5 Things Mountain Bikers Need To Include In Their Packs


Now that mountain biking season is here, you're probably itching to get out and enjoy some excellent singletrack. But the back country is no place to be stranded in the event that your bike experiences a malfunction, so be sure that you have it checked out by your favorite bike repair shop before you hit the trails this summer. Even the best laid plans can so south, however, so make sure you're prepared for whatever minor catastrophes might befall you on the trail. Following are five essentials that you shouldn't leave the trailhead without.

Two Spare Tubes

Many mountain bikers think that one spare tube is enough, but they're so small and lightweight that you may as well thoroughly hedge your bets and pack two. Double flats are far from unheard of on the trail, and even if you don't use them yourself, they'll come in handy if one of your trail companions neglects to pack their own.

Patch Kits

Because mountain bike riding involves covering some tough terrain, flat tires are common problems. It's possible that you'll run through both of your spare tubes, particularly if you'll riding on some rocky trail. A glueless patch kit will take up very little room in your pack and will be extremely welcome in the event that you run out of tubes. Flat tires seem to come in waves in mountain biking and tend to occur most often during the first few weeks of open trails before uneven terrain gets smoothed by bike and foot traffic. You can't be too prepared at the beginning of the season.

A Tire Pump

You won't be able to use the previous two items without a tire pump, so be sure to put one in your pack before you head out. All you really need is a mini, hand-operated pump. Ask your local bike shop for recommendations for the best available pumps for mountain bike tires. If you're a novice mountain biker, be sure you practice using the pump enough to get comfortable with it so that it won't be confusing if you have to use it on the trail.

A Multi Tool

A good multi tool is an essential item that should be in every mountain biker's pack. You can use it for virtually any minor mechanical issue that comes along. It includes basic screwdrivers and wrenches as well as a chain breaking tool, knife blade, and pliers. Make certain that your multi tool contains an Allen wrench that fits each one of the screws and bolts on your bike as well as a basic spoke wrench. The uneven terrain involved in back country riding often causes various parts of the bike to come loose. You should always do a quick check when you stop for a break to make certain that none of the bolts or screws on your bike need to be tightened.

Chain Lubricant

Hard riding conditions wreak havoc on bike chains, so be sure to care a one-ounce tube of bike chain lubricant. Lube is particularly important during dry conditions when trail dust can literally coat bike chains, making it impossible for them to function properly. Be sure to include a couple of soft, clean cotton cloths to use to apply the lube and for wiping up the excess.

Needless to say, you should always carry a functional GPS unit with you as well as a well-stocked first aid kit. It's also a good idea not to go on long rides alone. Keep in mind that it doesn't take long at all to get deep into the wilderness when on a mountain bike because they move so quickly, so always make safety your first priority. Ask at bike repair shops for other tools that you might need as you start your summer adventures.


26 May 2015

Exercising for Life

Growing up, I had a weight problem. In school, I was usually the largest kid in my classes. When I was a teenager, my mom bought an aerobics video. One night, when the rest of my family members went to a restaurant, I stayed home alone. I decided to do aerobics. Immediately, I was hooked. During the next year, I lost over 30 pounds from exercising. Almost 20 years later, I still enjoy exercising regularly. And, I weigh the same I did in high school --just in muscle. On this blog, you will discover how exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight for life.