By Charlie Brown
If you have never done off-road cycling and think that it is the same as the regular cycling you do, then you need to think again. Off-road riding is a whole different thing and only proper preparation would be ideal if you are seeking to enjoy your time on the terrains. Preparation here means more than just the map of the area you are planning to tour – it includes all aspects, from the equipment to style and more. The following tips will help you plan for your off-road cycling expedition, especially if it is your first.
Use the right bike
The first thing you will need to have is the right machine for the job. The requirements cannot be met by the road touring bike you cruise with on the even grounds. First, you need puncture proof tires on sturdy spook wheels. The frame should be steel and the front suspension should be effective for making smooth and swift maneuvers of the handlebar. Choose a bar end that offers you comfort, and go for a sprung saddle for the rough trails you are likely to encounter.
Strike a balance on what you need to carry
While it may be possible to travel with a fully loaded bicycle through the off-road terrains, you can be sure that it is not an easy thing to do. On the other hand, light luggage can make your bicycle touring simpler and more fun. This therefore calls for traveling light, only with what you need. Using a trailer would be an excellent way to carry your luggage to ease the weight on the rear wheel that has to take your weight in the first place. You could add a bag just above the front wheel suspension forks.
Do not expect to have all the facts you need for your trip on a single day and think that you are ready. It is advisable to be flexible and to allow a reasonable margin for error when scheduling and planning. More importantly, gather information about the area you will be visiting and if possible, get it first hand from locals. It will be best if you could avoid surprises on the road.
It is not about the distance covered
Unlike paved road riding, off-road riding is not about the distance covered. In fact, you will notice that you will cover about half of the distance you always cover on the same bicycle in the same period. The conditions are different and it would require that you cut your speed. This would mean that your preparations will have to be adjusted accordingly in terms of supplies. Also, the tour is likely to be a workout for you if you haven’t been doing technical cycling.
It is important to ensure that you are self-sufficient when planning off-road riding. It will probably be a challenge to get access to reliable drinking water, food supplies, shelter or human contact when you are out in the wild. Consider packing drinking water, chlorine or iodine tablets for purification, and a water filter. You will need a fully loaded first aid kit, plastic bags, and a solar charger.
Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e7/Thorn.nz.JPG
Author Bio: Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many articles on technology, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, career, travel, health, etc. He has great experience in the field of writing. In his free time, he loves to spend more time in sharing his knowledge with his friends.
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