How to Plan the Ultimate Mountain Biking Getaway

Mountain Biking
There are casual mountain bikers. And then there are people who plan mountain biking trips and getaways. Once you cross the threshold from afternoon trail rides to entire mountain biking trips, you know you’ve become serious about the sport.

But just because you’re a serious biker doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. In fact, if you’re going to go through the effort of planning a mountain biking getaway of this magnitude, we recommend having as much fun as possible.

Why Plan a Mountain Biking Trip?

Mountain biking trips are exciting and rewarding for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • See new places. You can plan a trip to Disney World, New York City, Paris, or London and see some amazing things. But at the end of the day, it’s nothing you haven’t seen in pictures and movies. Sure, it’s neat to be there and experience all of the sensory elements, but it is what it is. With a mountain biking trip, you quite literally go off the beaten path and find yourself immersed in corners of nature that are rarely visited or photographed. You won’t find tour buses full of Nikon-carrying, Hawaiian shirt-wearing tourists. Nor are there gift shops and long lines. It’s just you, your bike, and nature.

  • Chance to escape. In a lot of cases, “vacations” can be more exhausting than rejuvenating. You come back and need to recoup before you return to work. But with a mountain biking trip, you get a real escape. A chance to decompress and get away from the stressors you face on a daily basis. This is rare in today’s society that you should take advantage of the opportunity anytime you can.

  • Time with friends. There’s something powerful about traveling with a group of friends who have a shared bond around a tangible activity. You’re not just going to the beach and drinking beer all day with your college buddies. You’re engaging in an adventure with people who are interested in challenging themselves and spending time with nature. That’s where real friendships thrive.

  • Improve your skills. Most of us only get to ride once or maybe twice per week if we’re lucky. But on a mountain biking trip, you get to ride multiple times per day for consecutive days. This is a fantastic way to build endurance and acquire new skills at a pace that would otherwise take months to achieve.

  • Cost-effective. To be honest, you can do a mountain biking trip very cost-effectively. Unlike other trips where you have to shell out money to do anything, mountain biking is basically free once you have all of the equipment. You’ll likely be camping and cooking your own meals around a fire. That’s as inexpensive as it gets!

You don’t need to be an expert mountain biker or have every piece of gear and equipment on the market to plan a trip. It simply starts with a willingness to try something new and roll with the punches. If you adopt this sort of mentality, you’ll do well.

7 Planning Tips for Success

Anyone can plan a mountain biking trip with a few clicks on the internet. The question is, how do you plan a successful trip that’s fun, safe, affordable, and enjoyable for everyone? Here are several planning tips that you’d do well to embrace:

1. Choose the Destination

The great thing about mountain biking is that there are so many good trails and terrains in the United States. It doesn’t matter which state or region you’re in; you’ll find options. However, if you’re looking for world-class mountain biking, here are 10 bucket list destinations that are certainly worth trying.

Decide early on what kind of trip this is going to be. Do you want to tackle a single trail where you ride, camp overnight, and ride some more? Or are you looking for multiple shorter tracks that require you to drive in between?

2, Set a Budget

Get an idea of what kind of budget you have for the trip. And if you’re traveling with others, make sure they have some input as well. You need to know if you have $500 to spend or $5,000. It obviously makes a difference.

3. Find a Crew

It’s important to get your trip companions squared away as soon as possible. This will allow people to check their schedules and commit before they add other events and trips to their calendars.

You’ll have to decide who to invite, but generally speaking, it’s a good idea to get people who are all on roughly the same skill level. Otherwise, you could have problems with certain people lagging behind and others pulling way ahead. The ideal trip size is three to six people.

4. Get Your Equipment Ready

Once your trip dates and destination are nailed down, you can start thinking about equipment. If there are any parts or upgrades you need before the trip, order them as soon as possible. This will give you time to try them out ahead of time.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to bring your own bike. For example, if you’re flying to the destination, this might not be a realistic option. Near most major mountain biking trailheads, you’ll find mountain bike rental services that have top-notch bikes and equipment. Do some research to see if this could work in your situation. 

5. Pack Wisely

When packing, the goal is to bring the bare minimum. In all likelihood, you’ll be carrying your possessions the entire time. So anytime you pack something, ask yourself if it’s worth the weight. We recommend sticking with the bare essentials.

6. Consider Getting a Guide

Anytime you’re riding a challenging trail for the first time, it’s helpful to have someone with local knowledge and experience. It doesn’t matter how much technology you have, there’s no replacement for firsthand experience. That’s why you might consider getting a guide for a day or two. (Again, just an option!)

7. Plan Other Activities

Realistically, you can’t ride trails for 15 hours a day. You might spend six or seven hours biking each day, but that leaves a lot of time to do other things. Plan ahead to create a more well-rounded experience for everyone.

“Just because you are on a mountain bike adventure, does not mean you have to constantly be riding. Try to relax and blow off steam when you are not riding,” Mountain Bike Action Magazine suggests. “There are plenty of other activities that the outdoors allows for. It could be fishing, hiking or just sitting around with your buddies having a cold beer.”

If you’re traveling in a group, try to get a feel for what everyone wants to do. By incorporating everyone’s interests into the trip planning process, you make it a more enjoyable experience for all.

Hit the Road, Jack!

There’s never been a better time to plan a mountain biking trip. At a time when most forms of travel like cruises, theme parks, and crowded tourist destinations are being discouraged, there’s something fresh and exciting about getting out in nature and breathing in clean air alongside the people you love.

Use this guide to start the planning process! And if there’s anything we missed, please let us know. Here’s to the trip of a lifetime!