Thursday, October 13, 2011

6 things to remember when going on a destination trip.

Ride lots leading up to your trip, you can never be in good enough shape. Typically on a destination trip the fitness required for a single day is not a problem for most. Where you'll shine however is when the days accumulate, and then throw in some altitude, some climbing and a big day (or two) in the saddle and you'll be happy that you arrived fit.

Talk to your tour operator about the technical ability required on the trip and the specifics of the riding. Is the riding in the desert of Morocco and generally dry and loose and midly technical singletrack and doubletrack? Or is the trip all-mountain in BC with an emphasis on going downhill where the trails are rocky and rooty? This information will ensure that you are able to handle the riding, or if you'll need to spruce up on your riding skills with a local riding coach.

Is your bike ready? Make sure that your bike is ready and know what tweaks to make. This goes along with the above point. A good tour operator should know the best tires to bring, if a shorter stem might be a good idea, or bars with a substantial rise. And definitely don't get your bike serviced just before leaving, have at least a few rides on it before putting in the box.

Get travel and medical insurance. If you break your pinky three days before flying to Peru and have to cancel travel insurance will reimburse you for your flight and land cost. If you go down on the trip and need to get home, medical insurance will cover expenses. It's best to kick down and get the most comprehensive packages that include heli-evac and more. Afterall, we're mountain bikers and what we do is risky.

Packing your bike is easy. Well, it's not as hard as you think. There are more options than ever for bike boxes: Crateworks, EVOC and Dakine are good considerations. Or, you could swing down to your local bike shop and get a large cardboard box which works fine (they'll even pack your bike too if you want). Unfortunately expect to pay an additional fee to the airline to take your bike, usually between $50-$200 each way. Or you can have Bike Flights ship your bike for you.

Just below the Italian/Swiss border.
One of the best parts of going on an overseas trip with your mountain bike is the dreaming and planning. Take the time to do some research on your destination and read up on the history, culture and sights. And, of course spend lots of time dreaming about the great singletrack and adventures that lays ahead.

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