Planning Out Your Multi-Day Mountain Bike Trip in 10 Steps
Are you ready to move from long daily rides to multi-day trips? There are some important plans you should make if you are thinking of planning a multi-day bike trip. We have jotted these down in ten easy steps:
1. Scout out a Location
Mountain bikes can take you places that no other vehicles can go and they allow you to cover large amounts of terrain quickly compared to hiking. It is a great way to explore the great outdoors and just have an epic time riding with your buddies. The first thing you want to consider when planning a multi-day mountain bike trip is the location.
Your multi-day mountain bike adventure planning will depend on where in the world you are riding. Be it a high mountain pass or some single tracks in a tropical forest. If you need ideas and inspiration for some great mountain biking locations, check out our many suggestion destinations here.
Now that you know where you are riding, you need to think about how you are going to get yourself, your bike and all your other equipment to your ride location. Depending on the distance and accessibility, you could pack your bike and fly commercially to the nearest airport to your destination, you could use an RV and drive yourself to the location or you could simply bike there if it is close enough.
3. Type of Riding
Figure out what type of riding you want to do. If you are an experienced mountain biker, you may already have your preferences. In fact, if you have a particular type of riding in mind, then you may even want to choose your ride location depending on the style of riding. Are you looking for flowy and scenic XC trails? Do you want fast-paced enduro sections or some technical downhill? Or a little bit of everything?
4. How to Find Trails
Mountain bikers these days have it easy when it comes to finding trails. Technology is a real boon in this regard. Platforms like Strava and Komoot are excellent for finding trails and helping you plan your multi-day mountain bike itinerary in much more detail. Komoot is especially handy for planning. It is a route planning app and website that can help you put trails, roads and terrain and connect them together to form customized routes that you can follow, make it as fun as you like.
Google Earth is another great resource which allows you a satellite view of the terrain and trails around which can help a great deal with planning.
5. Get a Guide or Not
A mountain bike guide that is familiar with the terrain and area around can be invaluable and can make your multi-day trip a huge success. No amount of technology or planning can replace someone who knows the trails in the area like the back of his/her hand and can suggest the best routes, places to eat, other activities to enjoy and piece together your whole adventure to fit in all the fun you can possibly have. If your multi-day trip is something which is well documented on Strava and it has been done by others before, then you may not need a guide. However, if you are planning a ride which is more unique and off-beat, a guide is your best bet.
Consider whether you want to use your own bike for the adventure or is it more practical to rent one out? If you have your own bike, is it the right kind of bike for the type of riding you are planning? Make sure you carry essential spares – a multitool, patch kits, tubes, air pump, a spare chain and even a spare tire. Also, it’s a good idea to have watched some how-to videos on simple fixes that you might need during your ride. The last thing you want is for your bike to break down in the middle of nowhere and not know how to fix it.
7. Food, Water and Clothing
Pack riding gear which is protective and which makes sense for the weather of your ride location. You will thank yourself for packing light when you have hundreds of miles to pedal out. For a multi-day adventure, a hydration pack and plenty of energy bars and trail mix will go a long way when you run out of gas and the nearest restaurant is still miles away.
If you are an experienced camper, you can cut costs by simply camping out. However, you should keep in mind that you are going to need good rest after a day of physical exertion in the form of mountain biking. Choosing a lodge with beds and hot showers may just seem heavenly at the end of a long day of riding.
Just because you are on a mountain bike adventure, does not mean you have to constantly be riding. Try to relax and blow off steam when you are not riding. There are plenty of other activities that the outdoors allows for. It could be fishing, hiking or just sitting around with your buddies having a cold beer.
If you have internet where you are, your mobile phone can be a great source of entertainment as well. You play games on it, connect with friends and family and even spend time editing some of the epic mountain bike photos and videos you have taken so far and share it on social media.
If you are feeling lucky, you could even sign up at a mobile online casino. There are plenty of mobile casinos which offer new players free casino credits that you can gamble with. Make sure to visit NoDepositHero for a list of the best mobile casino bonuses with no deposit required.
10. Safety and Survival
This is especially important if you are riding in a remote area which is miles away from any civilization and your adventure is without a guide. A basic survival kit is a must – think about shelter, water, and fire. A satellite phone can save you from dire straits in places with no mobile network. Always keep your friends and family updated about your plans and where you are so they know to look for you should they not hear from you. A first aid kit, a knife, mosquito repellent, a tent, a sleeping bag, etc. are things you should not overlook.
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.