You’re using expensive gear, tackling tough terrain, and putting yourself at the mercy of the elements. Just think of all the things that could go wrong… Here are our top tips for minimising your risks while mountain biking:
#1 You have a helmet – wear it properly!
How do you know it’s tight enough? When you chat to your mate, the chinstrap should pull slightly. The side straps should be pulled upwards and tightened just below your ear.
#2 Know where you are
We’re all for exploring, but unless you’re an experienced rider, always plan your route using a GPS and ensure you know what challenges you could face while you’re there. Having a double flat in unknown territory is just not fun.
#3 Make sure your bike is well maintained
You wouldn’t drive your car from Cape Town to Joburg without ensuring your wheels had enough tread and your car was roadworthy. Your bike? Same thing. Although we don’t expect you to ride from Cape Town to Joburg on it, of course. Perform a general check (wheels, brakes, gears etc.) before you hit the trail.
#4 Always tell someone where you’re going
Don’t be sidetracked by a spur of the moment destination change. Send a buddy (or your mom if you have to) a message letting them know where you’ll be riding, with whom and when you’re expected home.