7 Essentials to Preventing Mountain Bike Injuries
Injuries typically happen when your body is tired, you try to do more than you should, or your equipment fails you. In addition the
the PREride, REride, FREEride warm up techniques above, check out these pro tips:
Get Fit & Fitted
Building muscles, especially core strength, will go a long way toward keeping your ride under control and for longer periods of time. Also, riding a properly fitted bike – seat height, upper body reach, lever position, etc. – helps protect your knee, low back, wrist and other joints from chronic pain.
ABC Your Bike
Make sure your air pressure, brakes and chain are all functioning well. Take a lap in the parking lot to make your seat and other adjustments are correct. Tighten any loose connections.
Wear a Helmet
Helmets are called "brain buckets" for a reason! Always where a helmet and if you're downhill riding at places like Hilltop and Alyeska, you'll want a full face helmet. Replace helmets after a significant impact.
Stiff, cold muscles and tissues are prone to strains and sprains – and reduce your ability to avoid a crash. Warm up with 10 minutes of super easy pedaling and full body stretches.
Lube up your body! Carry a water bottle or a hydration pack and sip often. Lack of good hydration impairs your senses, slows physical responses and makes crashes more likely.
The best way to prevent broken bones and dislocated shoulders is to avoid falling or crashing. Keep your center of gravity low, go at a speed you can control, and only do features within your current skillset.
Gotta Crash? Roll with it!
Instead of catching yourself with outstretched hands and arms (= broken bones, torn ligaments and shoulder dislocations), try to stay loose, eject yourself from the bike, tuck, and roll away. This works to disperse the impact force and eliminates your bike as an additional source of injury.