Mountain Bike Travel Tips for First Time Adventurers

Tips on How To Travel On Your Bike On An Adventure For The First Time 

Finally, it’s time for you to realize your lifetime goal of a biking adventure, but a lot of things worry you. You don’t know what clothes and gear to bring along? what travel route to take? what time of the day should you choose for your travels? how to find exciting cycling trails? how to find suitable cycling companions or whether you need to find one in the first place?

Moreover, while traveling with bikes has definitely gotten easier over the years, transporting it (and yourself) safely on automobiles, airplanes, and trains is no easy feat. First-time travelers often find themselves pondering these questions. Therefore, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to make your mountain bike travel as stress-free and exciting as possible. 

In the first section of the article, we discuss some travel essentials. Don’t forget to pack this gear before you set your first foot out. In the second section, we share some tips about traveling on your bike. And in the final section, we shed light on another crucial matter, packing your bike safely. So that you don’t have to witness a damaged bike next time you open it up. without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Essentials Packing List 

Bikepacking Kit List

Imagine the disappointment when you find out, in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles away from the home that you left some essentials behind. You won’t be able to go back and we doubt procrastinating your life choices will help much. So, be vigilant. Pack these essentials before you start your journey. 

1. Hydration Kit 

Hydration Kit

Staying adequately hydrated on your travels is the most crucial thing. Never assume you will find water on the way. Biking adventures often take you through distant barren lands. You may have to travel hundreds of miles before you can come across a shop. Therefore, it is essential that you bring your own water bottle or a hydration kit with you. In this case, the bigger it is better it will be for your adventure. This way you can travel long distances without a need to stop for water.  Try adding some electrolytes to your water. It helps your body stay hydrated for longer periods. 

 

2. Cycling Shoes 

Cycling ShoesProfessional cyclists travel on their mountain bike shoes. While road shoes are also a good option, mountain bike shoes are specially designed to keep your feet comfortable during those long travels. You can also use them to walk short distances, but we recommend keeping a pair or two of normal shoes or flip-flips as well. This is because sooner or later you will have to stop somewhere. When you are not riding, you will need a regular pair to give your feet a rest. Road cycling shoes, on the other hand, are used only for cycling. 

3. Tool Kit 

Bike Tool KitsThere are several great biking tool kits available online, but we suggest creating your own. This way you will know what tools are there and which ones are missing. At least, make sure your kit has a chain breaker (preferably on a multi-tool), a hand pump, puncture assists, tire tubes, cycle spokes, glue, some extra chain links, and some nuts & bolts. Remember, you will have to disassemble the bike when boarding a plane, car, or train. Similarly, you will have to assemble it back afterward. Other than that, in case of an emergency, your tool kit should provide you enough support to get you to a nearby bike shop. 

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    4. GPS 

    GPS Bike TrackersMany people believe a GPS navigation system is essential only if you are traveling through unchartered territories. Let me tell you, this is a wrong assumption. Whether you know the track or not, you will need a GPS sooner or later. People often get lost as well. Besides, a GPS does more than just point location. You can also utilize it to record your travels, share your live location with your loved ones and relive these adventures once you get back home. So, make sure you pack a GPS too. It can be on your phone or in the form of a separate GPS gadget. 

    5. Cycling Gear 

    Cycling GearAs you will be biking for long periods of time, you need specialized cycling gear to make your journey as comfortable as possible. Some of the cycling gear includes special cycling clothes, special gloves, helmets and goggles, knee and elbow supports. If you cannot find cycling clothes, then make sure the ones you take along are made of breathable high-quality materials. A rain jacket can also come in handy if you plan on traveling during the rainy season. Also, consider whether you will have enough time to clean your clothes and then plan accordingly. 

    6. Camera

    Bike and Helmet CamerasSure, a camera is not a must-have piece of equipment, you can have a great adventure without some photos. But capturing some heartwarming scenes just for the sake of memory isn’t that bad. Right? So, pack a good quality camera as well. It can help you relive your memories of the travel long after you have forgotten all the roads. Don’t forget to keep an extra pair of batteries or a camera charger, just in case you need them during the long trips. 

     7. Insect Repellant and Sunscreen 

    Cycling SunscreenFor the most part of the tour, you will be out in the wild. Applying some insect repellant before you start your ride can protect you from inconvenience along the way. Insect bites can cause different forms of skin allergies. And you don’t want to ruin your perfect adventure with a puny insect’s bite. Likewise, you will also be traveling during sunny hot days. So using sunscreen will protect your skin from getting burnt or develop rashes. While you can stick to open roads to avoid insect bites, there is no way to avoid the sun. Therefore, sunscreen should also be on your list of biking adventure essentials. 

    8. First Aid Kit 

    MTB First Aid BasicsDuring these travels, you never know when you or a fellow rider may require emergency first aid. Accidents can happen at any time. You need to be prepared for any such emergency beforehand. Therefore, a first aid kit is always a must-have item for bikers. You can get a compact first aid kit from your local medical store, however, make sure it’s not missing a crucial item. Otherwise, you will be endangering your life. We suggest bringing your first aid kit along with the tool kit on every ride – no matter how long or short it is. 

    9. Lock 

    Bike LocksWhether you are traveling through the first world countries or third world, bike theft is quite rampant all over the world. So, get at least two bike locks for your adventure. We recommend two locks because bike thieves can pick one lock quite easily. In case you have two locks, it will take some time for them to unlock the bike, which you can use to your advantage. Therefore, whenever you are taking a nap, going to a public washroom, or going on a drinks/meal break, ensure your bike is properly locked and all of your essentials are either hidden away or kept in a bag with you. 

    How to Travel On Your Bike 

    Bicycle Transport

    On certain occasions, you will have to transport your bike along with the rest of the gear. Now, you will either be traveling by car or by plane/train. Below are some tips to help you out depending on the travel mode you choose. 

    By Car 

    Transporting your stuff along with your bike by car is pretty easiest of the two. You will just have to remove the wheels, re-adjust the handlebars and squeeze everything into a trunk or the vehicle’s backseat. To keep every nut and bolt of your bike in working condition, you should invest in a hitch rack or a roof trunk as they are more spacious. In case you can’t bring your car along for one reason or another, you can arrange a pickup and drop off. Get a friend or family to do this job for you. 

    By Plane or Train 

    Oftentimes, getting to the start or end of your biking adventures requires traveling via train or plane. Sure, these modes of transport are very travel-friendly, you will still need to pack accordingly. Knowing the regulations can also help you out. Bigger airlines usually have no problem dealing with bikes and other camping gear. However, make sure your stuff is inside a durable bag to keep it protected from any snags or tears. TSA stops bringing several fuel types on flights, so make sure your fuel source is empty. You will also have to box your bike and check it before boarding. 

    How To Pack Your Mountain Bike In A Bag For Travel 

    Pack a Bike Bag

    This section assumes you have already dismantled your bike. 

    After years of traveling with our mountain bikes, we have come across several great ways to pack your mountain bike in a bag depending on your budget constraints. There are inexpensive solutions such as using a cardboard bike box, which you can easily get from your local bike shop. Alternatively, you can go for hard shell bike boxes available in hardware stores. Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

    For instance, cardboard bike boxes are pretty cost-effective and easily accessible. They also come in cheerful and funky colors. However, you have to be extra careful with the packaging to secure your bike. So, packing and unpacking your bike can take a considerable amount of time. Conversely, hardshell bike cases offer a great deal of protection but can be rather cumbersome to tag along on railway stations and airports. 

    You can also go with a suitable bike case for flying (travel bag) available online or offline. There are some great options there such as the Evoc Travel Bag. This made in Germany travel bag has a fantastic design offering great durability along with portability. It’s also pretty easy to use. You can get it ready within 10 minutes without any hassle. 

    Finally, don’t forget to check up on how much the airlines are charging to transport your bike before booking your flight. You can call their customer service or email them if this information isn’t available on their website. Also, ensure that you have thoroughly checked all the details of luggage insurance. Your bike may not be insured yet, therefore you will have to take some special insurance to cover for a loss, theft, or damage during transit. 

    Final thoughts

    So, that’s pretty much it. Bike & travel can be fun, but it can also be problematic if you are not prepared for the journey. We hope you have thoroughly read our travel guide. With these mountain bike tips in mind and the necessary equipment in your bag, you are all set to have an adventure of your lifetime. Happy riding, and thank you for reading!

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    Mountain Bike Travel Tips for First Time Adventurers — Bike Hacks