The Absa Cape Epic, the gruelling mountain bike race that tests riders to the limit over eight intense days, kicks off on 15 March. If you’re inspired to get in the saddle and train up for next year’s race – or simply enjoy nature while you get fit – here are the basics of what you need to be a mountain biker.
- A good bike. Mountain biking is a challenging sport and you’ll be doing plenty of climbing, jumping and sliding. This means you will need a bike as tough as the terrain you will be facing.
- A helmet. It’s light, aerodynamic and comfortable – and it might just save your life. A strong helmet is an essential accessory for mountain biking as you will fall off at some stage – any experienced biker will tell you this. No matter what, make sure you’ve got your head covered.
- Gloves. Protecting your hands not only helps when you eat some dirt – gloves also help you maintain a good grip on the handlebars.
- Head lamp/torch with extra batteries. Don’t get left in the dark. Remember to get a head lamp or torch for night-time or early morning riding.
- Gadgets. Make your mountain biking experience simpler and cooler with the latest technology. Buy gadgets that make your cycling safer, help you find your way and let you sensor your speed.
- Riding shorts. Sit in a saddle for any period of time and your butt will start to object. Padded riding shorts are a cyclist’s best friend.