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Essential Gear for Fall Mountain Biking

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By MIKE MILLER  |  Moonshine Ink

Summer is winding down and some of the best riding weather is upon us. We’ve recently been lucky to have afternoon isolated rain showers that moisten the soil, creating ideal trail conditions. Because of fall’s shorter days and variable weather, one should be especially prepared when riding out into the forest later in the day.

It’s always best to ride with a partner or group, but when riding alone, it’s a good idea to let a friend know when you’re leaving, where you’re going, and when you are back safely.

Always prepare for the worst when riding later in the year and possibly in the dark. The last thing you want to do is make your way back to the car from many miles away in the dark — or worse, spend the night out — because of a flat tire or because you do not have proper nighttime gear.

One of our customers shared an experience he had while riding in the Mt. Rose area late in the day, far from home, and alone. It got dark on him quickly and he was unprepared and not aware of his surroundings, so he became nervous and turned around. He decided to make camp for the night under a tree, covering himself with branches and pine needles. Once the sun started to rise, he proceeded to get out of the woods, only to realize that he was only a few hundred yards away from Highway 431. The moral of this story is that he got lucky, and it could have been a more serious situation.

Here are some recommended items to bring along on your fall riding adventures in order to be prepared for all scenarios:

CLOTHING:

• Light shell/wind-proof jacket

• Second layer jersey, 3/4 or long sleeve

• Extra pair of warm riding gloves

• Extra pair of socks

SAFETY:

• Helmet MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is recommended. Helmets should be replaced every three to four years. In high altitude climates, helmets become dried out quickly and won’t protect you from a large impact.

• Soft elbow and knee pads also double as arm/leg warmers. G-form pads are our favorite.

• High power lights with four to five hours’ worth of battery life. It’s best to have one on your helmet and one on your handlebar.

• Mountain bike guidebook and/or a map

• Lighter

NUTRITION:

• ProBar bite. Mixed berry and chocolate cherry cashew are our favorites.

• Gels like GU Energy Gels.

• Hydration drink tablets, just in case, with a water bottle.

REPAIR GEAR:

• Tube/sticker patch kit and tire boot for repairing sidewall damage

• Tire plug kit. We swear by our Dynaplug for plugging tubeless setups.

• 1 oz bottle of tire sealant plus valve core tool

• 1 oz bottle of chain lube

• Multi-tool with extra quick link for chain

• Quality hand pump and/or CO2 kit

• Zip ties and some Gorilla Tape wrapped on a hand pump

You can only carry so much, but these are a few essential things we suggest. For more details on equipment and how to use them, visit our store, Gravity Shop, in the Cobblestone Center in Tahoe City.

~ Mike Miller is an avid mountain biker and the owner of Gravity Shop.

 
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November 9, 2017