The trail twists quickly and turns under the shade of those big trees – is that a jump ahead? Am I ready for this? Am I up to it?
Not the sort of questions you want to be asking yourself on the trail.
Mountain biking is inherently risky, so the best way to stay safe is by being realistic about your own ability and being aware of what’s going on around you.
ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET
Consider wearing other protective clothing. Take the time before riding a trail to check out the trail head grading information.
Are you confident about what the grading means?
Do you really have enough experience for your choice of trail?
Are there any detours?
You want to get out and ride the trail, here’s a quick checklist:
- Do you have a trail / route map?
- Are you carrying spares – an extra inner-tube, for instance?
- Can you repair a bike on the trail if you need to?
- For longer rides you’ll need food and water.
What about your fitness and stamina? Many accidents are caused through fatigue – don’t join that club!
- Think about the weather.
- Do you know the forecast?
- Bear in mind that the weather at the trailhead might be fine, but further up the hill, it could be colder.
- What about the trail conditions? Has it snowed or rained?
This is all easier to deal with if you are properly prepared. Think ahead and plan before you ride. Then saddle up, enjoy the ride, and come back safely!