Posted on November 10, 2015
Want to know one of the worst feelings in the world? It’s heading off to an awesome 20-30 mile mountain bike trail, seeing some of the most beautiful scenery known to man, and then having something happen that you’re completely unprepared for. What if your tire pops at mile 7? What if your chain breaks and you don’t have an extra pin? What if you have to use the “facilities” and your leaf choices look a whole lot like poison oak?
Start by grabbing your water bottle or hydration pack and a couple of snacks like granola bars or trail mix. While you may not need them, you’ll certainly appreciate having them along if you do. Also stuff a light windbreaker in your backpack plus a basic first aid kit, matches, toilet paper, some zip ties, a spare t-shirt, sunglasses and some duct tape.
Ideally, you want to carry all of the most vulnerable parts for your mountain bike since they are the most likely to fail. This includes a few derailleur hangers, chain pins, quick links, patch kits, tire levers and a spare inner tube.
You also want to have a few tools handy in your backpack like a good pocket knife with a sharp blade, a small multi-tool (pliers, scissors, etc.), a bicycle multi-tool, a folding saw, a mini pump and a flashlight with extra batteries.
Also keep in mind to take any medication that you may need (asthma inhalers, etc.) since you never know when the smallest thing is going to sideline you for hours. The goal is to have all these things pre-packed so you don’t have to run down a checklist every time you head out for a new adventure, but you should also get in the habit of asking yourself, “Is there anything I need?” right before heading off at the trailhead. It’s always better to be safethan sorry.
We like to get outdoors and “do.” Mountain biking is one of many passions. We are always looking for the next breakthrough that will help us do what we love for as long as we want to (i.e., the rest of our lives). Gear that protects prolongs.