Your ride depends on what you carry and how you carry it.

Hydration

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Quick Link

Hydro Packs

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Quick Link

Food / Ride Nutrition

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Quick Link

EPIC Bike Packing

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Quick Link

Tool Kits

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Quick Link

Heart Health Video

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Video Link

Staying Hydrated for your ride

Bucket Brigade

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Hydration Bladders

Basic Information is Very Helpful

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Water, Gatorade, Ice tea, or your own special mix. You must drink to keep going. If you don't you will cramp up, dry out the lube in your knee and hip joints (accumulative damage), or worse you could shut down your kidneys.  May have lost one already and you would never know it.

A good intake rate is about 15oz - 20oz an hour under heavy exercise. 

Remember to drink when it is cold out too.

In the Mountains, or at Elevation, you must increase your water intake by about 5 - 10 oz an hour.

Bladder vs Bottles

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You can easily tell a road cyclist from a mountain biker. Road cyclist have bike bottles all over their frame. Anyplace at all.

Really is nothing like having your bottled water roast in the sun, leaching plastic and getting covered in all the mud and dirt from the trails. Get yourself a Hydro-pack if you do not have one.

Thermally Isolated Hydration Pack

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A Thermally Isolated Hydration Pack is like riding with an ice filled cooler on your back.  

Like the ad says, stays cool for 4 hours.  

Experience says it stays Cold as Ice for 4 hours or longer. Even on a 95 degree day.  

What Size Bladder? 100 oz or 70 oz

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Water = Weight.

Use a 70 oz Bladder if your ride is 3 hours or less.

Use a 100 oz Bladder if your ride is 3-6 hours. 

Plan on stopping for liquid refill if your ride is 6 hours or more.

On HOT DAYS first pack the bladder with ice cubes, then add your liquid of choice. It will be too cold to drink for 4 hours.

Hydro Packs

Colman Brand

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Colman 100oz Hydro-Pack

($33) has limited space inside, but has bungee outside big enough to hold a jacket. Very light weight, great for a fast road ride.

Look in the camping and fishing isle of any regular department store for these low cost gems.  I have seen these Colman hydro-packs in 2 progressively larger sizes, the largest one costing $45.00.

Camel Bak Blow Fish

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You pay for the name with this one. Medium Capacity for only ($150)... Wow!  

This is a back pack that rips easy, is often too small for anything you want to put in it, and does not fit well on the rider.  It is very hard to find a large capacity 

Camel Bak for under $250. 

Plus did I say they rip easy?

Summer Time Pack

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The Benkii holds a lot. Very Light, Large Capacity, multiple sections ($45).  Holds 100 oz . Even has Side Pockets on the lower straps big enough to hold a phone or camera. Insulated pack will keep your fluid Ice Cold for 4 Hours. 

Buy (3) of these or buy (1) much smaller Camel Bak.

Adventure Ride Pack

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Army Surplus Hydro-Pack ($55)

Extra Large capacity. 

Very rugged canvas. A separate Hydro pocket keeps everything inside the pack dry. Can adjust to any size person. 3 large storage areas, many smaller pockets. external equipment clips. You can drag this one behind your bike, and it will survive.

Will Hold: (2) Jackets, 100oz bladder, (2) Days of food , (1) extra 32oz bottle of water, (1) change of some bike cloths. Tools, (2) Tubes, Camera, and other stuff.

(Army-Navy Store /  Army discount / many different names for the same type of small local store)

Bike Packing Trip

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Army Surplus Super Hydro-Pack ($65)

This pack is HUGE.

Canvas construction, 200oz internal water storage   Many equipment hooks.

 (4) huge zippered caverns to store everything you need for bike-packing. 

Will Hold: Hammock Tent + accessories , (2) Jackets, (1)  full change of cloths, (2) days of food/water (200oz), enough tools for camping and biking. Plus all your other stuff and junk. 30-40 pounds fully loaded + easily carried. 

(it is Army issue)

Hammock Tent

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Ya, if you have limited space, and are trying to keep your travel weight down, you want a Hammock Tent.  My Hammock Tent weighs in at 4.2 pounds including tree straps, and fly-tarp.  Fits in a large back-pack. Bonus: I do not have to carry a sleeping bag or a sleeping pad.


My Lawson  Blue Ridge Tent can also lay flat on a ground surface using ground pegs. Others can not. (see other photos of this below)


CON:  I expect at some point a Bear is going to bite my Ass.

When is my heart going to Pop??

Every rider thinks about this important issue at some point, especially early in the training season.

Food / Nutrition

How Much Energy in Energy Bars?

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When do you need the energy is the real question.

Energy bars are packed with concentrated energy. 

The bars shown in the photo are  mostly nuts. Nuts are a form of Fat.

 Your body needs time to break down the compressed and densely packed Fats, Proteins, and Sugars from these types of treats. Chances are, that energy bar you eat half-way through your ride will help you sometime after you get home that evening.

Simple Cookies and Candy have fast acting Sugars. 

You are much better off with candy for a faster sugar injection. Much quicker then what an energy bar can deliver.

Secret Recovery for Leg Cramps

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Pickles are the #1 Go-To Fixer for endurance athletes.

Pickles are also the best kept secret of the power food industry.

If you are on a 4 - 8 hour ride, and your legs cramp.  Eat some Pickles.  You will recover quickly.


See this comprehensive

<PICKLE POWER VIDEO>


  If you eat them while at a rest stop, you will not get the cramps later. 

They travel well in a zip-lock baggie. Keep them in your hydro-pack area to keep them cold.  

Drink the Brine for fast recovery... 

This is not a joke.

A Great Post-Ride Helper Got Chocolate Milk?

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Muscle Milk has no milk in it, but it can be mixed with Milk. It is a protein derivative of Milk products.  Most Protein Powders make a great recovery drink. Do not drink before a ride or event. These power powders are a blood thickener.  You will not have energy to ride while your body try's to process this at the same time.


Regular Chocolate Milk has also been known for a long time among Olympic Athletes as a great recovery drink.

Always Time for Cookies

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This is great on-the-go belly food.  Simple sugars get absorbed quickly. Much better for your ride performance than slow absorbing snacks.

 This cookie taste like a brownie, and is very filling. Vegan / 16g Protein / non GMO / no Dairy / 10G Fiber / cane sugar / 12 Flavors. 

At $2.00 each (in bulk) you do not mind handing these out to your friends. These are huge, 1/2 a cookie is plenty. 


Trust me on these Nutrition Statements.  I ride over 100 times a year, and only cramp once or twice early in a season.

5 Hour Energy

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This is not the same brand as 5 Hour Energy, but all these energy shots have about the same stuff in them.  

This huge dispenser pack has the same capacity as 100 energy shots. Dispensed through the front nozzle. Only cost 0.25 cents each shot vs Pre-Packed shots at $3.00 each. 


Warning: Do not use these products unless you will be out exercising.  

This is a 4000% B12 shot.  Use sparingly. Incorrect use, or too much can harm you.  I will use 1/2 a dose mixed in my hydro-bladder for 2-3 hour ride.  I never use this unless I will be out for more than 3 hours, on bad-ass trails.

#1 Food for Riding

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On the very long rides of 3 - 7 hours, you drink over 100 oz of fluid.  You better get something solid in your stomach if you don't want to get sick.


The good old Ham Sandwich is your best friend for mountain biking. I eat very healthy, and would never consider Ham at any other time as food.


A Ham Sandwich is loaded with salted pork.  100% certain you will need Salted Pork. It has bread to absorb that 100oz of water.  Ham is Protein, lots of it. Cheese is Protein, lots of it. Add Pesto and Pickles. Will travel well in hot weather, without spoil.

Tool Kit

This Tool-Kit will get you out of most situations.

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Can not stress this enough. If you are out on an adventure, there is nothing worse than taking your entire ride plan and tossing it for a 3 hour walk out of the woods. All because a stupid thingy broke. 

Having the right tool gets you back on the trail.

This is the Tool Kit I have been using for years. This kit has never failed to get me out of a bad situation. Especially now with the Tubeless Tire Hole Repair kit. 

Please notice in my tool kit there are no Multi-Tools.  Multi-Tools break easy, do not always fit the job, and do not have enough reach or leverage.  The tiny folded chain-tool almost never works.  

Having a good Chain Tool is one of the most important items you can have. 

Seat Post Bolts are an item I give out to other riders often, almost 1 per year. Go Figure...? 

Post bolts usually break from over-tightening, will break after a month of riding.


Special Purpose Tool List: 

9/16ths Adjustable Wrench, (also Straightens Rotors)

Rotor Wrench, (sometimes the rotor must come off the wheel to get home)  

20 feet Duct Tape wrapped on a pencil,   

Spoke Tool, (Also a 1/2" Hex Wrench)

Mini Pliers, (countless uses), tie-wraps and patch glue not shown.

Lighter Explained: I have successfully repaired a sidewall slice on the trail. First by sterilizing the inside of the tire with the lighter and slight melting where the slice was. Then heating up one of the standard Brown/Black tire patches and quickly let them join together. Not sure if that will ever work again...(smiles)


Bike Pump

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The most overlooked tool in your tool kit. For most people the pump hardly ever gets used. When you go to use it for the first time, you find it has no pressure and will not fill your tire. What went wrong?  The parts dried out.  Get a good quality pump. 

The Bells and Whistles on this one are: 

Up to 80 pounds real pressure, will also fill a fat tire, high / low pressure switch, pressure gauge, flexible tube for the inflation, long pump stroke for better pumping, and a foot peg. This Topeak Pump has it all for $45.00. Only fits in tall back-packs.

Rugged Tool Pouch

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Holds every Tool you Need. 

It was a compact camera case in it's last life. 

It is canvas, rugged, zippered, and takes all the bumps and bruises. Tools do not poke through the sides.  

Stays quiet when riding and nothing inside rubs.  

Room for gloves and a few more tools.

Tool Kit Contents are shown in the above enlarged photo.

BIKE-PACKING 101: How to pack your bike for that really big adventure

567 Mile Epic Adventure Planning

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This is a link to a Comprehensive Bike-Packing list put together by these folks to help your Epic Ride. If you can pack for this ride of 567 miles, you can pack for any ride.

Bike Packing PDF List

Bike Packing Check List.

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Back-Packing Video