What to Pack When Going Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a fun and exhilarating sport that many people love to do in their spare time or as a career. There are several different levels and types of mountain bike riding you can take part in and enjoy. Professional endurance mountain bike riders will partake in long-distance events that can last 12 or even 24 hours. When competing in this type of event, mountain bikers need to be prepared for every situation. In this article, we take a look at some of the common things that professional mountain bike riders pack for an endurance event. This can also be useful for casual mountain bike riders.
Tire fixing equipment
If you experience a puncture whilst out on the trail, you’ll need to have all the necessary equipment to fix the issue and get back on the bike as quickly as possible. Spare inner tubes can help when your puncture is too large to be fixed with sealant. Even if you use tubeless tires, an inner tube might be needed for a severe puncture. You can always remove the tubeless system and add an inner tube to get you to your next stop. Make sure you also include everything you need to change the inner tube, such as tire levers, a pump or C02 canisters and a multi-tool.
It's essential to stay hydrated when you’re participating in any form of sport. Without enough water, your body will become dehydrated, and you may find it challenging to continue with the activity. A bottle of water or a hydration pack will ensure any water lost through sweat is put back into your body.
Energy and food
When you’re beginning to feel tired and need a boost of energy, it can be handy to have a few snacks ready that provide a hit of carbohydrates and sugars. Energy gels work well for endurance riders, or you can choose to carry some nuts or a granola bar. For casual riders that have more time to stop off, you could opt for a more substantial packed lunch, including sandwiches and snacks.
When mountain biking for several hours, you may experience unexpected rain showers. To keep your body warm and dry, you should carry a rain jacket that you can put on if it begins to rain. Some mountain bike riders will also carry a full set of clothes; these can be helpful if you fall over and get covered in wet mud; others might rely on aid stations to store spare clothes and spare pairs of mountain bike shoes. If you’re not participating in an event and plan to be out for a long time, you’ll need to carry everything you need in your backpack.
If you’re mountain biking in the heat, you need to protect yourself from sunburn. To do this, ensure you carry sweat proof sunblock, sunglasses, or mountain bike goggles fitted with UV protection. Mountain bike goggles protect your eyes from flying debris, dirt and the sun’s rays. Make sure you follow the instructions and re-apply the sunblock regularly.
First aid equipment
A basic first aid kit can be incredibly helpful if you hurt yourself or get small cuts and bruises when you’re out on your ride. To avoid infection, you need to wash the area with water and avoid antiseptic, as this can prevent your skin from healing as quickly. Bandages and plasters can be used to cover wounds and stop more bacteria from entering the site. Pain medication may also be helpful if you want to keep riding but find you have a headache or your wound feels painful. If you get injured seriously, you should call for assistance using your mobile phone. Always carry a phone on you when you go out mountain biking so you can call for help when needed.
This is a sample of the equipment you may want to take when going on a long mountain bike ride. For top athletes, the weight of their bag will also impact their speed and overall performance on the course. Athletes need to find a balance between having the right equipment and reducing the weight in their bag.