One of the most exciting and interesting types of cycling involves going off-road. This means cycling through wild areas where there are often not even paths or trails. You need to be ready for anything if you are going to try this type of biking. There are a few ways to prepare for an off-road cycling trip.
Ride the Right Type of Bike
If you want to start exploring off-road areas, then you need the right type of bike. You really want a mountain or specialised off-road bike that has wide and tough tires. Do not attempt to go off-road cycling on a racing or road bike. The tires are not designed for the uneven terrain. The rims could bend or other problems might occur. Check your bike thoroughly before leaving to make certain that it is in good condition.
Know Where You Are Going
The idea of exploring an area off the beaten path can be very exciting. You do not want to go cycling into an area without first knowing where you are going. You should find a map or go online to study the terrain. Print a map to bring along if you can. You need to know what major features are in the area and the terrain that you will encounter. This will help to prevent you from suddenly encountering a drop-off or other features that could put you at risk of injuries.
Bring Along Safety and Repair Gear
You never know what is going to happen when you are biking through off-road conditions. You might encounter a rough patch of terrain that causes your tire to blow out. There is a chance you could hit a sudden ditch and fall off your bike. Bring along a backpack filled with safety and repair gear. You want a tire repair kit and a bicycle pump. If you have a good Toepeak pump handy, then you can deal with flats. Bring along water and a first aid kit as well. This will help you to treat any cuts or injuries that you sustain while cycling.
Watch the Time
The final step is to watch the time. You do not want to go out too late. You also do not want to stay out too late. If you are in an off-road area, then there are not likely to be any lights around. This means that it will get dark very quickly once the sun starts to set. This can leave you in the middle of a dangerous and wild area without any way to see where you are going. Start your off-road trip as early as possible. Start heading out of the area at least an hour before the sun is going to start setting.
Off-road cycling can be rewarding and memorable. You want to keep the chance of injuries and accidents down to a minimum. You do not want to be stranded with a flat tire or become lost in a strange area at night. Taking the time to properly prepare for your off-road trip will ensure that you have a good time with no problems.