Tips for tour planning

The general principle is: don't just set off without planning and preparation! The following simple rules make mountain biking safer and more enjoyable:

  • The route should be planned in advance using a suitable map and taking into account your current fitness. In groups, it is the slowest person who dictates the speed.
  • Information about the current weather situation should be obtained. The best strategy with clothing is the "onion principle" (several thin layers are better than one thick layer). Even in mountain ranges of moderate height, sudden changes in the weather are possible; in lower areas it is much warmer than high up.
  • In autumn, don't forget how early it gets dark! You should therefore carry reflective clothing and battery-powered front and rear lights in your rucksack.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: always tell somebody which area you will be riding in and fix a time by which you will return.

Cautious & considerate

Safety for mountain bikers is of paramount importance here in the Harz. You can help by having the right clothing and well-maintained equipment. Always keep your bike under control - there could be an unexpected hazard around the next corner! Just in case something does happen, the forestry offices in the Harz have set up a comprehensive network of numbered emergency location points so that the rescue services can find you quickly and easily.

Mountain bikers are often not alone in the hills – hikers, joggers, Nordic walkers, inline skaters and other outdoor sports enthusiasts also love the varied landscape of the Harz. It goes without saying that a friendly and fair interaction with one another is needed when a path is crowded, a bridge is too narrow or a trail is too steep. Everyone wants to have their fun.

Rules of biking

Short rules on the trail

Ride on open trails only.
Leave no trace.
Control your bicycle.
Always yield trail.
Never spook animals.
Plan ahead.

Cautious and considerate

Mountain bikers are often not alone in the hills – hikers, joggers, Nordic walkers, inline skaters and other outdoor sports enthusiasts also love the varied landscape of the Harz. It should go without saying that a friendly and fair interaction with one another is needed when a path is crowded, a bridge is too narrow or a trail is too steep. Everybody should be able to enjoy themselves.

Safer mountain biking

Safety is of paramount importance in the Harz. You can help by having the right clothing and well-maintained equipment. Always keep your bike under control – there could be an unexpected hazard around the next corner! Just in case something does happen, the forestry offices in the Harz have set up a comprehensive network of numbered emergency location points so that the rescue services can find you quickly and easily.

Essential items!

Drinks always take enough liquids with you!
Day pack preferably a rucksack with a volume of at least 12 litres and multiple compartments; possibly with pockets for an integrated drinking system and a rain cover.
Food bananas, muesli bars and other carbohydrate-rich foods are the most suitable. For emergencies: dextrose tablets.
Maps (1:50,000) even though the routes are signposted you should always take a map with you. Some signs could be missing!
Tools multi-tool for small repairs, pump and replacement inner tube, chain tool and a suitable master link, inner tube repair set.
First-aid kit crashes and minor injuries cannot always be avoided!
Mobile phone in an emergency you can call for help – although reception may be poor in certain places.
Lights and reflectors: see and be seen! Even though these are not part of the standard equipment of mountain bikes, in autumn and winter battery-powered lights for front and rear as well as reflective clothing are essential.

Tips for clothing

Most importantly: WEAR A HELMET! Never go mountain biking without one!
Bike shorts with good padding, now also available as baggy shorts, but the clothing should not be too loose.
Shirts functional materials offer comfort when biking due to their good breathability.
Gloves long fingers protect your fingertips, also if you fall off!
Shoes special bike shoes or at least sturdy shoes! The sole should be fairly hard and ideally have a system binding for the pedals. This improves the transfer of muscle power and achieves a secure position on the pedals.
Bike glasses recommended as protection from insects, wind and stones.
Rain jacket and rain trousers if necessary (breathable): choose your clothing according to the weather! There are also windproof jackets and vests, winter shoes and many other clothing possibilities.