Tips For Planning a Mountain Biking Trip
Ridding over rocks, across streams, and over all types of terrain, there's no denying that mountain biking is a fun and exciting outdoor activity.
If you’d like to plan a mountain biking trip this spring or summer, you’ll need to consider your budget, experience and the level of adventure you’re looking for. We'll explain the pros and cons of guided vs. semi-supported, vs. self-supported MTB trips, including helpful tips for those attempting a self-supported ride.
Try a Guided MTB Trip
If you're looking for the easiest way to enjoy a mountain biking vacation, you can book a trip through a MTB guide company. Guide companies will most often take care of the accommodations, meals, routes, as well as shuttle and guide you through the day. Of course, while guide companies will plan the trip for you, there are some drawbacks to this kind of mountain biking adventure. The first thing to consider is that guided trips are expensive, especially if you have to travel far to get to the starting destination. Additionally, you won't have the liberty of choosing the trails or the pace at which you ride, as these trips follow a set plan and schedule. If you opt-for a guided MTB trip, book early as spots fill up quickly!
Consider a Semi- Supported MTB Trip
Want more autonomy with a little logistical help? Try a semi-supported mountain biking trip. Some companies will provided logistical help for MTB trips. You'll likely receive shuttle service, a map, keys to the places you'll be staying, and instructions, but you're on your own for the rest! This means you will have the liberty to ride at your own pace, on your own schedule, and take alternate trails along the way. However, you'll have to carry all gear, and cook for yourself. Luckily, Backpacker's Pantry's lightweight meals make it easy to enjoy a filling meal after a long day of riding.
Attempt a Self-Supported MBT Trip
The primary benefit of planning a self-supported mountain biking trip is that you'll receive the luxury of freedom. You can camp, stay in a fancy resort, sleep in an R.V. or car . . . work with your budget, it's all up to you. The catch, is that you'll have to plan where to stay, what to eat, how to get to and from trails, how to transport bikes, etc.
If you're up for the challenge and want to plan a self-supported MBT trip, there are a few things to consider.
Keep Weather and Altitude In Mind
Spring and summer are great seasons for planning a mountain biking trip but it ultimately depends on the region in which in you plan to ride.
If you're planning a trip to a hot, arid region like Moab, Utah, opt for a spring or fall trip to avoid high temperatures above 100 degrees F in the summer.
Also consider that elevation can have a dramatic affect on the success of a trip. If you plan to ride at higher elevation, make sure to bring canned oxygen, plenty of water, electrolytes and nausea medication. Read more tips about avoiding altitude sickness here.
Think About Terrain
When choosing a destination, you'll want to consider the terrain that you desire riding in. Different types of terrain bring unique views, challenges, and experiences. For instance you'll find:
- Long downhills in the Rocky Mountains in the American west and parts of Canada.
- Slick flat rocks and sandy trails in the desert in Utah and the American southwest.
- Durational alpine trails, like in western Canada, the Rockies, and the American northeast.
Utilize Online MTB Resources
Once, you've chosen a region to ride in, use online mountain biking resources to find the best trails. Sites like TrailForks will provide helpful trail information such as length and difficulty.
Pack The Proper Supplies
- Safe helmet
- Biking gloves
- Padded bike pants
- Sun protection
- Eye protection
- Ample food & water
- First aid kit
- Packable rain jacket
- Bright headlight
- Spare tubes
- Patch kit
- Pump tool
- Tire lever
- Chain lube
- Shock pump
- Derailleur hanger
- Master link
Perform a Maintenance Check Before Leaving
Regardless of the type of MTB trip you choose, it's imperative for you to confirm that your bike is in good condition and ready to ride by checking the ABC's.
- A for air
- B for brakes and bolts
- C for controls and chain.
These are the parts of your bike that are subject to wear and tear and need to be in top notch condition prior to a long ride. You can always take your bike into a cycling shop for professional maintenance to err on the side of caution.
Start preparing for you upcoming adventures with Backpacker's Pantry's lightweight, backpacking food for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Browse our convenient, gourmet trail food here.