Mountain Biking Safety Tips For Beginners
Back in 2012, around 25% of all bicycles sold by specialty retailers were mountain bikes. But while mountain biking is exciting and a great way to stay in shape, it can be dangerous if you don't do your research and take precautions. Having the proper safety gear, a comfortable bike seat, and a good understanding of what kinds of skills are required are all key elements. Below, we'll take a closer look at just a few of the safety tips you should follow when you're starting out. But even if you're a seasoned veteran, don't forget to refer back to these helpful hints!
- Always wear a helmet and safety gear
No matter how experienced you are, you can still become seriously injured while mountain biking. Safety gear like helmets, body armor, and padding for your knees and elbows should be the bare minimum. When something goes wrong, not even the most comfortable bike seats will save you. But protective gear like this can make the difference between broken bones and just a little bruising. Don't ever think of this equipment as optional!
- Maintain your bike
When you first bought your bike, you probably hemmed and hawed over the types of bike saddles available to you before deciding on the comfortable bike seat you currently have. But that initial purchase isn't enough to ensure everything on your bike will remain in tip-top shape throughout your adventures. Be sure to check your brakes, tires, gear chain, and other mechanics on a regular basis and keep your eyes and ears open for any noises or changes in feel while you ride. You should also educate yourself on how to use a puncture repair kit and take your bike in to be serviced on a yearly basis (or more often if you ride very frequently).
- Don't push your limits too much
When you first start mountain biking, it's easy for your enthusiasm to get out of hand. While it's good to be excited about a new activity, this can lead you to make poor decisions about what you think you can handle. Your lack of experience could result in anything from physical strain to serious injury. In the beginning, start small. Know your own limits and what skills you do not yet possess. While you're likely eager to progress, don't attempt a difficult trail before you're ready. Once you work up your stamina and you become more comfortable negotiating terrain, you can move on to greater challenges. By pushing yourself too hard too early, you could end up in a perilous situation that simply isn't worth it.
- Know before you go
Of course, it's important to become familiar with how your bike and comfortable bike seat function before you ever set out on the trails. But you should also research the trails themselves. Biking trails vary wildly in their difficulty levels -- you might not even know you're on a difficult trail until you turn a blind corner! Although crashing does come with the territory to a certain extent, paying attention to the trail you've chosen can help keep you safe. Don't go at high speed on trails you don't know well and walk any sections that seem troublesome. Even better, perform an internet search on specific trails before you ever arrive! That way, you'll know what to watch for and can make a different selection if other cyclists advise it's not a good option for beginners.Whether this will be your first time mountain biking or you've been an avid cyclist for years, safety should always be your top priority. It's important not to forget the most basic safety concerns when you're out on the trails. By wearing the right gear, making sure your bike is up to snuff, and doing your research, you'll be able to enjoy this endeavor without putting yourself at risk.