This simple safety check for mountain bike riders helps you to be prepared in a mountain bike riding environment. You can then relax and enjoy, knowing that you’re well prepared.
CHECK YOUR BIKE & HELMET & CLOTHING
Put your helmet on and give your bike a small test ride before you head onto the trails.
What are you wearing? Make sure the clothing you have on won’t get in the way of your experience. You don’t need to have all the latest “mountain bike specific” gear but it is a good idea to wear clothing designed for exercising in. Womens Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice
CHECK YOU ARE VISIBLE
Most people mountain bike during daylight hours in purpose built mountain bike parks where being visible in traffic is not an issue.
Some people do choose to extend their mountain bike season by having lights to ride at night time in autumn, winter & spring.
Lights – front lights should have at least 1200+ lumens to safely light up the track ahead of you and the best place to mount the light is onto your helmet. Any type of rear light will work so that anyone coming across you from behind or following you can see your rear wheel. Bike Light Buying Guide
CHECK YOUR KIT
Tool Kit – the essentials are a spare tube and/or a patch kit, tire levers, hand pump, and allen key. If you know a bit more about bike repair we recommend taking a multi-tool which includes a chain breaking tool or a seperate chain breaker. For multi-day adventures find out What’s in a Multi-Day Mountain Bike Tool Kit? Mountain Bike Tool Kit coming soon to The goRide Shop.
This will be all you need if your ride is short and in a close to support kind of environment, otherwise you may need to carry more/have more in the car. Encourage everyone you are riding with to have tools with them as well perhaps distribute them amongst the group.
Mountain biking can lead to some bike accidents so carrying a first aid kit or having one in the car, reasonably close at hand, is a great idea.
First Aid Kit for Biking – gloves, steary strip/plasterers, aspirin, antihistamine, wet wipes, survival blanket. See Bike First Aid Supplies Buying Guide
CHECK YOUR SECURITY
Personal ID/Money – You should carry your ID, money and emergency contact details in a ziplock bag. Always tell someone where you are going and when you should be back. Be social, you will always be safer when riding in a group.
Registration/Photo – We recommend that you have a photo of your bike and its registration number incase of theft. This gives you peace of mind when dealing with the police or your insurance company
A bike lock – will you be stopping and leaving your bike at any point? This depends on your destination and how you get there. Do you need a lock to secure your bike to the car? Bike Lock Buying Guide
CHECK YOUR WATER/FOOD
Often mountain biking is done in areas without access to drinking water so water needs to be carried. We recommend 2 x 750ml bottles for any rides over an hour. Try a hydration pack for any long rides. In hot weather you will want more water.
Food is personal, munch on bananas, protein bars, scroggin, chocolate for any rides that are over an hour or are going to be challenging for you – gradient of the climbing sections.
CHECK THE WEATHER
Wear clothes that match the environment you are riding in. Mountain biking typically takes you through a real variation in gradients and in and out of tree coverage. Be prepared to take layers off when heading up hill and then put layers back on for descending.
Consider sunscreen and sunglasses for hot weather.