RENTAL DOS AND DON’TS
• NOT ALL RENTALS are created equal, and it pays to do your research via the web. My Salsa Redpoint was perfectly maintained and a pleasure to ride. Make sure the rental outlet gives you a bike that works – take a test ride around the block before setting out, and make sure they tune the suspension to your body weight.
• IF YOU’RE RENTING while in the US, check which side the front brake is on (it’s usually on the left, while Aussie bikes are usually set up motorcycle style with the front on the right). SRAM brakes can be swapped in a couple of minutes, but Shimano brakes are more of a pain.
• CHECK IF PEDALS ARE PROVIDED, or bring your own pedal and shoe combo from home.
• BRING YOUR USUAL RIDING GEAR, including a Camelbak, helmet and your trail tools (just don’t leave them in your cabin baggage!). And do a quick weather check to see what you might be heading into. Lightweight body armour doubles as skin insurance and extra warmth.
• TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE before you leave Australia. If you’re injured in the US without insurance, the resultant bills could literally cost you your house.