Think safety on mountain bike trails
The mountain biking season is off to an early start. Already, enthusiasts are fine-tuning their bikes, taming the trails, gradually regaining their physical abilities and ensuring their safety to make the most of it.
After spending a few months without pedaling, the body needs a period of adaptation. ” He is not in the same condition as when the season ended last year “, recalls Christian Déry, general manager of Empire 47.
Form, agility, reflexes, endurance are gradually found along the tracks of lower levels.
The trails and modules have probably also changed, due to weather conditions, maintenance performed and improvements made. Better to explore them, reclaim them quietly and practice a few maneuvers, before starting.
The bike is probably no longer at its best after last season and a few months of storage. A general update is needed!
“Following a training allows you to start your practice on the right foot, without taking bad folds”, according to Mr. Déry, in addition to ” multiplying the degree of safety on the trails by 100 “.< /p>
Moreover, “mountain bike schools are becoming more and more popular,” notes Éric Gagnon, director of development and field operations at Sentiers du Moulin, and not just with beginners. “A lot of people take classes to progress and improve their technique,” he says. On the handlebars of an electrically assisted bike, which is heavier and requires different skills, training is not negligible.
For about two years, Mr. Déry has been delighted to see more cyclists wearing protective gear. Not only a helmet and gloves, but “in advanced or expert level trails, with fast or technical descents, with or without jumps and breaks, it is recommended to wear knee pads, elbow pads and even a full-face helmet with a chin guard,” emphasizes Mr. Gagnon.
Some models have a chin guard that stows in your backpack when climbing, then easily installs at the top for additional protection when descending. A back protector, a chest protector, as well as stockings with ankle protectors are also part of the equipment available.
Respect your progress
To not get discouraged and avoid injuries, it is best to gradually develop your skills, learn to read the trails and tame the adrenaline by starting with easier trails, then climbing the ladder at your own pace.
Vélo Québec advises to “stay on the trails and modules that correspond to your abilities. You are responsible for informing yourself about the levels of difficulty and choosing your route accordingly”.
Other advice from Vélo Québec
- Always ride in control and respect your limits. You must be able to stop and avoid any person or obstacle.
- Respect the signs, stay on the marked trails and never venture into closed sections.
- Give priority to cyclists in front of you. On two-way trails, yield to uphill cyclists.
- Clear the trail. If you must stop, do so back from the track in a visible and safe place.