Mountain biking in Florida can provide some obstacles not necessarily present in other parts of the country. Much of the experience is similar, but there are a few distinct differences in the conditions that require some thoughtful consideration when venturing out onto the sunshine states’ trails.
1. Light, Moisture-wicking Riding Apparel
- The Florida sun can be brutal no matter the season you ride. You’ll thank yourself later by finding clothing items such as a lightweight mountain biking jersey, comfortable riding shorts, and sweatbands.
2. Sunscreen/Bug Spray
- The unique conditions found within most Florida mountain bike trails force you to defend yourself against some formidable foes: UV rays and mosquitos. You’ll want to make sure you grab a waterproof sunscreen that’s at least 50 SPF and above. Forget to lather up once and you will learn quickly how important it is to protect your skin from the sun. Another must-have item would be bug repellant. The trails often have sections within somewhat swampy terrain—a spot where mosquitos thrive. Nothing ruins a great ride like hundreds of itchy bites from these persistent bloodsuckers.
- Dehydration is dangerous. It can strike suddenly, leaving you with some scary potential side effects. Ensuring you have lots of liquid out with you on the trail is a must. First, hydrate as much as you can before heading out for your ride. Hydration supplements are a great tool you can use to make sure you have enough electrolytes before taking on the trail. Only drinking before the ride isn’t enough, however. You need to continue hydrating during and after riding as well. Tools such as hydration packs and bottle holders are perfect for water intake while on the bike. It’s recommended that during exercise that you consume 10 oz of water every 10-20 minutes. Make sure to stay on top of your hydration!
4. Sunglasses/Protective Eyewear
- While mountain biking in florida you’re going to need sunglasses out on the trail for protection against sun, bugs, and trail elements such as tree branches. Glasses with changeable lenses or photochromatic lenses are recommended so you can use the same pair in daylight / evening / early morning and adjust the necessary darkness of the lenses.