Consider knee and elbow protection!
If you’re new to the sport, we recommend knee and elbow protection. Now, it doesn’t have to be full-on gear that makes you look ridiculous, just subtle padding that will protect you from a fall. Bliss has a lovely range of women designed knee and elbow protection that you can wear discretely under your clothes. No one need know! We recommend transparent glasses or sunglasses too, as there are plenty of bugs and mud flying around the woods!
Know your fitness!
E-bikes will increase your confidence and fitness in more ways than one, but don’t forget, an e-bike is only “pedal assist”, not a motorised bike for when your legs give out! Yes, it is good to push yourself, but know your body and know your limits. Don’t head out on a 20 mile red route trail solely relying on your electric motor…red trails can be treacherous and 20 miles is long way, with or without the e-assistance!
Know where you are and where you're going!
Basic Brownie stuff this - let someone know where you are going and when you will be back! Be aware of your battery level…running out of battery, halfway through your 20 mile route, with a 20kg e-bike, is going to be tricky without power.
Most e-bikes now have a GPS unit, but in case of electrical value, take a map too. If the weather changes, things can look very different in the fog or rain, so be sure you have a jacket and the necessaries in your backpack. This includes a spare inner tube and pump. Evoc and Bliss do a perfect day pack with handy compartments, designed specifically for e-mountain bikers. Have your mobile with you and make sure it’s charged. Know which numbers you might need out on the route e.g. ambulance, mountain rescue or a friend who is able to pick you up. Plan your routes with plenty of time left over before nightfall just in case you have bike problems or you go a little off route.
Think about your riding!
Pushing yourself and learning new skills is one of the most enjoyable parts of e-mountain biking. Don't get caught in a rut or stay in your comfort zone too long. What we mean by 'think about your riding', is choose carefully when to take risks. If you have never done the a red trail, or a drop off, then don't try your first one when your legs are tired and wobbly at the end of a days mountain biking. Know what the consequences are at every stage of your ride. Breaking a collar bone ten miles from the nearest accessible road, was it really worth the bravado? Remember that when you are riding in a group, your risks have an impact on the rest of the group. If you think a section is well beyond your skill level then get off your bike, take a look and only ride it if you are confident that you can complete it with the minimal amount of risk to yourself and others.
Basic first aid!
Mountain bikers aren't expected to be elite paramedics, however, basic first aid that can be learnt in half an hour can save lives. Grab an up to date book from the library or offer to be a first aider at work. If you have sudden health problems or aren't feeling one hundred percent before you head out riding, don’t go. Sunburn, cuts and bruises and general fatigue can all be handled with a little common sense. However, a basic knowledge of treating breaks, sun stroke, concussion and shock are all extremely useful on the trails.
A suitable e-bike!
If your e-mountain bike is well maintained then you will be safer on the trails. So, how do you make sure that everything is running as it should be? Firstly, this isn't a comprehensive maintenance guide just a few pointers to help to try and keep you out of trouble. If you aren't sure how to repair things then take it to your local bike shop. Better to be safe than sorry.