It is important to be thoroughly prepared when mountain biking. Mitigating the chance of injuries is a must. You may be heading out to remote areas. Even at Hartland, you can travel significant distances on your bike and can end up far from the parking lot. It makes for a long walk when you have a mechanical problem. Do not rely on others to have equipment. The following rules apply and hosts reserve the right to ask you not to participate:
- Bike! Your bike must be in good working condition. Make sure your brakes work, your wheels are securely fastened to the bike frame, and your gears shift smoothly. Ensure your chain is oiled and you have enough air in your tires. If you are unsure about how to check these things, you should be able to get your questions answered at one of the local bike shops.
- Helmet (required to ride with the club)
- Leg armour (highly recommended)
- Arm armour (highly recommended)
- Riding gloves
- Spare tube and patch kit
- Tire levers
- Bike pump
- Proper footwear
- Eye protection (suggested)
- When downhilling, a full-face helmet; goggles and chest armour are highly recommended.
- The very best and brightest lights you can afford if you will be riding in the dark.
On every ride you must take sufficient fuel to enable your body to complete the ride. Nutritional needs vary: it is important to know what works for you. Generally, but not always, one nutrition bar for every hour of riding is sufficient. It is always best to pack extra. Not everyone likes bars; you will need to know what your body likes for fuel. A mixture of proteins and carbohydrates is best. Please do not show up for a ride if you have not fuelled your body ahead of time. Not only will you lack the energy to complete the ride, but you are also putting yourself at risk for injury. The other Dirty Girlz on the ride are also affected, as we never allow a nutritionally compromised rider to leave the group alone.
Adequate hydration is essential on every ride. We strongly suggest that you carry at least 2 litres of water with you. You may need even more if your ride is over 2 hours long. In hotter weather, you will need more water. The most common type of water carrier is a hydration pack. This is a backpack that not only carries your water in a bladder, but also provides a place to put the other riding essentials listed above. Hydration packs come in many styles and a range of prices. If your bike has 2 water bottle cages, you may prefer to bring 2 large water bottles. Some riders like to use electrolytes as part of their hydration plan.
Clothing decisions are a matter of personal taste and preference– and also crucial to enjoying your ride. The important thing is to be comfortable. It is best to have clothing that allows you to move freely and is made of wicking material. It is not uncommon to feel cold quickly during breaks in the ride or when descending. During cooler weather, we suggest that you wear layers so that you can add or remove them as needed. Please be prepared for weather changes and emergency situations.