two, you want to keep your eyes up ahead, looking where you’re going, and number three, you want to keep your pedals flat because you don’t want to catch those on rocks or roots down below you. Make sure you’re in a comfortable position to be able to attack the obstacles.”

Dan Lucas, Mechanic and Bike Skills Instructor at Cardinal Bike

These are the foundational skills Lucas covers when taking riders out for the first time. Lucas says heavy feet and light hands help with balance. Of course, he elaborates from here, but for the sake of TV, brevity!

Once you’ve got these basic skills down you can hopefully evolve feelings of hesitation and mountain biking intimidation into pure exhilaration, as well as take advantage of the incredible mountain biking region in which we live.

Want to get on some trails? Click here!

A big thank you to Cardinal Bike for the collaboration! Thank you for allowing the WFXR team to borrow your incredible bike and for sharing your knowledge for this outdoors segment.

Do you enjoy outdoor segments and want to see more? Have some great ideas of your own or outdoor questions? Email Community Journalist, Hayley Henson at

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News tips

Do you have a news tip or breaking news to share with WFXR?  Submit your tip here.

NBA Stats

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form

Latest Scores