Clothing and equipment
The recommended bicycles for “Sentiero dei Ducati” cycle-trail are described in the SD-MTB and SD-GRAVEL reports.
Helmet is the most important security tool.
Currently (Jan 2021) in Italy the bicycle helmet is not mandatory. For the CAI the helmet is mandatory during cycling, both uphill and downhill.
A mistake is always possible and even trivial accidents can have very serious consequences in the case of head trauma. Furthermore, we are never alone and we must protect ourselves from other people’s mistakes.
Shoes are important because they transmit strength to the bicycle. A stiff sole disperses less energy but makes walking uncomfortable. The “all-mountain” types are similar to hiking boots but have the attachment device to the pedals.
Cross country shoes with stiff soles are great for pedaling but dangerous when walking on wet rocks or hard surfaces. These shoes are not recommended for SD-MTB.
For “flat” pedals, you will have to choose shoes that are a compromise between grip on the pedals and on the ground while walking.
Glasses are an important protection from sun, wind, rain, dust, branches and mud splashes. The glasses must be enveloping enough, with frames and lenses that are not dangerous in case of falls or bumps. Interchangeable or photochromic lenses are preferred. For those who have to use prescription lenses, it is preferable to use systems that do not require changing glasses to consult the cards or the GPS.
For a trip with few technical difficulties, such as the Sentiero dei Ducati, body protections are not recommended. Those who want to use them, choose light and not bulky products. The best protection is caution and slow speed.
The cyclist’s clothing must be layered with different levels of protection based on the season and altitude. During a trip it is important to have multi-purpose clothes that can be combined in different ways.
1st layer (on the skin)
It is the most important layer, the one that must aerate and disperse the body heat. The materials change depending on whether and altitude. In summer it must disperse the heat, in winter it must keep the body warm and dry.
2nd layer (mesh)
It has the task of “carrying” the sweat away from the body but at the same time protecting it from air, branches, dust or splashes of mud. Materials that dry quickly are preferred. In summer, the shirt must be light and breathable; the long sleeve is more protective.
3rd layer (shell, waterproof or wind stopper)
Protection from atmospheric agents, cold, wind or rain. The windstop jackets are very breathable. Waterproof jackets are a compromise between waterproofing and breathability; if not very breathable they make you wet more from sweat than from rain.
Pants with a padded seat are of great importance. The pants can be fitted or baggy with pockets. The padded seat must be of excellent quality and above all already experienced.
Waterproof trouser covers and long trousers must have an ankle closure system to prevent them from getting caught in the crown.
Sleeves, leggings, shoe covers
They are light clothes and quick to put on that serve to integrate their equipment without too much weight; are of quick-drying material.
Better with long fingers, even in the summer, for greater protection from brambles and falls. They must be padded on the palm to rest on the handlebar and leave sensitivity on the controls. There are models that allow the use of touch screens.
It is preferable to interpose a layer between the head and the helmet; a light, breathable bandana in the summer and a buffer or thin balaclava in the winter.
They have the dual function of promoting the evaporation of sweat in the summer and maintaining heat in the winter. As for the shirt, as it often has to pass through paths with brambles or nettles, a long sock even if light is to be preferred; in case it can always be lowered.
Luggage / Backpack
Their characteristics are described in the SD-MTB and SD-GRAVEL reports.
The “cycle-hiker” must be self-sufficient, he must solve the main problems with his own strength: adverse weather, breakdowns, falls and small injuries. The material to bring in the bag is a lot; it is better to be in a small group to share equipment.
Equipment and technical clothing are the most important. The cycle clothing change can also be used for the hotel.
Minimize the toiletries kit, only essential products in small packages.
Water and food for the stage and emergency light cannot be missing.
For SD-MTB a small folding saw is recommended for possible branches fallen on the path.
Each bike is different; verify that tools and spare parts are appropriate
- Inner tubes, patches and mastic, tire patch for cuts, pump, “inflate and start again”; for tubeless spare valve and repair kit + CO2 under pressure to heel.
- Chain stripper, quick link, chain oil, small rag, disposable gloves.
- Multi-tool with Allen and Torkx wrenches, screwdrivers, spoke pullers, tire punches, nose pliers, parrot pliers.
- Spare derailleur hanger, brake pads, shift wire, some spokes.
- Plastic clamps, “American” and rubber tape, some spare screws.
- Pump for shock absorber (at least one in the group).
Hiking maps of the area, reports and road book of the route, gps with spare batteries + other navigation system (smartphone with navigation app or km counter for road book). The compass is always useful for those who know how to use it as well as a barometric altimeter, also to evaluate weather changes. For those who also use the phone for photos and / or navigation, a spare battery is essential. It is recommended to use an application for geo-localization in the event of an accident with a call to mountain rescue. For CAI members the Geo Rescue is free of charge https://wp.georesq.it/
Smartphones allow geolocation and determination of geographical coordinates even in the absence of a connection.
Use tools that have already been tested and are mastered; better not to improvise during the trip.
First aid Kit
In the mountains, mountain rescue can take a long time to arrive. The competence and the first aid KIT can make the difference. For those who often stay in isolated areas, specific BLS training for hostile environments is useful.
These are the essential things to bring:
Rescue whistle, gauze and plasters, self-adhering bandages, disinfectant, disposable gloves, insect repellent, scissors, tweezers, isothermal cloth, steril strip, BLS instructions and emergency call.
For the more experienced: face mask, tourniquet, powder emergency signal.
Dry ice bags (plastic) and pain relief patches can be helpful in case of falls. Remember that you must be able to make the emergency call: phone charged and working, always know where you are and determine the coordinates, often check the connection to the phone network.
Pharmacy and sun protection
Only doctors can administer medicines; everyone must bring the medications they usually use.
For example: anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, stomach or intestinal problems. It is good to have salts or isotonic drinks, snack bars or rapidly absorbed supplements in case of hunger and fatigue crises.
Bring and use sun creams with high protection and already tested.
Anyone suffering from severe allergies or other pathologies at risk of heart or respiratory crises and having life-saving medicines, must inform travel friends and give them instructions and prior authorization for their use.