Going off-road for the first time – MTB

I have only done one post so far on mountain biking as we have not really gone off-road. We have been cycling in the residential area getting used to the bikes, climbing hills etc. It is a lot of fun and also very rewarding seeing improvement. This weekend we decided to go off-road and we made our way to Majic Forest in Bellville, Cape Town. We stayed on the larger dirt roads between the vineyards closer to the Protea Hotel as a start. It really is beautiful and I am so happy to stay close to these beautiful places. There are VERY steep hills, I am not strong enough for this yet, but looking forward to the day that I am. So I had to push my bike up a never-ending hill. It made me feel better seeing a few other cyclists doing the same. I loved the fact that there are no cars or trucks that you must look out for, you can cycle and enjoy the beautiful nature around you. Unfortunately we don’t have bike lanes in the streets so it can be really unsafe at times. There is a saying “what goes up must come down.” We had to get down the hill… It is extremely exciting, but I came to a quick realization that I have no idea how to really do this? The bicycle is not like a car that goes slower if you gear down. The bicycle just picks up momentum. The path is also full of ditches and lots of loose rocks, it was interesting to say the least. I am still not sure how to handle the loose rocks? Any tips are most welcome. In the meantime I will be spending time on Google. Of course I am also extremely scared of falling, but I know that is bound to happen. Excited to getting the grip on this! M@Home