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Hitting The Trails For a Solo Mountain Biking Adventure? 

Here are 7 things you should remember before heading out mountain biking alone. 


A female mountain biking on a trail in the forest.

Embarking on a solo mountain biking adventure can be exhilarating and liberating, allowing you to connect with nature on your own schedule and push your limits in ways that group rides may not. However, riding solo also comes with its own set of challenges and risks that must be carefully considered and prepared for. Whether you're a seasoned rider or new to the trails, prioritizing safety is paramount to ensure a memorable and incident-free experience. In this post, we'll explore essential safety tips to help you make the most of your solo mountain biking adventures while staying safe and prepared for whatever the trail throws your way.


Let Someone Know Where You're Going

This one should probably go without saying, but it can be an easy oversight in today's bustling world. Make sure you tell someone where you're going, what time you expect to return and how long after they should be worried if you still need to check-in. And make sure you check in once you've returned! 


If your plan changes, be sure to update that person. Otherwise, don't deviate from your original plan unless it's absolutely necessary.


Have Someone Track You

I don't intend to be creepy here, but a handful of apps can help put you and your significant other at ease by letting them live-track your location and keep tabs on where you are. These are the two that my husband and I use: 


Strava Beacon: If you have a premium Strava account, there is a live tracking beacon feature that shares your location with someone of your choosing. You can set it up to automatically send that contact person a text with a link to see your beacon when you hit 'start' on a workout. 


Google Maps: Simply share your location with someone who knows where you are and when to expect you back. 

A female mountain biking on a trail in the desert.

Have a Way of Communicating For Help

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before heading out. It can be your greatest tool for navigating and calling for help in an emergency. But what if there is no cell signal? What is your contingency plan? I like carrying a Garmin Inreach Mini and making sure it's charged and tested before heading out. 

If you ride with a smartwatch, most have a 'crash/fall detection' feature, so make sure you have that set up properly.


Be Prepared:

This means that now is not the time to skimp on your tools and supplies, snacks, and hydration. Make sure you have the means and know how to repair common mechanicals, such as a flat tire or broken chain, which can save the headache of hiking out. 


Wear Proper Gear

Always wear a helmet and consider additional protective gear such as knee and elbow pads, especially if you're riding technical terrain or attempting challenging features. And remember to check the weather forecast in case you need to pack a jacket or another layer. 

A female posing on a mountain bike on a boardwalk.

Stay Hydrated and Energized:

Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout your ride. Dehydration and low blood sugar can lead to fatigue and poor decision-making on the trail.


Know Your Limits and Play Within It:

Save the gnarly mountain biking for the group rides! Now is not the time to try new or challenging trails or features. Ensure you ride within your skill level and avoid attempting trails or features beyond your capabilities.


This also means listening to and trusting your instincts. If something doesn't feel right or you're unsure about a section of trail, it's okay to walk your bike or turn back. Listen to your intuition and prioritize your safety above all else.


As you venture out on your solo mountain biking adventure, remember that safety should always be your top priority. By equipping yourself with the right tools, knowledge, and mindset, you can confidently tackle the trails while minimizing risks and maximizing enjoyment. Whether you're exploring familiar routes or embarking on new adventures, hopefully, the tips outlined in this post serve as a valuable resource to help you navigate solo riding with confidence and peace of mind. So go ahead and embrace the solitude of the trail, but always ride smart and stay safe out there. 


If mountain biking solo is not your cup of tea, be sure to join us at one of our Ride Outs this season! Our Ride Outs bring folks together and help you explore new trail systems with ease.


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