Preventing Mountain Bike Injuries

A resident of Robbinsville, Robert Rankin has been leading Snowbird Mountain Lodge in southwestern North Carolina for more than two decades. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing all operations at the lodge, which covers 100 acres of the mountain, and ensuring the company meets the four virtues of courage, compassion, grace, and fortitude. Outside of work, Robert Rankin enjoys a variety of hobbies, such as mountain biking near his Robbinsville, NC, home.

As with most types of biking, mountain biking offers a range of health benefits; however, there are risks of injury. A few ways of minimizing injuries are discussed below.

Getting in shape and staying in shape is one of the best ways of preventing normal wear-and-tear injuries, especially those related to the back, which are common among mountain cyclists. Cyclists who have a strong core and legs are better able to handle the repetitive strain of cycling than those without.

Keeping the hands protected limits the risk of muscle strain or numbness in the hands and wrists. Before starting out, warm up the hands by spreading out the fingers and curling them into a fist a few times. Also, wearing padded gloves prevents any blisters and ensures cyclists stay in control of their bikes.

Fatigue is one of the most common causes of injury when mountain biking, but it is easily avoidable if cyclists plan their ride before setting out. Determining a clear path keeps rides within a reasonable time frame and prevents cyclists from tiring out and possibly crashing.

Making sure the bike is functioning properly prevents injuries that may result from parts breaking during jumps or flat tires getting caught on the terrain. Cyclists should check all the bolts and screws on the bike’s body and keep an eye out for any cracks or fractures along the frame.

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