Three Ways to Stay Safe While Mountain Biking
During this pandemic, it can become easy to fall into sedentary behavior. It’s more important than ever to maintain positive momentum with physical activities, so Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers different virtual programs and services to reach warriors and their families in the comfort of their own homes.
Bicycling is one of many activities that is growing in popularity. Wounded warriors across the nation can now participate in WWP’s virtual cycling opportunities with a virtual cycling community. In this community, more than 700 warriors interact online through coffee socials, virtual riding challenges, cycling maintenance tutorials, and more. All cycling activity is tracked using a popular cycling app that gives warriors a platform to compete and engage with each other.
Through this community, warriors learn about different cycling opportunities, including mountain biking. Getting off the road and into nature can be a calming experience. For those wanting to join the hundreds of warriors who enjoy mountain biking, here are three ways to stay safe while enjoying off-road cycling:
- Plan your ride: There are many websites available to cyclists who want to trail ride, and most trails are ranked based on difficulty level, so be sure you find trails that align with your skill level. Whenever in doubt, it’s important to remember to start small and work your way up to more challenging options. It’s not a bad idea to walk trails in advance to become familiar with them before your ride. While walking, be on the lookout for any surprises on the route. Check for hidden rocks and roots, unexpected drops or obstacles, and watch out for blind spots. Remember, many trails offer alternate sections that bypass jumps or drops, lowering the level of intensity. Take note of those, and remember which sections you plan to take!
- Check your gear: At WWP, we are all about warrior safety. Do a thorough check on your bike and correct any maintenance issues well in advance. Helmets and other protective gear can keep you safe for another fun ride tomorrow. Be sure your helmet fits comfortably, and double down on other safety equipment like gloves, knee and elbow pads, goggles, or sunglasses. You may even consider special mountain biking shoes, depending on how intensely you plan to ride.
Remember, more than likely, you are not the only person on the trail. It is important to ensure others know where you are in relation to their path – and vice versa! Many mountain cyclists rely on bike bells to alert others of their location. But remember, they don’t work if they aren’t heard! So for the safety of yourself and others, avoid distractions — like headphones — and stay alert during your rides!
In addition, be sure to carry an emergency kit filled with essentials. Here are some suggestions: inner tube replacement; multifunctional tool for bikes that should include a Torx screwdriver, hex wrenches, chain breaker, and a flathead screwdriver; quick links; a mini shock pump; extra layer of clothing; water and snacks; first aid kit; and a fully charged phone and money.
- Share your route: Whether riding solo or in a group, it’s always important for someone to know your plan. Provide a map with the highlighted trail. Include the times and locations you plan to start and end your ride and any other pertinent information that may help locate you in case of an emergency.
Whether outdoors, or indoors for social distancing, wounded warriors are using cycling to connect with each other and restore a sense of adventure in their daily activities. Learn more about WWP’s nationally recognized Soldier Ride® program and other WWP virtual offerings here.
Contact: Vesta M. Anderson — Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 904.570.0771
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.