Mountain biking is one of the best ways to take in the scenery that Wyoming has to offer. Though the sport is both fun and physically challenging, it’s not always the safest sport. Injuries can and will happen, but there are a few things you can do to prevent them so you can avoid having to spend hours undergoing physical therapy treatment
before you can get back on two wheels. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on the trails.
Check Your Bike Before You Ride
Running through a safety check before you hit the trail is the best way to keep yourself and other riders safe. Inspect your bike thoroughly prior to every ride. Make sure the nuts, bolts, and axels are properly mounted and tightened. Check your brake cables for tension and make sure the calipers or rotors can stop your wheel when you squeeze the lever. Look at your pedals and remove any debris that could keep your feet from sticking well. It’s also a good idea to check your wheels and make sure they’re in true. If they’re not, the wheels won’t roll straight and could end up clipping rocks and roots as you go.
Wear the Right Gear
Seeing mountain bikers zipping down trails without helmets or protective gear is, unfortunately, a common sight. Those riders risk serious injury if they fall or lose control of their bike on the trail. Instead of becoming another statistic, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate gear before you leave the trailhead. Invest in a good helmet and get it fit properly at your local bike shop. Wear gloves to maintain grip on your handlebars and consider knee and elbow pads to help reduce impact stress if you do fall. If you’re going all-out and riding technical trails and making steep downhill descents, invest in biking armor. This can dramatically reduce your risk of injury if you wipe out.
Warm Up Before You Leave
When your muscles are tight, they’re more prone to serious injury. Save yourself the risk by warming up before you hit the trail. Go for a short run or brisk walk to get the blood circulating and to loosen your muscles after the drive to the trailhead. Then, run through full-body stretches and make sure you’re comfortably loose. If anything feels tight or you notice strain from your previous ride acting up, consider taking it easy on the trail. Let your body be your guide. If it feels like you’re not up to a strenuous ride, don’t force it. When you force things, you’re more likely to hurt yourself.
Keep These Tips in Mind
If you’re planning on hitting the trail, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to reduce your risk of getting injured doing what you love most. If you do end up taking a bad spill or notice that you’re not performing the way you want, schedule a consultation as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to speed your recovery.