January 26, 2015 - 12:32 AM
Sometimes you come across something in your riding routine that makes you think about how you are doing things and how flawed your thinking has been all along. This week I was a local open space preserve that while it isn’t far from civilization as the crow flies, is very remote due to the rugged terrain. If you’re seeking out this park you’re a serious hiker or biker, or so I thought. During my ride I came across a jogger that was about 12 miles into her 24 mile run. It was closing in on midday, was a warm 85F day, and she had been on the trail since 9:30 am. Yet all she had was a small jogging bottle of water that had long been emptied. I shared about 1/2 of a bottle of water out of the two water bottles I was carrying with me, and again the my remaining water that I had with me on my way back to the car about 90 min later. While I was carrying plenty of water for myself, it never occurred to me that in an emergency I might have to share my water with other riders or in this case joggers rendering my water supply short. So that got me thinking about what I should be carrying in my Camelback. I’v revisited my checklist of items that I take with me and share them here. First, everyday rides at local trails that aren’t that remote or without other people nearby. Second, epic rides that are either long, i.e., 15+ miles, or when remote or hot conditions are expected. Routine local rides (8-14miles) • Tire Pump • Patch kit • Spare inner tube • Tire levers • Multipurpose Tool Set • Space Blanket • Energy bars • GPS • 1 liter water • Cell Phone • SPOT Satellite Emergency Locator Epic Rides or Hot trail conditions • All the above items • Chain tool • Spare chain link • Spare tire • Salt Tablets • Hi calorie snacks • Water filtration or purifying system. • First aid kit • Asprin • Tylenol • Sunblock • Flashlight While there is always going to be a tradeoff on the weight you end up carrying, being prepared can help yourself or others get out of a jam that might otherwise result in a very unpleasant evening in the wilderness or worse, and a good story around the dinner table.
Riding With Your Toddler
December 24, 2014 - 07:42 PM
I know what you’re thinking. An enjoyable Mountain Bike ride with a toddler? Ok, it’s true you’re not likely going to be hitting the trails at Whistler or Downieville with your 2 year old but with a lot of preparation and patience the both of you can enjoy a good day out on the local trails. Here’s how I do it. First, leverage your toddler’s natural body rhythm, active in the morning and napping during the ride. I’ll spend the morning gathering all the gear together and prepping my bike in the garage so they’re busy and involved with the outing, then back inside where I prepare a basic lunch box with a variety of snacks and juices. Kraft Lunchables are one of my favorite foods to take along during the rides as there’s some variety for the kids to choose from and they don’t take a lot of time to prepare. After the child is safely buckled into their car seat I load everything from the garage into the car along with the bike and we’re off to the trail. I usually choose a local paved trail that has a number of interesting diversions for the kids and a break for mom or dad. For example, one of our favorite trails has a number of playgrounds and a model RC airplane club along the route. When our first child was born I looked at all the typical child carriers, the rear seat, the front seat, the middle seat, and the trailer. I primarily wanted light weight, a low center of gravity, and good crash protection just in case something unforeseen happened and we went down. I settled on the Trek GoBug series of trailers. Trek sold both a single child and two child versions. The deluxe models came with a rain cover and converted into jogging strollers as well. Unfortunately these trailers are no longer sold by Trek, however there are a number of other similar products out there by Burley and Schwinn. The Trek GoBug trailers are very light, collapsible, have 5 point harnesses and a roll bar for crash protection. The trailer connects to your bike with a clever universal joint and tracks flawlessly behind the bike while in motion. I can easily maintain a 12-13mph pace towing the trailer on a flat trail. My rides typically are in the 15 mile range with occasional rides up to 30 miles while towing the child in the trailer. Both of my kids will typically fall asleep within the first 10 minutes of the ride and sleep until I stop. While this solution isn’t likely going to find you out on your favorite singletrack trail, it can keep you in the game with a provide a great workout and as a bonus provide a strong bonding vehicle with your child.