Mountain biking in summer requires careful preparation. Equip yourself with all the must-have items for a full day of mountain biking. Having the proper gear will keep you safe and comfortable and ensure you’re ready if something unexpected happens.
Repair Kits: Be Ready for the Unexpected
It’s not a matter of if but when you’ll encounter a mechanical issue when it comes to mountain biking. That’s why it’s essential to carry a repair kit with you that includes the following:
- A mini pump
- Extra tire tubes
- A multitool
- Patch kit
- Chain tool and spare master chain links
- Zip ties
- Duct tape
Some wipeouts may require some improvisation to make your bike rideable enough to get back on the trailhead and to the repair shop or your garage. That’s where zip ties and duct tape come in handy, along with the usual suspects, a pump, a patch kit, some extra tubes, spare master chain links, and some lubricant if the bike’s gears are feeling gritty. With these items on hand, you’ll be ready to tackle an impromptu trailside breakdown.
Sunscreen and Lip Balm
UV rays don’t discriminate, even when you’re under a canopy of trees. Applying sunscreen and lip balm with SPF protection will shield your skin and lips from harmful rays. But remember, it isn’t one-and-done: reapply your SPF frequently and according to the label instructions to ensure all-day protection.
Cycling Headband: Keep Sweat At Bay
A good cycling headband is a game-changer for keeping sweat out of your eyes and preventing your helmet from getting too stinky. Beware of using conventional fabric headbands or bandanas as gear for a full day of mountain biking. These can become saturated with sweat, and at that point, they’re useless for keeping it out of your eyes. Plus, they can trap heat against your forehead and slow evaporation, which defeats the cooling process of sweating in the first place.
Try a Veo strip instead. These ingenious, thin, and unobtrusive strips adhere to the forehead, catch sweat as it rolls down toward your eyes, and channel it harmlessly to the side to drop away.
Food and Water: Fuel Your Ride
It’s essential to keep your energy levels up when you’re out on the trails. Pack a water bottle or hydration pack and some high-energy nutrition bars to help you refuel throughout the day.
Jacket and Headlamp: Stay Ready for Changing Weather
Mother Nature can be fickle, so bring a lightweight, packable, waterproof jacket and a headlamp in case the weather takes a turn or you find yourself riding past sunset.
First Aid Supplies: Prepare for Injuries
Accidents and tumbles happen, so it’s important to have a small first aid kit on hand to address any injuries while on the trail, waiting for help to arrive or help make it possible for you to get to the nearest clinic.
Phone, GPS, and Physical Map
Even experienced riders can lose their bearings. Always carry a phone with GPS capabilities but also bring a paper map; losing a cellphone signal on mountain trails is not uncommon.
With these essential items for a day of mountain biking in your arsenal, you can confidently hit the trails and focus on what truly matters: the thrill of mountain biking! So, grab your gear and get after it!