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London Olympics 2012 Mountain Biking: Ten Terms to Know

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The London's Games of the XXX Olympiad is just a few days away and starts on July 27, 2012. This year's games will feature 36 sports and 29 disciplines which will take place at the Olympic Park, other venues in London and outside the city as well. One of those sports is mountain biking and it will be held at Hadleigh Farm, Essex from Saturday, August 11th to Sunday, August 12th. Cross-country mountain biking is a relatively young Olympic sport and only made its debut at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The 550-acre Hadleigh Farm was chosen for the sport because of its hilly terrain and technical challenges. The backdrop of this newly-built mountain bike course is no less than the 700 year-old Hadleigh Castle.

50 men and 30 women will be competing at the men's and women's races that weekend. Cross-country mountain biking is characterized by rocky paths and challenging climbs and descents. The Olympic race will begin with a start loop of 441 m. The course is a total of 4.7 km with 172 m of elevation change. More information on cross-country mountain biking can be found on the official website of the London Olympics.

Mountain biking has some terminologies that are only known within the sport. Here are ten mountain biking terms to know so you can enjoy watching the sport this August:

Dab is when a competitor puts his or her foot down to catch their balance.

Clean means to successfully complete a difficult section of trail without crashing, dabbing, or any other mistakes.

Attack position is a type of position that is characterized by bent knees and elbows and the rear above the saddle. This is done during an approach and ride on rough terrain.

A bunny Hop is a riding techniques that uses a "hop" to quickly move past obstacles without stopping.

A double track are two trails that run parallel. This is also called a tractor or jeep trail.

A single track is a narrow trail that must be traversed by competitors in a single file.

Downshift is when a competitor shifts to a lower gear.

Gnarl is a technically difficult section of a trail. This is characterized by rough, slippery and rocky areas. A grinder is a long uphill climb. Washboard is small undulations on the surface of the ground that makes the ride bumpy and rough.

More from Kathrine:

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Kathrine grew up watching the Olympics and has since been an avid viewer. She enjoys cycling and opts for bicycling rather than owning a vehicle. She is excited to watch Michael Phelps swim again and is hoping that the Philippines will clinch its first gold medal this year.

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