There is no shortage of videos of mountain bike crashes from around the world, with many riders with appropriate safety equipment escaping serious injury, while others were not that fortunate. However, some of the most spectacular mountain bike crashes have been staged for television shows and movies, using stunt riders.
In real life mountain bike crashes can be exceptionally dangerous, causing serious injury to the riders as well as any spectators who happen to be in the way. Riders have been impaled on handlebars and pedals as well as having severe leg injuries from riders behind them not being able to stop before running over them. While all the different disciplines of mountain biking have their dangers, downhill, trials and dirt jump invite the most potential for mountain bike crashes.
With the number of riders on trails today along with the proliferation of extreme sports riding, it is no longer a matter of if a rider will be involved in mountain bike crashes, rather it is a matter of when. Regardless of the experience or expertise of the rider, a crash can be caused by another careless or inexperienced rider. Due to the potential consequences of inevitable mountain bike crashes, riders are advised to take advantage of the many safety accessories available.
One of the first body parts to hit the ground in mountain bike crashes are the hands, with fingers and wrists often suffering the most from even the slightest accidents. Mountain bikes gloves, available in full-finger or half-finger designs can ease the pain on the hands from a death-grip on the handlebars. However, full-finger gloves can help keep the skin where it belongs in the event of an accident.
The primary piece of safety equipment is a helmet, and in many mountain bike crashes where riders were using this protection, other bones may have been broken, but their heads stayed in one piece. A good quality helmet can do more in preventing serious, often life-threatening injuries than any other piece of safety equipment. Serious head injuries can be prevented with a helmet and today’s styles and designs make them more comfortable to wear.
Anti-skid clothing can also help a fallen rider maintain their skin, or at least reduce the burn marks often associated with mountain bike crashes. Comfortably padded shorts and shirts absorb a lot of the skin burns from falling at higher speeds. Eye protection is also important as debris as well as the wind can cause the eyes to tear, blurring the vision that can lead to mountain bike crashes when the rider fails to negotiate a curve or other obstruction.
Safety Tips and How to Avoid a Crash
There are numerous ways that you can improve your
mountain bike safety. Many riders will tell you that wearing a helmet is the most important step to
staying safe. The second most important step is that you should always ride in control of your mountain bike.
By riding in control, you’ll not only prevent crashes but keep others on the trail safe as well. When
riding out of control, you lose the ability to
adjust to the terrain as you ride over it. This can
and usually does result in serious injury to yourself
Follow these helpful guidelines, and you’ll remain
safe when riding your mountain bike.
Always make sure that you wear a helmet and other
necessary safety gear for the conditions that you
plan to ride in.
Never ride beyond your control
There is never any shame in walking the areas of
the trail that you don’t feel comfortable in riding
and you should never let anyone else tell you that
Keep your speed under control
Always make sure you keep your speed at a level
where you can quickly adjust to any obstacles or
change in the trail.
Knowing your trail
You should never push the limits on trails that you
aren’t familiar with. You should take trails you
aren’t familiar with at slow speeds until you learn
Slow down around blind corners
If you can’t see past a corner, you should always
slow down, as you never know who or what is around it.
Start small then go big
Work your way up to stunts or obstacles. Practice in
less difficult or dangerous situations before you
move up to something more dangerous.
Playing it smart
If you start to question what you are doing, you probably
shouldn’t be doing. Always think about what you are
doing and go with your instincts.