We take a lot of things for granted. The luxury of being in doors whenever we choose, access to food, energy and light. What many people don’t realize is that when you go mountain biking, these things are no longer close at hand. Your not playing on your own terms anymore because lets face it, weather changes. Rain, wind, instant loss of light, temperature change, and getting lost are all obstacles that people face on the trails. Outdoor sports are a challenge and we love them because of it. Planning ahead for a big mountain bike ride will make the difference between a great one and one you wish you could forget.
Its a good idea to do a bit of preparation depending on the type of trip that you will embarking on to determine the mountain bike accessories that you’ll need. Checking the weather before a long trip is essential and reports are not always correct. A small folding poncho is a must have for any trip in the woods because sometimes getting wet can ruin things instantly. A recent trip where my pack got soaked in the back of the truck before I could get to it resulted in a wet pillow and some soggy gear. Luckily, all important items were in plastic ziploc bags and the pack was lined with three tied garbage bags. None the less, next time the entire bundle is getting a pack cover because wet gear stinks.
Its important to bring the right mountain bike accessories with you so nothing will throw a wrench in your gears so to speak. Bring a hydration pack with extra room for the poncho, bike tools, bike pump, extra tire tube, trail mix or granola bars, a compass and maps, flashlight, and shades. Water is very important because biking can dehydrate you easily. When I can get away with it, I bring two water bottles and take out the hydration bladder as I don’t need it. On very long rides, it will be necessary however. A hydration pack with extra pockets is a great investment to carry all of the gear and it will be made to give you the highest degree of balance and comfort to handle it.
Moisture wicking clothing has come a long way in recent years and dries quickly after being soaked with rain or sweat. Clothing that holds moisture like cotton will be a disgusting hindrance and if its cold, it will make you colder. Gross clothes are tough to fix once they get that way. Although I didn’t believe I needed them at first, I have found bike gloves to be a great addition to the mountain bike gear collection. They lessen the impact from your handle bars from jarring trails and if you fall off, the heavy nylon or leather surface will minimize abrasion from the fall.
Each time I go out for a ride I learn something new that I didn’t know before and that will make the experience better. I find a lighter way to pack, a safer or more efficient way to ride, or a new piece of gear that will make things so much easier. Research is key and mine borders on obsession. I review all the latest mountain bike gear on my blog and love to talk with others about how they ride and what they find works. Sharing is important in this sport and I love telling everyone all the little secrets to a great journey whenever I find them.