One of my favourite things about mountain biking is that no two trails are the same. Local environmental conditions dictate the design of quality trails, the experience of riding them, and the mountain biking culture that develops around them. In fact, this is the very reason mountain bikers love to travel so much.
If you’re traveling with your mountain bike, local advice on bike modifications and other necessary equipment to suit the riding on offer at your destination is the best advice you can get. When we (Tokyo Swim Team: Chris Baker, Wade Lewis and myself) shot the short film “Like a Local: Tropical North Queensland” this year, we sat down with the riders involved to hear their thoughts on the gear they use for the trails in and around Cairns.
I like this video for several reasons. Firstly, the advice from Mandy Michna, Jade Robinson, Cass Abell and Jacinta Pink is spot on. While the upcoming World Mountain Bike Championships will see downhill bikes and cross-country bikes dominate at Smithfield Mountain Bike Park, a well set up trail bike is definitely the preferred bike for regular people tackling the huge variety of trails in Tropical North Queensland. Mosquito repellent is a must, as are clothes you can sweat in and a hydration pack to keep your fluids topped up. It’s hot in the tropics, all year long.
Secondly, I like this video because it’s unsponsored content. No one was paid to talk about any given product, rather, this is advice from people who pay to use it. Thirdly, you’ll be hard pressed to find another video with this type of advice by the female riders in a given community. I love that these women have their own language for things like suspension feel, and speak about riding in the ways that they enjoy it (not how carefully branded marketing says women enjoy the sport).
So have a watch, have a listen, and if you missed it, check out this gear and these women in action in the original video, too.
Photos: Wade Lewis and Melissa Popov.