Mountain bike safety

Mountain bike safety

Mary Carter

I have just recently gotten into the sport of mountain bike riding. It’s a very adventurous activity but it’s also a very dangerous and strenuous one. From shooting down a 50 foot drop with roots every 3 feet to climbing a 30 foot straight up hill, the key is to remain in control at all times and to take every precaution to play it safe. Know your limits and don’t try to exceed them. Get to know your bike and how it works and always … wear a helmet.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Gear Up

Always wear a helmet and any other appropriate safety equipment for the riding conditions. I suggest carrying a small biking pouch with emergency bike repair equipment in it. You never know when something could happen and how far you would have to carry your bike back.

Never Ride Beyond Your Abilities

There is no shame in walking sections of the trail you don’t feel confident enough to ride, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Use Appropriate Equipment for the Terrain

Some bikes are better for different situations–just because you can see tire tracks, doesn’t mean you can ride it with your bike.

Keep Your Speed in Check

Always keep your speed at a level that will allow you to adjust to any unforeseen obstacles or changes in trail condition. Decrease speed while going down hill or it could lead to major injuries.

Know the Trail

Never push the limits on a trail you are not familiar with. You need to get to know the trail you are riding at slower speeds before you can ride it like the trails you’re used to.

Slow Down for Blind Corners

You never know what or who is around a corner when you can’t see past it.

Stop And Look

Stop and look at sections of the trail that look like they may pose a challenge before you ride them.

Plan on the Crash

Always look at the consequences of crashing in a particular section or on a particular stretch of trail before trying to ride through it. Sometimes a section can look easy to ride but can have deadly consequences to a crash. It also doesn’t hurt to wear knee and elbow pads for extra protection.

Start Small, Go Big

Work your way up to conquering obstacles and stunts by finding ways to practice moves in less difficult and dangerous situations or at lower speeds before committing your-self to something more dangerous.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Play it Smart

If you think what you are doing is not the smartest, you are probably right. Think about what you are doing and trust your instincts.

These are just a few tips to sum up mountain bike safety, and take them into consideration the next time you decide to go for a ride.

by Ms. Mary Carter, location unknown

COPYRIGHT 2008 U.S. Department of the Air Force

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning