The only thing that can ruin your MTB excursion is being caught in a sudden downpour UNPREPARED. With the right accessories and preparation, this just makes everything better. If you hope to catch the fun and thrills of a rainy day on the trails, be sure to pack right. The following list of accessories can keep what’s important dry and you from getting hurt or stranded in a sudden shower.
The best way to keep the falling rain from dampening your spirits and tighty-whities is with a protective barrier worn over the head and shoulders. The poncho-styles are great because they are packable and fairly effective. But, all that lose flapping can get in the way of navigating tight trails and could even get caught on passing branches.
Look for rainproof gear that is a bit tighter- fitting if you hope to do this sort of thing regularly. DWR materials have come a long way and come in some snug stretchy designs to keep you dry and mobile.
To keep the fun from assaulting you from all sides, a proper set of mudguards will do well. Here there is a wealth of options available to the MTB looking to stay a bit clean as well as dry. There are two major categories of mudguard: the smaller ones that fit the forks and frames and can even be adjusted according to the specifics of the situation and the larger more stable type that fasten to the axles and are not as easy to remove.
For use on the trail, the smaller options offer greater versatility across a larger range of environments. It is essential that you get these for the front and back tries to keep your vision clear as well.
Rain and mud are a big part of the fun can also reduce your visibility and increase the potential for accidents. A quality set of MTB goggles can keep protect your eyes from flying objects and foliage and help you see clearly in the falling rain. If you will be in an extremely muddy environment, you may consider using a “tear off” or “roll off” goggles. These allow the rider to quickly remove the soiled film and regain clear vision after having mud slung in their face.
Don’t leave home without them! Having all you need to repair your MTB on the fly is not only going to make you more confident as an athlete but also improve your overall experience. There are plenty of options available and as long as you aren’t cutting too many corners you can hardly go wrong. But, you should consider the pack in which you will tote these accessories. Make sure it isn’t located anywhere that will impede your mobility. You can even find some sophisticated instant inflation devices that make flats a small problem, so you won’t be stuck in the rain long.
Along with the possibility of mending your bike, the chances of the rider being injured in the rain are greatly increased. Be sure you have your protective gear on and a handy first aid kit… just in case.
Night can fall quickly out in the forest and trails and maneuvering about in low visibility can be dangerous. When it begins to rain visibility can be dropped in the middle of the day, so always be sure to keep a good set of lights on hand. You will need white lights at the front of the bike to alert you to obstacles and a good set of signal lights in the rear to keep you safe from traffic. You never know when trails can cross a busy road and you need to be visible to other motorists.