Your query, Is Mountain Biking Dangerous, seriously took me into nostalgia and reminded me of my parent’s concerns and threats they felt when I started mountain biking twenty years ago and how hard it was for me to get the approval.
TBH, from the perspective of a watcher who just sees bikers sprinting over the bumpy highways, jumping on the cliffs, and riding through slippery hills – it looks dangerous.
But things mountain bikers say are totally different. How? I am a professional biker, doing it for the past 20 years, so I am telling you that MTB riding is far less dangerous than famous sports like football and baseball.
To convince your parents and elderly, I will add some graphs and studies to help you get permission for mountain biking; of course, they are concerned and need to be served with satisfactory stats for MTB safety.
When I asked for my parent’s nods, seriously, I had nobody to help me. But I won’t leave you alone. So here are stats, research, and hands-on guidelines proving Mountain Biking is not dangerous.
Call Mountain biking Adventurous, not dangerous, because no biker goes on cliffs without a handful of mountain bike safety tips, and we have not witnessed any serious injuries too.
Is Mountain Biking a Sport?
Yes. Mountain biking is an off-road cycling sport. According to the rules, the biker has to go through rough terrains such as sand, mud, dust, hills, cliffs, and rocks.
The trails are designed with manmade and natural obstacles. The aim is to reach the checkpoint before other bikers via skillful cycling.
Mountain biking became an official sport in 1978 when Joe Breeze introduced the Breezer Series 1. Hundreds of races are conducted around the year where professional bikers compete and showcase their skills.
Is Mountain Biking Dangerous?
According to sports representatives and researchers around the world, there are plenty of more dangerous sports than mountain biking, where Ice Hockey, rugby, and baseball could be the most dangerous of all.
I am not talking about the severe damage but the probability of getting injured during different sports. The injury rate for MT biking is much lower than for other sports.
Besides, I am not saying there are no chances of getting hurt during mountain cycling. All I am trying to explain is that the injuries are not life-threatening and can be avoided easily by using safety kits and expert tips.
MT Biking comes with a lower fatal probability contrary to common sports like basketball, football, rugby, and ice hockey. In that aspect, the mountain is much safer than other common sports.
I am saying this on the basis of research studies and things mountain bikers say about it. Let me tell you with the help of some tables and research studies regarding Is Mountain Biking Dangerous.
How Dangerous is Mountain Biking?
We don’t have so many mountain bikers yet in the world, though more and more people are joining this sport now. Due to the fact that very few people have actually tried mountain biking, people sense it as dangerous just by watching and asking if Is Mountain Biking Dangerous.
MT biking is challenging and contests the rider’s safety zone to compete and attain skills. But this is not dangerous, not even for novice bikers.
I will compare MT biking with other outrageous sports in the table below for more information;
Here, you can see rugby is the most dangerous of all, while injury per 1k exposures is just 1.5 for MT biking, which is far less than football, soccer, basketball, and other most common sports like this.
Moreover, Mountain biking is an excellent recreational activity for a healthy body and sound mind because it helps you stay nearest to nature.
Also, mountain biking is an excellent sport to lose weight faster. It helps you build muscles, shed fat, and get a well-built body disposition.
You can cancel all your gym memberships and health appointments when riding mountain bikes regularly because it is a complete exercise and activity to keep your physical and mental well-being intact.
I am not saying this on my own, although it’s my personal experience, but a study about mountain biking by Washington Education also proves this.
I know these benefits will never leave you to ask, Is Mountain Biking Dangerous?
Most Common Mountain Bike Injuries
However, it doesn’t mean MT biking has no risks if it is not dangerous. However, most of the injuries occur due to a lack of skills and a shortfall of focus.
Mountain biking becomes the safest sport if such human errors are ignored or not considered. However, the injuries it causes are not fatal unless some mishap happens.
You can call them potential risks (potential because these can be avoided) related to MT biking:
PS: Novice bikers are prone to such injuries, but increasing your skill level can help you avoid them.
As a result of falls or jolts, a person can suffer from fractures on the forearm, wrists, hands, shoulder, or even back. However, this happens when you don’t apply the right gear or implement brakes at the right moment (human error).
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting from some heavier jolt or blow, which causes the head to move to and fro rapidly.
As a result, a person can experience problems in focus, memory issues, or balance in coordination. Nonetheless, this issue also occurs due to personal mistakes.
3. Facial Injuries
If you bump your face on the handles or some other place during riding, you can experience facial injuries and wounds.
Mountain Bike Safety
If you are still in a fix regarding Is Mountain Biking Dangerous, read these safety tips.
If you want to have safe rides and do mountain cycling without potential injuries, 70% occur due to riders’ personal mistakes and can easily be avoided; check these tips:
1. Bike Size
First of all, your bike should be according to your size and mustn’t be too long or too small for you. On the wrong bike, taking turns, lifting the bike on the obstacles, and going downhill or uphill will become tricky, complex, and nearly dreadful to cause injuries.
Check signs that your mountain bike is too big and avoid taking it to the rough terrain to prevent potential injuries.
2. Check Your Gears
Wrong set speed gear, not working brake system, and unraised handlebars on the mountain bike can make riding through trails challenging and risky.
Make sure to check all your gear first, such as tire pressure is optimum to psi, brakes are working correctly, suspensions are preset, and adjustable speed. Doing so, you will face no dangers.
3. Know Your Path
Do not go on an unfamiliar landscape alone without having an idea of the obstacles. Plan in advance and always ride slowly and more carefully when you don’t know what is coming ahead.
Besides, if you see that nature is playing its part in making your ride more adventurous, for instance, sudden rain causing slipperiness on the roads, try to wait to get the path clear. Don’t take risks!
4. Garb Safety Equipment
Don’t ever ride without safety equipment, and I would recommend that no safety segment has less importance. From most necessary helmets to tiny wrist pads and gloves, wear everything.
Besides, ensure that the safety kit you use is according to your body size and not small or big. Otherwise, such accessories can cause a lack of focus, resulting in mountain biking injuries.
What I mostly do when I feel so tired is start to look around, sing songs, or chew chewing gums instead of focusing on the bike. Dah! I have been a mountain biker for over twenty years and know what is coming ahead.
Therefore, as a novice biker, you are not recommended to lose focus on the way. That doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy music or the sightseeing on the way, but just keep your attention on the roads.
If you get fascinated by some area, stay, watch, take pictures, and restart your journey. By doing so, you can make the most out of your ride.
6. Warm-Up Before the Ride
Do not sit on your bike right away after waking up. Warm before you start your journey. For this, you can go upstairs and downstairs rapidly, jog around the home, or do some pushups.
All you have to do is get your body ready for the ride. If you don’t warm up before the ride, your body will not be stretched properly, and you will feel tired more easily.
7. Start Slow
Do not start with fast riding at once. Start slow on a flat path, move to slightly diagonal roads, and then uphill. This is called keeping up with your rhythm.
Besides this, try breathing through your nose. Breathing through the mouth takes more energy and makes your throat feel dry. Ultimately, you get exhausted.
8. Go Steady
Keep your rides steady, even if they are slow, and meet your daily goal of reaching a point. Do not lose patience on the way.
You may feel exhausted at the start, but with time, you’ll start feeling refreshed. Doing so can build stamina and keep your focus intact to avoid injuries.
9. Keep Hydrated
Drink plenty of water. After every mile, you have to drink water. Dehydrated bodies feel more exhausted, quicker, and faster. You can lose focus and end up with injuries.
Avoid this by keeping a fresh and vast supply of water with you. You can also try chewing gum to keep it entertaining.
10. Don’t Mind Breaks
There is no need to keep up with the other riders on the way; in fact, rest when tired. As per your pace and rhythm, taking a 10-minute break will allow you to build strength for the next ride.
Taking breaks is what professionals like me do on a regular basis. When riding mountain bikes, it is obvious to put energy and to keep it up; resting intervals are mandatory.
11. Remain Regular
Try to ride daily to be a pro mountain biker and take all those rough terrains you dream of. Make sure to spend time in the woods every day on your bike to know the pathways and mountain biking skills better.
12. Read My How To Bike Uphill Without Getting Tired Guide
This guide will address everything from beginner to pro ideas. As a tyro, start reading from the first point, while for practiced riders, the tips are just a few scrolls down.
Now, you tell me, Is Mountain Biking Dangerous? I know your answer is no. For more interesting reads, keep visiting MTB Knowledge.