Avoid these mountain bike mistakes on your next trip

Planning an open road mountain bike trip is often harder than preparing for a typical road trip.

There is a lot that can go wrong on the trail. However, if you plan and prepare thoroughly, your trip will be filled with stunning scenery, smiles, and high-fives. The following are classic mistakes that commonly occur during mountain bike trips and here is how to avoid making them.

Overly ambitious schedule

Trying out all the mountain bike trails in one area can be exciting for anyone who loves to ride. Although, this enthusiasm can result in you and your crew missing out on amazing unplanned moments. Some of the most memorable moments are unplanned. Examples include staying up late sitting around a campfire, watching the sun rise or set, or if you are lucky, finding an unexpected trail along the way.

Although the actual bike riding is amazing, after a huge day riding your crew may not find a 6am wake up overly thrilling. To help keep yourself and others enthused, expect to add in some leisure time. Consider having a ride-free afternoon and find a local swimming spot, or explore a nearby town. Aim to create a flexible schedule open to change and spontaneity.

Mechanical problems

If you are planning a mountain bike trip, it is likely you know your fair share about the mechanics of your bike. If not, be sure to take a refresher before you leave. To avoid having your trip end early, bring essential spare parts with you. Here are some staple parts you will want to bring along:

  • An extra derailleur hanger
  • A chain
  • A shifter cable and
  • A spare tire or two

Prep your vehicle

You have been preparing your bike and yourself for the conditions, but on the way to your destination your car breaks down. You get bogged in sand or mud at the trailhead. The car battery dies because your crew were pumping the music last night. Travelling to many mountain bike trails will include driving along unpopular roads — there may not be another car within a 20-kilometre radius. Failure to prepare your vehicle adequately can put a real damper on your trip.

Avoid this by packing emergency kits, recovery straps, battery charger, a spare tire, and so forth to help combat any issues you may encounter.

Overestimating your or your friends’ fitness ability

If you are coming off a break from riding, your fitness level is likely to be lower than what you remember. Similarly, if your friends aren’t as experienced or familiar with some tracks, your trip will need adjusting. You are not going to enjoy the trip if either you or your crew are miserable by the third day.

Avoid the disappointment by knowing your limits and discuss this with people who are coming along. If you or someone coming along has a lower fitness level try planning a trip to a bike park known for their shuttle rides. This will allow you to take advantage of an easier course while giving you the opportunity to take an easier day.

If this is your first-time mountain biking remember to take every step at an easy pace, and become a pro in time by following these tips.