Mountain biking is enjoyable, but the risk of falling comes with the fun. Use these tips to minimize the impact.
Many people have embraced mountain biking as it’s a fun outdoor activity that gives you an adrenaline rush. And the biking tricks make it all the more enjoyable, especially with friends. However, like every other sport, mountain biking is risky as falling is inevitable, which can lead to severe injuries.
However, cyclists can reduce the damage to the bike and hurt to their bodies by learning how to fall safely. This article explores various measures riders can take to minimize the impact of falling on themselves and the bike.
Don’t Lean on the Handlebars
Don’t lean on the handlebars, as they can cause significant harm to your body. Therefore, when riding your bike, learn to distribute your weight and that of your bike through your hands. You will need help to maneuver around the handlebars from the get-go; you will constantly ride and try different ways until you get to your comfort position.
Many people suffer serious injuries after falling because the handlebars tangle them up. So, in case of a fall, dismount as fast as possible to minimize the extent of the injuries, as the bike won’t fall on you.
Don’t Ride Beyond Your Comfort Levels
Some people like pushing beyond their comfort levels when riding their electric trail bikes, but they don’t know that they only call for trouble. There are high chances of falling on a gravel or forest trail as the path is littered with loose rocks, protruding roots, and potholes.
When you ride past your comfort levels, you get tired very fast, which may make you miscalculate a bunny hop jump or cause you to fail to maneuver your bike around a corner, resulting in a fall. Therefore, stay safe by riding within your comfort level and increase your speed and tricks once you’ve mastered your riding skills.
If you want to minimize the risks of accidents when engaging in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, you must include strength training in your exercise routine. Strength training is developing a strong core and muscles, which gives you enhanced balance and stamina to control your bike.
More so, your bones will be stronger, thus minimizing the probability of suffering bone injuries if you fall off your bike. Strength doesn’t mean consistently lifting heavy weights to build muscle; it can be tailored to your specific needs.
Wear Protective Bike Gear
Since falling while riding a mountain bike is inevitable, you can reduce the impact by wearing the following protective gear.
- Helmet to protect your head.
- Knee and elbow pad to protect your knees and elbow from scratches in case of a fall.
- Chest and back protection ensure that your chest and back are protected during a crash.
- Some cyclers wear a neck brace, especially when riding on rough terrain or performing tricks. This ensures that their neck and spine are protected as they don’t know how you’ll fall.
- Wear riding shoes as they give you a better grasp of the pedals.
- Leather gloves are essential when riding as they prevent your hands from slipping off the handlebars due to sweat, giving you a firm grip.
You’ll find that manufacturers are now adding extra features in the riding gears, such as hydration packs and sitting pads, to guarantee rider comfort.
Jump Over the Bars
Sometimes you may ride comfortably and unconsciously hit a huge rock; this will cause your body to shift forward. This is because the hit lifts the rear wheel upwards, and if you are not fast enough, your chest will bear the impact before you fall off and get entangled with the bars. As such, you must be flexible and have quick reflexes to avoid getting hurt.
When the bike shifts you forward, you must quickly lift your body up and above the handlebars. You can do this by leapfrogging or tossing your bike away from your person as you jump to the other side. While doing this, ensure that your legs are over the bars to avoid getting crushed by the frame.
Avoid Your Bike
Once you’ve mastered how to avoid the handlebars, you must also learn how to avoid the bike. The best way to prevent your bike from falling on you is to push your bike to the ground with the handlebars facing downwards. This makes it easy to dismount and helps stop the bike from moving faster.
Learn How to Avoid Getting Hurt
While falling off your bike is part of the risks of enjoying this sport, you must also learn all the various ways you can protect or minimize the extent of injury and damage to your bike.
The best way to dismount your bike when falling is by keeping your chin tucked, folding over your arm, and bending your knees; this helps lower the impact of falling and keeps you far from your bike. This is like forming a defensive ball around your body.
After you dismount, don’t just lie there and wait for what’s to come, as your bike may follow you despite pushing it in the opposite direction. Instead, you should roll over to avoid your bike and any other object that might have been dislodged by your fall.
Brush of the Dirt
After ensuring that everything has settled down, stand up, brush off the dust, and check your body to ensure you don’t have any severe injuries. Next, inspect your bike for any damages. If you are both safe from hurt and damage, rest if necessary, get back on the saddle, and proceed with your ride.
Your first fall will be nerve-wracking, but as you get used to riding your mountain bike, you will learn better ways to protect yourself and your bike. However, you must adjust your riding to your skills and advance safely.
Riding your mountain bike is freeing and fun. However, every kind of sport comes with risks of injuries, and mountain biking is no exception. However, as discussed in this article, there are numerous ways to avoid or reduce the impact of falling.
You must also invest in high-quality biking gear, such as helmets, knees, and elbow pads, and always ride within your comfort level. And when trying out new biking tricks, do it in a safe environment to minimize the impacts of an inevitable fall.