Essentials are a bike, helmet, and water bottle.
Bikes are available for a variety of purposes, depending on your skill level and the terrain that you will be riding. A trip to the local bike shop is a great place to start. For the off road terrain that we encounter, a mountain bike is definitely the way to go. Be sure to have the bike properly sized and thoroughly checked for safe operation.
Before each ride, increase the chances of a safe, trouble free ride, by checking your bike’s ABCs:
- A – Air – check the air in your tires, that the tires are not rubbing and are secured properly
- B – Brakes – check to make sure both front and back brakes are functioning properly
- C – Chain – ride around your starting area, shifting gears to check that they are running smoothly with no clinks
We always recommend wearing your helmet, and it is critical that it be sized appropriately and adjusted for a snug fit, positioned to protect the front of your head. Any bike shop or your coach can help you adjust your helmet properly.
No matter what you wear, or how much, a very important thing to remember about bike clothing is that it must fit snugly so that it won’t get caught in moving parts of the bike. Some kids like to wear shorts or tights specifically designed for biking with a soft pad integrated in. This is especially helpful on longer rides or rides on very rough terrain.
Some people prefer to wear gloves while riding. If you decide to wear gloves, find a pair that still allows movement of your hand for proper braking and shifting.
Basics of bike shoes are firm shoes with closed toes. Some kids will advance to wearing shoes that clip into the pedal. This does take special shoes and matching pedals, and some skill to use them, but they will ultimately give you better control on your bike. Discuss it further with your coaches to determine if you are ready to pursue this.
Always hydrate well when staying active by bringing water along. It is nice to have a water bottle cage mounted to your bike for your water bottle. If you don’t have one, make sure you bring a hydration pack with water.