Riding a motorcycle is not just a mere mode of communication, to many, it’s a source of sheer delight and enthusiasm. But while some riders find pleasure in running their motorcycles through the paddy fields, on vacant roads, and mostly on plains, some dare to rise high. For them, mountain biking is a passion, an adrenaline rush!
Almost every seasoned biker, no matter how adventurous they are, stick to a few guidelines to ensure safety. If you are a newbie on the block and still in the process of grasping the art of motorcycling, you must be having several questions for yourself regarding the risk factor or a motorcycle repair before a trip.
Mountain Biking Safety: A Mandate, Not a Choice
Did you know that in 2019 a professional mountain biker from Canada named Jordie Lunn had a severe head injury at a trail biking accident in Mexico? Unfortunately, Jordie couldn’t survive the injury, and he was only 36 years old!
This young biker’s untimely demise made headlines worldwide and reminded the mountain motorcyclists around the world that accidents can occur anytime, anywhere, and with anybody. But death is not the only fatality, traumatic or permanents injuries, such as bone fracture, injuries to soft tissues, chest, abdominal, and facial injuries, and sometimes brain damages can banish one from the joy of biking for life.
Therefore, adhering to these basic safety regulations during mountain biking is a mandate:
- Understanding your limits
- Practicing landings
- Wearing mountain biking gear
- Wearing helmets
- Going for a motorcycle repair or check beforehand
- Getting insurance against accidents
- Staying hydrated
- Staying prepared for the weather changes
- Wearing sunscreen
- Carrying medicines
- Understanding Your Limits
You would rather be safe than sorry. Wouldn’t you? Being a beginner, nearly all biking trails would be unknown to you. And that’s when you understand your limits and do not stretch beyond. If you find a track to be risky, it’s better to get off and walk. When you are biking within your limits, you are not risking the rough terrains. Once you get acquainted with such spots, you can drive with better control.
- Practicing Landings
Take-offs are always easier than landings, even to the pros. In case you are a would-be biker, remember, practice makes a man perfect! Being the trickier part, practicing landings regularly would give you a better command over vertical falls. But start with the basic and easier maneuvers before upping your level, this would also improve your confidence.
- Wearing Mountain Biking Gear
Although you might hope for the best before any mountain biking trip, it is important to understand that usually, tragedies are unpredictable, however, preventable. And that’s where the mountain biking gear comes in. Generally, this contains body armor that covers all the injury-prone areas, like the head, arms, elbows, knees, etc.
- Wearing Helmets
Getting the aforementioned body armor is pretty easy. And in case you don’t get the helmet in the body armor set, don’t forget to purchase it separately.
- Going for a Motorcycle Repair or Check beforehand
Mountains are often deserted. And if it’s a carbureted bike you’re driving, keep in mind that its performance may suffer due to high altitudes. Plus, if you haven’t taken it for a check over a substantial period, chances are, it might break down at any point. So it’s also a must to take it to a repair shop or a technician before your vertical rides just to make sure all is well.
- Getting Insurance Against Accidents
If you’re thinking of becoming a professional mountain biker, then it’s high time to get insurance. And it’s not just for your bike but for yourself too. Motorcycle damages or bruises are not uncommon to mountain bikers. But you have yourself and your bike covered, the bills won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- Staying Hydrated
Higher altitudes can seem troublesome if you run out of water. So always remember to carry enough water for the day in your backpack and keep drinking at timely intervals. A hydrated body is indeed an immense source of energy.
- Staying Prepared for the Weather Changes
Before going on any trip you must know that the temperature per 1000 feet changes by 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 6.5 degrees Celsius. And the temperature changes get more dramatic the higher you ride. The sudden changes can not only make you uncomfortable but also can make your bike reluctant to start. So prepare your backpack accordingly, including warm clothing, gloves, etc.
- Wearing Sunscreen
The trips under the clear, blue sky are undoubtedly exhilarating! But you don’t want to come back tanned, do you? The harmful UV rays of the sun can damage your skin’s upper layer and can even lead to skin cancer. But you can always stay protected by wearing and carrying sunscreen.
- Carrying Medicines
Mountain biking amidst nature can be tiring or stressful at times. Always carry some basic medicines, like aspirin, paracetamol, sanitizer, antiseptic cream or lotion, band-aids, anti-allergic pills among others in your first-aid kit. Some riders also experience travel-sickness, motion-sickness, nausea, or vomiting tendencies on high altitudes. Make sure you have all the necessary medicines while riding.
Hopefully, the tips to stay safe during motorcycle rides in the mountains were helpful. Just keep honing your skills and take all the precautionary measures—your ride to the top will be unstoppable!