Mountain biking is one of the most exhilarating and liberating sports out there!
However, it can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
A common misconception about mountain biking is that it’s a dangerous sport. In reality, it can be quite safe if you follow some simple steps to get started.
This short guide will help you avoid all the mistakes we made when we first started mountain biking so that your experience is as safe and fun as possible.
Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day
Riding without a helmet
This may seem like an obvious safety precaution, but many people often forget to wear a helmet while riding their bike because they think they won’t fall or crash. However, even experienced riders have been known to hit trees and other obstacles unexpectedly which leads to head injuries. Wearing a helmet will protect your head from injury in case of unexpected crashes.
Going too fast
Riding your mountain bike at too high a pace can be very dangerous, especially on the trails. Make sure you’re aware of how fast you’re going and try to keep some distance between yourself and other riders as well as hikers and runners passing by.
Hitting jumps or obstacles at full speed
Jumping is always fun! However, if you jump with too much momentum, you may find yourself flying over the handlebars and injuring yourself. It’s usually safest to approach nervous jumps slowly and gradually build up your speed as you go across them.
Not using both brakes
One of the most common – and serious – mistakes that beginners make is not using their brakes when they should. If you only use one brake when you need to use two, this can cause some real problems. Make sure that you use your front brake as well as the rear-wheel brake, depending on what’s appropriate for each situation
Standing up on a moving bike
This is a really bad idea and could lead to serious injuries if you accidentally hit something or someone! You should always stay seated unless you’re going over a jump or trying to avoid an obstacle. If you feel yourself falling off balance, crouch down by bending your knees slightly and stick out your elbows so they take the brunt of any impact with objects such as trees and rocks.
Braking too hard
When it comes to mountain biking most people think speed rather than stopping power! However, in order to avoid a crash, it is often best to slow down before an obstacle rather than to brake hard at the last minute. Make sure you know how fast your brakes work by practicing braking drills on your mountain bike training course or resort.
Riding along roads or trails that are too difficult
Sometimes people assume that because they’ve ridden their mountain bikes over some very challenging trails before, it means they can easily ride any trail! It’s always good to be realistic and make sure you only ride trails that match your skill level. If not, you will find yourself risking serious injury due to riding beyond your ability level!
Not stopping often enough
Some people get so carried away with the excitement of their mountain biking experience that they forget to take regular breaks! This is not only dangerous but can also lead to fatigue, which could result in a nasty fall. Make sure you stop at least every 15-20 minutes to have a drink and a snack and rest for a few minutes.
Now that you know some of the key safety tips for mountain biking, you’re ready to hit the trails with confidence!
Just remember to always use your head and stay safe while having fun.