Preparing for Your Mountain Biking Trip
Mountain Biking Training
Mountain Biking requires an immense amount of strength to do. Many riders were once long distance cyclers who wanted something more intense and heart stopping, so they moved to hills and mountains to test their strength even more.
There are numerous ways to train and prepare. The classic exercise bike that forgotten tool of yesteryear, is of course helpful, as is riding any bike. Spending just thirty minutes a day will improve your strength and stamina drastically. If there are incline settings even better. There will be particular strain on your calves and thighs. If you have hills near where you live, practice riding both up and downhill on a regular basis. If you have access to a stair stepper, use it. You will need lots of stamina to be able to handle the bumps and climbs of the mountains.
When biking at high altitude it is wise to spend a day or two just doing easy cycling or walking to acclimatize. Otherwise a day into your trip you might start feeling the effects of altitude sickness, which can abruptly cut your vacation short.
The better shape you are in and the more practice you have riding in hills and mountains, the better your trip will be. The purposes of your trip are to ride a new location, experience that location, and test the limits of your mountain biking skills. Extreme pain and soreness are just wasting your time and money.
Mountain Biking Gear
The success of mountain biking all over the world has lead to new bike shops everywhere, even in third world countries. You will find the same equipment, the same brands, and the same services as your favorite bike shop back home, although prices tend to be higher outside of the western world.
If you’re after a particular brand the only guarantee is to bring the bike yourself, which is quite easy to do on most airlines. Check their requirements beforehand but most will have you take off a wheel and box up the rest. Many bike shops will even do it for you for a small fee. Remember also if you need a hard to find item, chances are your tour operator or a local bike shop in India isn’t going to have it there waiting, so bring all extra parts and tools with you. Bringing your own tools is important, especially if you are planning on riding in isolated locations where few roads or people are near. If your bike breaks down in the middle of the wilderness, don’t expect a tow truck. You will likely have to carry it out yourself.
On multiple day trips you may have to carry your luggage if your tour operator isn’t doing it for you. Small attachments can line the sides of your bike and fit everything you need, as long as you can pack light. Safety equipment, such as helmets and other protective gear are without a question important. A wrong turn on a rocky run is all it takes for a life threatening injury.