Mountain biking is a fun and exhilarating outdoor activity that helps you stay physically fit and see some beautiful scenery at the same time. However, safety should be the number one concern for any mountain biker, no matter what their experience level is.
Whether you’re riding on a trail that wraps around cliffs towering hundreds of feet or going on a beginners trail through the woods, you always need to wear the proper gear.
The most essential piece of gear to use when mountain biking is a helmet. You may not look as “cool” when you’re wearing a helmet, but trust me, it’s cooler to be alive than dead. A helmet protects one of the human body’s most vital organs in your body, your brain. Without it, your head and skull is completely vulnerable to impact.
If you don’t already have one, get yourself a small handheld tire pump and attach it to your bike. You don’t want to find yourself a couple miles out on a mountain trail with a flat tire.
One last essential piece of mountain biking gear is a first aid kit including band-aids, gauze and some antibiotic ointment. Hopefully, you don’t have any serious crashes, but accidentals can and will happen with mountain biking.
Know Your Trail
Knowing your trail is arguably just as important as wearing your helmet. If you don’t know what’s around the corner, you shouldn’t go flying around it as fast you can. When you’re on an unfamiliar trail for the first time, go slow and take your time. Get a feel for the grounds, hills and what to expect around corners.
Maintaining Control of Your Bike
One of the mistakes beginners often make is not controlling their bike. In order to remain safe, you must maintain a proper speed and be able to stop if danger occurs. This goes hand-in-hand with going too fast. It’s not a race, so take your time and remain safe while biking your trails.
Another part of maintaining control of your bike is your brakes. Before going on any sizable trail, give your brakes a few squeezes to make sure they work effectively.
Know Your Limits
Even the most experienced mountain biker has their limits and it’s important that you know and understand what yours are. Don’t risk physical exhaustion from biking too hard or for too long. If you’re with friends, just tell them you need to turn around. Chances are they’ll be more than glad to turn around and head back with you.