Sure, you could throw caution to the wind, hop on your bicycle without any emergency gear, a map or water and probably be just fine out on the ever-growing maze of Central Oregon mountain bike trails.
Key word there being “probably.” But here’s where the phrase “better safe than sorry” comes into play.
Got it? Let’s recap, and add a few items.
* Spare tire inner tube and/or patch kit
* Frame pump (or CO2 cartridges)
* Water and/or electrolyte mix (better to have too much than too little water)
* Snacks (gels are good, real food is great too)
* Bike specific multi-tool
* Extra layers of clothing for changing weather conditions
* First aid kit
If it sounds like a lot – it’s really not. Most of the items can fit in a seat pack, small backpack or hydration pack (which can hold all your stuff AND 100 oz. of water) or a gear bottle like TJ showed you in the video above.
Not sure where to go or how to get there? Beyond a map, bike shops like The Hub and Hutch’s Bicycles in Bend offer “no drop” group rides for cyclists of all levels. It’s a great opportunity for locals and visitors to meet some folks in the area and learn a little bit about the trails in an unintimidating environment. (Both shops rent bikes as well.)
You can also go out on a guided tour with Cog Wild Mountain Bike Tours and Shuttles in Bend. They offer a variety of tours, including some very family-friendly trips designed to introduce you and your kids to the sport of mountain biking. The guides carry spare tubes and tools – and snacks on the family rides – so all you have to do is enjoy the challenge and the scenery.
“Our guide was amazing with our 7 and 9 year old kids on their first real mountain bike trip. He helped them do 6 miles of single track on Phil’s trail. Highlight of our trip to Bend!” – 2013 tour guest
Cog also runs Cog Wild Shuttles in Bend to get cyclists a little farther up the trails for easy access to the fun, rollercoaster-like downhill trails.
Just be sure to pack smart and be prepared for everything that comes your way.