Exercise and exhilaration are key to enjoying the outdoors and your family can experience both from the seat of a mountain bike. Mountain biking is an activity the whole family can get out and enjoy together and keeps kids (and you) away from all those devices for a few hours (or a whole weekend). To get the most out of your mountain bike holidays this (and any) season check out these 5 tips.
5 Tips to Get You the Best Mountain Bike Holidays
- Plan ahead: Wherever you’re going, make sure you have a trail map (Haliburton Forest has 300 km of mountain biking trails, from easy to difficult) and know what routes you want to take: you don’t want to hit the wrong biking trails for your group’s experience level. You’re only as strong as your weakest rider, so make sure there’s a trail that even the mini mountain bikers can enjoy. Check out mountain bike apps for reviews of trails and destinations. Keep track of trail conditions; the worst thing that can happen is to find out too late that the trail you wanted to take is washed out and you would have fared better on a different trail.
- Tune up your bike: Go to your local bike shop or DIY your tune up at home if you’re feeling handy. If you don’t have the equipment to do it from home or haven’t made the investment in a mountain bike of your own yet, Haliburton Forest provides mountain bike rentals from the Main Office at Base Camp. Another advantage of rentals: you don’t have to worry about transporting your bike on top of your car.
- Don’t forget ride nutrition: Fruits like bananas and apples have the right amount of vitamins and sugars to give you an energy boost while you’re out on the trails. Beef jerky is a great source of protein that won’t go bad in the heat of your backpack—but it’s high sodium so make sure you also bring a lot of fluids (whether you pack the jerky or not). Trail mix is light to carry and packs a powerful punch of energy with lots of carbs and protein.
- Leave no trace: No matter what you pack to eat on the trail, make sure you always bring any garbage or leftovers back out with you; it’s outdoor ethics rule number one. Keep the trail cleaner for the next rider than it was for you. Respect other riders, hikers, and the interesting wildlife you’re there to enjoy.
- Look for variety and convenience: Look for a network of trails that allows your family to stay on site or close by so you can get started early, come back to your base for lunch, and then head back out later in the day. With 300 km of trails at Haliburton Forest, each mountain bike trip will reveal something new to you.
The most important thing to do on your mountain bike holidays is have fun. Take pictures, challenge yourself, laugh with your family, and prepare to get muddy! The thrill of mountain biking is in the connections you make with nature and with each other while out on the trails.
Another way to ensure you’ll have the best mountain biking holidays in your future is to make sure you’ve packed properly. Download the Essential Packing List for Families to make life easier so you can focus on having fun.