Mountain biking makes our lives exciting and helps to break the monotony of the hustle and bustle work and city life in general. Well, as exciting as it sounds, this is the most dangerous form of biking so far. It can lead to severe injuries ranging from brain trauma to even death!
So as a mountain biker, we should do everything humanly possible to stay safe. Just because you know the trail very well or you think you are a skilled biker does not mean you do not need to follow the safety procedures. We all do!
12 Mountain Biking Safety Tips
We all agree, being an exhilarating sport – mountain biking comes with some dangers. But following the right safety precautions and wearing the right gear can keep us safe and enjoy the ride simultaneously. Here are expert mountain bikers’ recommended safety tips that you can follow:
Always Wear MIPS Helmet
Mountain biking without wearing the helmet is nothing but plain suicide. The least thing can happen is severe brain trauma that may lead to death or paralyze the vital organ of your body. I strongly recommend wearing a MIPS helmet for mountain biking for several reasons.
MIPS helmets offer all the safety features of any traditional mountain biking helmets. But you are safer wearing the MIPS featured helmet because they are highly effective to distribute the rotational force to keep your head safe. Visit prosafety101.com to learn more about MTB MIPS helmets.
Other Biking Gear
Wearing the MIPS helmet alone will significantly reduce the chance of severe injury. However, there are other riding gears to consider to ensure more safety. Think about having body armor, knee pads, elbow/arm pads, and so on. These safety gears will mitigate the crash damage and will increase the chance of your survival from the deadly crash.
I made a separate point for wearing the gloves for a reason. You see, wearing the gloves improve your grip on the handlebars of the bike which is crucial to have control. Besides, if it is winter season, they will keep you warm and will protect your hands if you fall off.
You want to see the trail clearly, you want your eyes protected from dust, flying insects, and so on. In a nutshell, you need a visual aid to keep you safe. That’s why wearing sunglasses as eye protection is important in mountain biking. Choose sunglasses wisely. Make sure it has interchangeable lens features.
Know the Trail
You do not want to be surprised around the blind corners. Getting familiar with the trail you are about to ride is a wise decision. Don’t ride, just walk the sketchy sections. If this is the first time you are doing this, be calm and think twice. Never push your limits!
In the most critical time of injury, a tiny knowledge on first aid treatment can be the difference between life and death. As a mountain biker, it’s something you must carry with you if you care about your life. There are several short online courses on first aid treatment.
Bring a small first aid box with you. You can carry it with your backpack. If you think it will slow you down, you can even attach it to the frame of your bike!
Check Your Bike
Make sure your mountain bike or electric mountain bike is in its prime condition. You do not want to risk your life riding on a poorly maintained bike. A thorough check can ensure the right condition of your bike. The first thing you need to check the brakes. Can the brakes stop the bike quickly when in danger?
Make sure there are no broken or loose parts, oil the chain, check the tires. Try to feel and listen to any changes. If you notice something, stop and check. If the bike is not in its prime condition, sell it or dump it. Get a new one.
Don’t Cross Skill Limit
It’s not a place to test your skill limit. Always know your limit and ride within your limit. You come across a trail section, stop and think. Don’t listen to your friends who push to test your limit. If you are never done this before, get off your bike and walk. Don’t feel any shame of being safe.
Think About Hydration
You need to keep you hydrated during the entire ride. Things get crucial when you bike during the summer. Always carry plenty of water during the ride. Now, instead of water bottles, I would recommend having hydration packs. They allow carrying more water than water bottles.
You can easily mount these hydration packs with your bike frame. Before you start riding, make sure you are adequately hydrated.
Like Water Carry Food
You do not dip your energy level dip in the middle of the ride. So, carry enough high-protein food or make sure you can buy such foods en route. With an empty stomach, you can’t complete such labor-intensive sports. High-energy foods like flapjack and trail max are lightweight too. Try to carry them in your backpack.
Use GPS Navigation
Not just the mountain bikers, even the walkers use GPS tracker nowadays. And it makes sense totally to use GPS navigation in mountain biking because you should be prepared for the worst-case scenario. God forbid…if something bad happens, your GPS tracker will help the rescuers to find you.
Common sense plays a vital role to ensure your safety in MTB sports. From planning the ride to completing the journey, apply your common sense regarding what should be your appropriate dresses, equipment, and so on. Sometimes, you have to ride alone during the ride, so your common sense will be your best friend.
Mountain biking is not for the faint-hearted. But if you get over-confident, it may get you in trouble which can be life-threatening. Don’t think you are safe just because you are a skilled cyclist. Always follow the safety tips I mentioned above to keep you safe.