• What to wear, (we provide all the safety gear needed !)
  • Always wear a helmet (make sure it fits snuck and low on your forehead).
  • Gloves, Knee and Elbow pads, thick shorts and T shirt (not tank top) offer good protection
  • If your are doing DH Single track a chest protector and Full face helmet is advised.
  • If available, Mountain biking shoes afford additional arch support and the relatively stiff sole makes for easier energy transfer.
  • At any rate the shoes you wear should be good for walking with a non-slip sole if possible. Wear hiking or sport shoes. Sandals or slippers are not suitable.
  • Eyewear in some cases is helpful keeping bugs and the occasional bush out of the eyes. Clear or yellow glasses are the best in forest riding conditions, sunglasses may be to dark to make out the exact contour of the ground. A must on single track.
  • A light raincoat for wet and cooler conditions in Thailand is only during the rainy season on longer trips necessary.
  • A small Daypack can hold all your belongings. No messenger bags.

Personal Fitness:
You should be reasonably fit, and comfortable biking in regular conditions before going OFF Road. Drink lightly (alcohol) the night before, maybe do a little carbo-loading and you find the trip the next day more enjoyable.

Food and Drink, First Aid:
  • Pre hydrate before the ride;  we  provide as much water as you can drink. bring at least 1 liter water per 2 hrs  riding . A high energy snack (nuts, chocolate, granola bar ) is a good idea, even for short trips. The more energy you have the more control.
  • First Aid Kit should hold some tape, gauzes, bandages and anti bacterial powder. (Trip leader)

Repairs on the trail:
Being in the woods means no outside support and one must be self-sufficient. Ones riding style should also adapt to that fact . You (or group leader) should bring at least: A mountain biking multi tool, they are fairly complete. Spare tubes, set of extra break pads,  tools to change tires, chain tool, oil, pump 

Good practices:
  • Check your bike again right before your trip.
  • Check that your wheels are attached securely.
  • Check that your breaks are working properly.
  • For steep down hills have your saddle adjusted lower than usual, it makes it easier to keep your weight off  the handlebars.
  • Pedal lightly when checking your gears,  test on flat ground.
  • For those who don't know, the chain positioned on the largest chain ring in the back and smallest chain ring the front is the easiest setting to go uphill.  Avoid shifting on steep hills under full weight, the chain doesn’t like it.

Riding conduct and traffic:
  • Stay on the left (Thailand) to avoid traffic, keep plenty of distance between you and the next rider so you can see the ground ahead of you.
  • We don't pass each other on down hills, it breaks the concentration of the rider being passed, everyone should know that they have the full with of the trail at all times.
  • Look at the ground in front and not at the rider ahead of you.
  • The instructors or other riders speed is no indication how fast you should travel.
  • Ride at your own speed that you are comfortable with.
  • Do not increase your speed to catch up, the rest of the group is happy to wait.
  • Those racing ahead should wait at every intersection, if you race ahead and get lost, we will see you back in Chiang Mai. I know you are smarter then that.

Riding techniques:
Definitely a big part in down hill biking, you find your hands get tired easily, such we take plenty of rests on the way.

Always have 2 fingers on your brakes!

Always use both rear and front brakes together. As you approach a  steep down hill section you should have your brakes  fully pressed and then release your breaks slowly  to gain speed,

Remember when you suddenly slow down due to heavy braking or encounter an object you must cross, shift your weight  further back at the same time.

When approaching a small obstacle on a downhill or enter a hole, its best to release your brakes for an instance to offset the slowdown created by the object  or hole (Minimal release of the break for a split second does the trick.)

Body position going down hill:
  • The steeper the downhill the further shift your weight back.( over the rear wheel)
  • Shifting your weight back means, keep your upper body low and shift your behind back.
  • Standing on your pedals (parallel to the ground) and squeezing your saddle with your thighs allows more stability and easier weight shifting when (rolling) fast on rough terrain.
  • Flexible elbows proof that you have sufficient weight off the handlebars and transferred into your legs.

Trail conditions:
  • Focus on where you can ride ,rather then where can’t, this will help keep you focused on the trail.
  • Size up each section of the trail and set your speed accordingly, start slow and increase your speed as you see fit.
  • Entering deep sand and deep mud will slow you down and throw your weight forward, as you enter such a situation  shift weight back and release you brakes  to get you through, no sharp turns, keep your wheel straight as possible.
  • When riding on a dirt road with deep ruts stay on the top .
    If you do slide into a rut, take the momentum and get out on the other side or ride the rut.
  • On wet surface plan your directional change well in advance and keep your wheels pointing downhill as much as possible,  avoid turning your wheel sharp left or right it could result in sliding. You can only slide down hill so keep your wheels pointed in that direction. Allow more time for braking, sudden sharp breaking will result in sliding. 
  • Shift into your easiest gear before you reach the steep part of an up hill, so that you don't put to much pressure onto the individual chain links. Shift easy, don't force especially when using a grip shifter. If you fail to get into the right gear on the uphill step off your bike and adjust your chain standing next to your bike.

Have a safe ride !:
  • We do provide a safety briefing and we teach our newcomers to the sport, That’s why you have a guide so we can get you from Zero to Hero in 1 day.
  • Do not pick your nose while riding, ( ha ha )
  • Stop anytime and walk the really hard bits.
All in all this sport commands your full concentration and that is why we love it.

Have fun, see you on the trail.
Aidan Schmer
Your Mountain Biking Instructor