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The common definition of mountain biking is that of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using designed mountain bikes which require strength, endurance, balance, bike handling skills and self-reliance.The idea of biking in the mountain ranges gives a lovely feeling with cool air brushing through your face and riding through the rugged terrain gives you a whole new experience.
The kinds of equipment required for mountain biking in Bhutan:
There are various types of equipment required for mountain biking in Bhutan but among them, there are three main essential types of equipment you need for mountain biking:
A mountain bike or a mountain bicycle is a bicycle designed for off-road cycling. The mountain bikes are the same as the normal bicycles but have some advanced features to enhance the durability and performance in rough terrain. These bicycles include full suspension, large tires, durable wheels, powerful brakes, straight handlebars and a low gear for climbing steep grades. These bikes are built to explore rocky terrains and unpaved surfaces.
Mountain biking is a fun outdoor activity but to experience it fully you need to have some accessories to protect yourself from any mishaps on the hilly trails of the mountain.
The glasses have no difference from those that used in other cycling sports. It helps protect against debris while being on the trail. Filtered lenses with different colors for different seasons are worn to protect the eyes from strain.
Mountain bike riding shoes generally have gripping soles similar to those of hiking boots to scramble over un-ridable places. The shank of the mountain shoes is generally more flexible than road cycling shoes.
Heavy fabric clothing:
The clothes that are chosen for mountain biking are for physical exertion in the backcountry or to withstand the awareness of falling. Depending on the type of mountain biking, different types of clothes and styles are worn.
A hydration system is an apparatus used in outdoor activities. This is an important accessory for mountain bikers from simple water bottles to water bags with drinking tubes.
This navigation system is often added to the handlebars for the condition and progress of the trails.
These are used to fill the air on the tires. The time depends upon the pressure of the filling of the tires. Inflating to the lower number will increase traction and make the ride more comfortable. If it is inflated for the higher number it will make the ride more efficient and there will be fewer chances of getting a flat tire.
CO2 Inflator with cartridge:
The CO2 inflator is used to fill the tubeless tires. It generally uses liquefied gases that cannot be replaced at home and it is mostly used by the mountain bikers to save weight and to save time if they get punctured during the race.
Mountain bikers are frequently away from a help so it is important to extra bike tubes and different bike tools to handle damage or any problem with the bike itself.
These high-power lights are used especially for mountain biking at night with LED technology. It helps to clear the visibility of the rider. The second purpose is to throw light into the reflective materials like traffic signs and the rough terrain properly and the last is to illuminate the roadway so that the rider can see ahead.
Gears for protection: Ride safe, ride sure
Helmets provide head protection and using helmets while riding is common for all mountain bikers. The main three types of helmets are cross-country, rounded skate border style and full-face.
Body armor and pads:
It is often referred to as simply an “armor” which protects limbs and trunk in the event of any misshapen during the biking. While it is initially marketed at downhillers, free riders, and jump or street riders, body armor has used in other areas of mountain biking as the trails have become steeper and technically higher.
They offer comfort while riding, by reducing the friction and protecting against major hand injuries. They can also provide protection in the event of getting hurt at the back or palm and protect the hands, fingers, and knuckles from getting bruised in the rough surfaces.
First Aid Kit:
The medical kit is carried by the mountain bikers so that they can clean and dress cuts or bruises and join broken limbs.
Types of mountain biking in Bhutan:
This type of cycling generally means riding on point-to-point or in a loop including climbs and descents on every terrain. It focuses on physical strength and endurance more than the other forms which require greater technical skill.
Enduro is a type of mountain biking where the downhills are timed rather than the up hills. Riders are timed in stages in downhill with neutral ’transfer-stages’ and these transfer stages must be completed within a limited time.
Downhill mountain biking is a type of mountain biking practiced on steep, rough terrain. They are heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes to move quickly over rocks and tree roots.
It is a new style of mountain biking where four bikers race downhill trying to get down first. The bike used in this biking is usually light and hard trails and have relatively strong frames for good cornering and acceleration.
It is a type of mountain biking which is closely related to downhill biking and dirt jumping mainly focused on tricks, styles and trail features. This biking is now recognized as the most popular among all other types of mountain biking.
Dirt Jumping is one of the mountain biking given to the practice of riding bikes over dirt or soil. It is similar to mountain bike racing where the rider jumps off of a mound of dirt and performs a trick in the mid-air in between. The only difference is the jumps are usually larger and are designed to lift a rider higher in the air.
Mountain bike trials are also known as observed trials. In this biking, a rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to the ground. It can be performed either off-road or in an urban environment. This requires an excellent balance of effectively overcoming the obstacles.
Urban or Street:
This biking is essentially the same as Freestyle BMX in which riders perform tricks on or over some man-made objects. The bikes are the same as those used in Dirt Jumping. They are light and are typically hard trails with front suspension so as not to hurt any human being during the trick.
Trail riding is a recreational mountain biking on unpaved, waymarked trails or forest paths. This takes the form of single routes or larger complexes, known as trail centres. It can be of any length, including a long distance or multi-day trip. There are some “trail-bike” designs for this activity.
Marathon biking is a long tour mountain bike racing on dirt roads and single tracks with a mountain bike. Due to the increasing marathon biking, many off-road long trails are being used to increase the interest of the tourists visiting Bhutan in recent days.
Bikepacking is a lightly-loaded single or multiple night mountain biking. It is similar to bike touring but it involves carrying less gear and using smaller frame bags and is used mainly for forest roads or single track trails.
Ride a mountain bike for exploring the trails of rocky terrain!!
With its environment, landscape, villages, valleys, mountain passes and so forth, Bhutan is a natural mountain biking country. So, visit Bhutan with Utkarsh Travels and indulge yourself in the most exciting outdoor activity of biking in Bhutan for an experience which you never had before.