The beauty of a day ride is you can travel light, but it’s still worth carrying all the essentials, some of which can be shared amongst your group.
Packing the right gear, snacks, and tools can be the difference between a fun day out on the trails and a long walk back to the car.
Regardless of the ride length though, there are a handful of essentials that should come with you every time you hop on your bike.
Every ride comes with a modest degree of risk. This can be reduced through careful planning and good decision making. The Backcountry Mountain Biking Guide has a great basic code for you to remember:-
Seek local knowledge, plan your route and the time you can reasonably expect it to take. The Hauraki Rail Trail is well signposted but we advise carrying a map for guidance.
Tell someone your plans and leave a date or time to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. We recommend that you ride with others.
Weather on and around the Hauraki Rail Trail can be changeable. Always check the weather and be prepared for unexpected changes.
It’s your responsibility to enjoy and maximise your riding experience. To minimise risk always ride within your physical limits and ability.
Make sure you have sufficient food, clothing, and equipment in case of emergency. Carry basic bike tools for repairs, a first aid kit and a means of communication.
The Guide although intended for remote riding, offers excellent advice and tips to ensure your adventure is fully prepared for should you encounter an unexpected hitch.
Think about who makes up your group? What’s their biking experience? What gear will you need? Have you researched where you are going and how long it will take?
With your research done, now it’s a question of what to pack. We've put together a handy list of the basics to help you prepare for your ride.
Backpack - a durable backpack is key to withstand adverse weather conditions or any damage on your rides.
Food - you can expect to consume about 50% more calories than you would use if you were at your office desk all day. Bananas are packed with potassium and carbohydrates, great for fuelling your muscles. Energy bars are handy too.
Water - carry a water bottle to avoid dehydration.
Clothing - pack extra layers and a rain jacket in case of changeable weather.
Helmet - it’s compulsory to wear a helmet in New Zealand. Make sure it fits properly. If you’re hiring a bike you should be given a helmet too.
Mini pump - vital for any long bike ride. Be prepared for pesky flat tires.
Spare tubes and patch kit - both will keep you riding, and not hiking.
Sun - stay sun safe with a hat, glasses, and cream. Rain, hail or shine, the sun can be harsh even during the winter months.
Basic first aid kit - it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not only for accidents you might have, but also should you encounter injured cyclists.
Means of communication - carry a charged mobile phone, especially for long bike rides. Another bonus is you can take awesome photos.
Map - no one wants to get lost. Maps are downloadable from the website.
Lights - carry a headlamp or torch for the tunnel or in case of dusky delays.
Wherever you’re headed, give yourself a little peace of mind and plan, prepare and pack to get the most from your ride. Happy adventuring.
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