Friday, April 29, 2011

Packing for the Mountains

You’ve got your route figured out, you’ve selected one of the toughest, best mountain biking trails in the country, and your car is gassed up and ready to go! Now all you need to do is ensure that you have all the necessary tools and accessories to guarantee that this will be the best mountain biking excursion you’ve taken!

Most mountain biking enthusiasts make day trips of their excursions, although professionals or those going long distances may choose to camp out or stay at a local hotel. For those making the trek to a local state park or natural reserve for a day of mountain biking, certain items are a must to ensure safety, health, and fun!

The Right Bike for You

For those new to this style of biking, the first thing to do is to select the right mountain bike for you. MTBs, as they are known, are designed to handle off-road cycling and the dirt, inclines, bumps, unpaved trails, and other hazards that come with it. To handle these stressors, MTBs usually feature wide rims and wheels to ensure stability, knobby, thicky tires for good traction and shock absorption, and front and rear suspension. Check out the mountain bike selection at Colorado Ski Shop, including women’s MTB models.

Safety First

Mountain biking can be a rough sport with its fair share of scrapes and tumbles. When riding over such rough terrain as rocks, dirt, cliffs, ledges, slickrock, and sand, it is incredibly important to make sure you have ample protective gear to protect yourself against the elements and any potential accidents. At the very least, a bicycle helmet and bike gloves are non-negotiable. In addition to protecting your skin from rough winds and debris, bike gloves also improve your grip on and control of the bicycle by keeping sweat from making the handlebars slippery and adding traction to the handlebars.

Bike Problems

You never know when a flat tired or busted tube is going to happen so make sure you are prepared for any eventuality by bringing along some basic bike tools. There are a multitude of small, lightweight tools available that incorporate a variety of wrenches and screwdrivers so that you have everything you need at your disposal should an accident occur. We also suggest taking a pack of extra bicycle tire tubes (usually 2 per pack) in case you do get a flat tire while riding over loose rocks.

Packing to Go

The final component of planning a safe and fun mountain biking outing is to make sure you have a sturdy and well-designed backpack in which to store everything you need to take with you. We recommend a bicycle backpack, designed specifically to sit comfortably on your shoulder as you bikes, without causing strain or discomfort. Many traditional backpacks or messenger bags have wide straps that do not rest comfortably when one is in a biking position, or that cause strain on specific parts of the body.

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