Ride Preparation

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One of the central tenets of mountain biking has always been independence. In mountain bike racing there is no equipment van following the racers, ready to hand the rider a new bike if something goes wrong. The rider must finish the race with the same bike he started with and he can accept no equipment from outside. This rule was a product of wilderness riding in places like Whistler where you have to depend on yourself, your bike and your riding partners to get home. An hours riding in this part of the world can put you into some pretty serious wilderness situations. Always make sure you can keep the bike rolling! It is possible to carry all the tools necessary for most trailside repairs without adding much weight or expense. Any local bike shop can help you put together a tool kit that will help eliminate any unforeseen walks.

Here are a few things I try to think of before a ride:

  • Like with any wilderness adventure, let someone know where you're going and how long you expect to be.
  • Bring your cell phone but don't depend on it. Our mountainous terrain makes reception touch and go.
  • Mountain weather changes quickly with elevation, exposure and time. Bring clothing for a worst-case scenario.
  • A small tool kit, matches /lighter and bug dope may never get used, but when they are needed they are really needed.
  • Duct tape. Seriously! A couple of meters of duct tape wrapped around your water bottle or wrapped around a pencil in your tool kit can get you out of a lot of problems. Ask Red Green.