Mountain biking is fun. I love getting out there on the trails, racing along, and going over obstacles. Being out in nature with a group of friends on mountain bikes is incomparable. Unfortunately, the terrain and challenges that come with this sport can result in many accidents. Learning how to prevent them is key to being able to enjoy a full season.
Common bicycle accidents
Flying Over the Bicycle Handlebars
This is most often caused by rapid deceleration without having the body in the proper position. When you’re going downhill and you need to slow down, make sure you balance your body backward, even going as far as nearly sitting over the back tire so that as you slow down your body is not shot forward. Adjusting your handbrakes can also help with this. Sometimes easing them out a little bit allows for slower braking.
Crashes and Collisions
Going head to head with a tree, a rock, or even another rider is often caused by a lack of awareness. Even riding the trail at a slower speed once over helps with this, so you’ll know where certain hazards are. Space yourself out when riding with a group, and make sure oncoming riders know you’re there. If there is a tight section, slow down a little bit and pick out a line with your eyes before bolting into it.
Slipping and Sliding
Whether it be your feet slipping off the bicycle pedals or taking a sideways slide down sand or gravel, being unstable on your bike can cause serious injury. Wear the proper equipment, like bicycling gloves and good bicycling shoes, to avoid slipping on the bike.
If you’re riding down sand, gravel, or loose dirt and tapping the brake causes you to slide, the best thing you can do is turn the bike entirely to the side and stop, or pedal quickly out of it and head straight down. Getting off and walking is often the best idea unless you’re experienced with this kind of terrain.
A lot of the time you’ll come across roots, a pile of rocks, or a fallen log, and you can either ride over it, walk over it or, in some unfortunate cases, crash right into it. Most of the time a crash into an obstacle is caused by braking or going too slowly. You don’t have enough momentum to get over the obstacle and the bike stops suddenly, sending you over the handlebars, tipping you over, or (hopefully not) smashing your body into the frame. The only way to avoid this is to practice, practice, and practice. Try walking obstacles to see how your bike handles them.
Did you know...?
Did you know that one of the best ways to prevent mountain biking accidents is to simulate them during your bicycle training?
Of course, you don't want to intentionally initiate a collision where you'll end up flying over your handlebars - that's dangerous and foolhardy.
You can, however, have training partners bump gently against your bike or ride a little too close to you during training so you can practice dealing with these types of incidents. That'll help you avoid accidents in the real world.
Last Word About Mountain Biking Accidents
Unfortunately, I can't say you're never going to get in mountain biking accidents. It pretty much comes with the sport. However, being fit to prevent bicycling pain and muscle injury, and being aware of how to prevent common accidents are the keys to avoiding mountain biking accidents and having a good ride.
many years of enjoyable and safe bike riding."