Mountain biking is a great way to relax and get back to nature. But, as with any adventure, being prepared is the name of the game. A small missing piece of equipment or running off the course can ruin the whole trip. In this article, we’re going to cover the most important things you should remember or avoid when going on a mountain bike trip.
We’re going to start with the most important item you have – means of communication or your smartphone. Modern mobiles are not only for calls and messages. They provide you access to global information when you’re a hundred miles away from home. Before a trip, make sure that your smartphone and a charger work well. Check if you have useful applications installed. For example, when traveling abroad, download a VPN service. This will protect your device from potential hackers and cybercriminals who can cause you a lot of problems if using a public network. If you’re looking for a free VPN service, go to Best VPN Rating and pick one to meet your requirements.
When a smartphone is prepared, you can skip to planning.
Planning a Bike Trip
Mountain biking is a very stressful, unexpected, and unpredictable adventure. But if you are ready to get that sense of nature, you should devote enough time for planning and preparation. So, what should you start with?
- Route. Decide how your tour will look. Equip yourself with a good map and make a precise route, marking future destinations together with your friends. Don’t forget to check the forecast. It is better to go on a journey if the weather is supposed to be good and calm. Create a table with potential destinations, a calculated time needed for the road, number of miles, a detailed route, etc. Start planning at least 2 weeks before a trip, as it can take a lot of time to complete the details.
- Stuff. You must create a detailed list of all the stuff you might need during a trip. Check with your friends and ask what they are going to bring too. You can divide some things between several people, so your baggage won’t be too heavy. Just make sure you take different things and not two of the same. Everyone in your group should konw exactly what others are carrying during a trip. By the way, don’t plan alone. Gather with your friends and allocate your duties.
- Bike maintenance. To make sure your bike is safe, make a professional check of it. Do these bike maintenance checks on a regular basis. It is a standard routine every vehicle needs. You can do it by yourself or you can take your bike to a professional to do it for you.
- Training. If you have never gone on a biking trip before, go out and train. Pace yourself and train to ride on a consistent speed for several hours in a row. Be slow, focused, and monitor your heart rate. If you feel you are ready for a longer ride, then you can skip to the next chapter of planning, which is a menu.
- Menu. A pre-planned menu is the best you can do to restore energy after a long day-trip. You can’t just take everything you have in the fridge. Mountain biking trips require energy-recovery products, which don’t need a lot of time to be cooked and served. What can get you fresh and ready for the next couple of miles are chicken salad, boiled eggs, beans, oatmeal, pasta, ham, bread, cheese, energy bars, peanut butter, tuna, dark chocolate, fruits, and nuts. Those products are high in protein, which helps to repair the muscles.
How to Pack Your Bag
The riding day is drawing closer, so you need to start packing a bag. What should you take?
- Gilet+rain cape+waterproof case for your phone. You need a gilet and a rain cape in case of worsening weather conditions. But why do you need a waterproof case for your phone? And where can you get it? We recommend getting a simple plastic zip bag and placing your phone in it. Such bag will keep your smartphone waterproof and protect it even from scratches.
- Food. Take those products from the pre-planned menu.
- Sunscreen. You don’t know how hot it can be while riding the whole day under the sun. If you don’t want to get a sunburn, take a cream.
- Water. Take a water bottle to keep in the bottle cage on your bike. Additionally, take a riding pack, as a standard water bottle is only 500-600 ml.
- Two inner tubes
- A mini pump
- A multi-tool
- A bag of bolts and spares
- A couple of tire levers
- Cable ties
- Emergency patches
- A bike helmet
- Knee and elbow pads
- First aid kit
- Spare clothes
- A small towel
A mountain biking tour is a great way to visit places you have never seen before, from the most beautiful angles. It is an interesting experience to get away from your daily routine and do something radically different and wonderful.
At the same time, long rides are not as easy as they seem. You should be physically and mentally prepared to spend at least 7 hours a day on your bike. Are you ready to live on your bicycle for a couple of days? Weeks? Months?