Mountain biking offers a great opportunity to explore the bush. Use this opportunity for enjoyment not to ride out into trouble. It is virtually unheard of for mountain bikers to need to be rescued. We hope the information in this section and the MTB Information section will help ensure that you do not become the exception.
A reasonably experienced and fit mountain biking group can expect to average about six times the pace of the average walking group. The actual situation obviously depends on the terrain. You cannot ride a six day walk in one day because you will not have the stamina to continue at that pace.
Be aware that you may start a ride travelling down hill at 15 times walking pace. If your bike breaks down at the bottom of the hill and you have to drag it back up the hill at half walking pace you may not get back before dark.
Off road cycling on genuine 4WD tracks is not the same as riding your MTB on the bike path. This type of track can be very tough on a bike. Do not expect a cheap $300 MTB to stay reliable for long.
Do not go out unless you are confident that your bike is in good operating condition. Brakes adjusted and sufficient rubber on the blocks. Tyres in good condition with appropriate pressure. (enough pressure to ensure that you will not hit the rim on a hard landing and blow the tyre, but not so much that the ride is so harsh you cannot comfortable control the bike downhill) Headset and saddle tight and stable, Chain, derailer, pedals, hubs, bottom bracket running smoothly and lubricated. Cables in good condition.
Puncture kit with plenty of patches and fresh glue, spare tube, tyre levers, pump. and a basic tool that will tighten most of the nuts on your bike. Sufficient water and food.
If you are going any distance away from main roads a topographical map is essential. These are available in Mount Beauty.
Light, compact basic first aid items, chain tool to remove damaged links, compass, knife, cloth tape or rubber sleeve to repair damaged tyre and silver foil emergency survival blanket.
All these items should be able to fit in a under seat bag and cycling top pockets, or a small bum bag.
For rides on the High Plains, be prepared for sudden changes in weather irrespective of the forecast. Ensure that you are not overdressed causing excessive perspiration, loosing valuable body moisture. Carrying a wind proof & shower proof top, and thermal underwear is a light compact option for most days. On really cold days you may need a long sleeve top or arm warmers, and long cycling pants. You may also need a thermal jacket for when you stop. You never know when you may be forced to stop due to a bike break down in your group.
In Australia there are simply very few people out there in the bush. Go more than three kilometres from a road or car park and the only other people you are likely to see for the rest of the day are members of your own party.
The majority of the great rides in the area do not take you far from a road. However some will. Study the proper topographical map to make sure you know where you are heading. Understand that the more isolated the track the greater the possible risk. Be prepared for the rare event that you will have to push a broken bike twenty kilometres back to the nearest road.
Let someone know before you go
Don't forget to tell someone which ride you are doing, and when to expect you back. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong you will get help sooner. Fill in log books in the Alpine National park where you come across them. If you run into problems, or think that you may be lost, fill in details of the date and your party in the guest book of any hut you visit. Also indicate where you are heading to. Give your friends back home the phone number of your accommodation at Kiewa View so that they can ring and check on you.
Possible problems and solutions
These problems are listed in likely order of occurrence. You can see that with a little bit of planning and preparation you can overcome most problems fairly easily.
Learn from others
If you are not experienced, it is suggested that you ride with experienced riders first. They can not only teach you riding skills, but also emergency bush maintenance and how to check out your bike before you start.
We are very fortunate to have an abundance of rideable terrain with few restrictions. Lets keep it that way.
Stick to fire trails, management vehicle trails and other approved tracks. Do not ride on walkers only tracks.
Be on the lookout for walkers and horse riders, particularly at busy holiday periods or if you have seen signs of people around. Slow right down when you approach other users, warn them that you are coming, offer them right of way and be ready to come to a complete stop.
Never litter. It is so easy to carry out the rappers and plastic, there can be no excuse. We want to come back and we want it to be nice when we do.
Kiewa View at