Mountain Biking Safety Tips
Safety begins in planning and right preparation. Learn as much information about the trail as you can; notarize local authorities, acquire advance weather forecast; check your bike; develop necessary biking skills; improve your endurance and strength; and prepare the necessary items for the trip. These are some of the things you must do before you set out on a mountain biking trip.
Watch out for change in weather.
Summer storms can happen instantly and they are often accompanied by high winds and heavy shower. If you are caught at the wrong place, you may be in big trouble. Stay away from lone trees or rocks during lightning storm. Get off ridges before the rain starts. Keep your team together. If you sense that the rain is coming, set up a makeshift shelter made from leaves and branches on high grounds.
Working your muscles for a prolonged period of time produces sweat. Make sure that you replace the lost body fluids by re-hydrating regularly. Smaller and frequent sips are better than gulping the whole content of your water bottle at once. Do not wait until you are thirsty, especially when riding on cold weather conditions. Cold weather suppresses thirst so follow similar hydration practice.
Water is still the best liquid to drink while biking. Energy drinks are also good. Do not substitute water with soda, coffee or caffeine tea. These fluids are proven to have diuretic effects.
Ride with a group
If you are riding alone, you are either suicidal or your life is just plain miserable. Okay, you are neither. Still, you should not be doing it in long biking trips. The importance of riding with a group cannot be stressed enough. A group makes riding fun and enjoyable. It is also your first line of defense in case you get into an accident while in the trail.
Bad things happen outdoors and help can be miles away. Make sure that there are people around you who can call for help in case you need immediate medical aid.
There is no better way to invite a disaster than by doing crazy things while on the trail. Never attempt to cross a cliff if you think you can't do it. Do not cross a river if you know you can't. Do not accelerate when approaching sharp curves and uneven terrain.
Always keep your speed in check. It will only take a split second of negligence for an accident to happen. Stay focus all the time. Walk and carry your bike if you can't ride.
If there is any rule that applies to anything that involves outdoor adventure, this may be it. During mountain biking trips, it is not advisable to carry a large bag on your back. Not only it tires you fast, it also reduces your balance while riding. Bring the things that are only necessary for the trip such as first aid kit, tire repair kit, multi-tool kit, enough food and water, flashlight, matches and some clothes. Do not forget to bring a cellular phone or a satellite phone – it is your saving grace in case something bad happens.
Give your complete itineraries to a friend or a family member.
On a piece of paper, write the names can contact numbers of each member of the group, the place where you are going and expected time of return. Give it to someone who will be left behind at home so that if you do not return as expected, they can contact authorities.
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