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Stop, drop, and roll: Mountain biking tips

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It's summer time and that means mountain bike season is upon us. If you are new to mountain biking or even a seasoned veteran, there is always a chance that you might go down. Falling on dirt has more severe consequences than falling on snow. Here are a couple tips to help you minimize falling off your bike.

  1. Take a lesson. If you are new to mountain biking or if you are trying out clipless pedals for the first time, take a lesson. Your local ski area may offer lessons. Find somebody with more experience and go with them for a ride.
  2. Wear pads. If you have pads or know someone who does, wear them. It will minimize the impact in the event that you do go down. You should always be wearing a helmet. Knee/shin pads, elbow pads, and hip pads cover some of the areas that are prone to falls.
  3. Don't fight it. If you are going down, don't fight it. Trying to resist the fall or bracing yourself could result in more injury. Thus, if you are going down, you are going down.
  4. Stop, drop, and roll. Just like they teach you in school about fire safety: stop, drop, and roll. If you are going down, try to roll out of the fall versus bracing for impact. If you put your hands out, you may risk injuring your wrists. Tucking and rolling gives you a better chance of coming out of the fall with only minor scrapes and bruises.

Follow these simple tips and maximize your riding time while you wait for the snow to fall again.