Cycling is an excellent hobby that helps you stay in shape and boosts your adrenaline. However, if you want to go a level up, you can indulge in mountain biking. It is one of the most adventurous riding experiences, which also helps you enjoy the wilderness. You can soak up the amazing locales in Canberra while covering the mountain bike trails.
Whether you are a professional cyclist in Canberra or want some fun in the woods with your gang, you can take up mountain biking with the right attitude and information. Preparing for the journey in advance is vital to ensure safety and maximum fun. Let us help you understand how to prepare for this riding experience with some tips below.
1. Get the Required Gear
While mountain biking, you will need to get the right gear to ensure safety. It includes a sturdy helmet with a strong latch and comfortable gloves that create an appropriate grip around the handlebars. In addition, you must wear padded shorts to maximise comfort while riding on the rocky terrain.
Shoes must fit snugly and be strong enough to withstand wear and tear in the mountains. For extra safety, you can get knee and elbow pads. Other accessories include sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, lip balm, wet wipes, sanitiser, etc.
2. Identify the Mountain Biking Trail
Canberra is filled with mountain biking trails, and the most popular ones include Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra Centenary Trail, Majura Pines, Molonglo River Eastern Loop, Lake Ginninderra Loop Trail, etc. Do not pick any of these trails because many of them are meant for expert cyclists with skills and training like our champion, Anna Meares.
If you are a beginner, you must avoid the difficult terrains that are prone to accidents and have steep slopes. For example, Cotter Pines trail is apt for easy and intermediate levels of cycling, whereas Centenary Trail is suitable for beginners. Do your research and speak to professional cyclists and passionate groups taking up the challenge for the first time to find the right trail.
3. Carry All the Essentials and First Aid
Although you do not want to carry a load while cycling, you will need a bag of essentials. Pack plenty of food and water to stay satiated and hydrated while indulging in vigorous physical activity.
Keep your mobile phone, route map and charging cord in the bag. It is highly likely that you may not get a mobile network or a place to charge the phone, but you will need it once you are back in the city streets. Do not forget a first aid kit to treat the scrapes and cuts if you fall.
4. Prepare Your Bike for the Ride
Mountain biking is not like riding in the streets and lanes. You will face obstacles and hardships on the trail and must be prepared with the right equipment to deal with the situation. Firstly, you will need to check the seat and the handlebars and ensure they are ready for a rough ride. Your bike must be in top shape to complete the difficult trail.
Get your bike checked by a professional and ensure that it has the right tyre pressure and the brakes are working properly. Inspect the suspension and the frame to reduce the risk of breakdown in the middle of the trail.
5. Become Physically Fit for the Ordeal
Mountain biking is a strenuous activity that requires stamina and willpower. As a beginner, you must train religiously before embarking on the journey to get your body used to the physical stress. If you go out without any warm-up, your body will not support your plan, and you may have to give up the task midway.
So, prep for the big day by exercising daily and strengthening your leg muscles. Swimming, cycling and running are the best options to get ready.
On the day of your ride, you must have the route in your mind and thoroughly plan your journey on paper. You must read the weather forecast and venture out only when you are sure about a sunny day. Identify alternate routes and breakpoints and predict your timeline to stick to it. Keep the numbers of your family members and emergency services handy, and find more like-minded people to accompany you on the trail rather than going alone as a beginner.
Mountain biking is an exciting sport that is loved by professionals as well as amateurs. If you are taking up the activity for the first time, you need to prepare in advance. Use the tips above to make your journey smooth and stress-free.