Safety Talk

Laura's Musings on Mountain Bike Safety

We’ve been hearing about a lot of unfortunate mountain bike injuries lately. Jeff and I have had our fair share of crashes and want to share some hard learned lessons.

This is NOT to make any recently injured parties “feel bad”, we just want to let folks know some rules we try to live by:

 

  1. Incremental gains: Work on skills in a safe environment first (jumps that aren’t gaps, drops small enough that you could roll them, short steeps with run outs and wide corners without rocks or roots in them) then gradually build up complexity.

  2. Repetition: Do the skill over and over until it’s second nature - you can stop in a steep pitch safely, or do a jump at almost any speed because your timing is perfect.

  3. Get coached: Take a lesson with a local coach

  4. No peer pressure: If you look at something and have no idea how to safely ride it, don’t ride it. Even if a friend says “follow me”!

  5. Seriously, no peer pressure!:If you see your friends riding a feature on social media, it does not mean you have to ride it. Look at it, consider if you have been progressing the skills on smaller terrain and then decide for yourself if you’re up for it

  6. Rule of three: if you roll up to something 3 times and still don’t do it - stop. Save it for another day

  7. Point of commitment: If you feel hesitant at the lip of a jump, or the top of a slab, it can lead to panic braking or bad body position. Know the point of commitment and commit to riding, or stop and go back far enough to try it again

  8. Illusion of social media: It’s easy to stop and take a photo of a feature (jump or drop) since you usually stop to assess something before riding it. It’s harder to stop and take a video of a fast corner or a fun section of trail as you flow through it - but these are also awesome and you should be proud of riding them, no need for everyone to be hitting features!

  9. Being an “Advanced” rider doesn’t mean you have to be good at everything: Each aspect of mountain biking requires a “skill toolset”. I.e. if you’re good at jumps you may not be good at steeps, or if you know how to ride skinnies, it’s different then cornering. It’s all related skills but takes specific practice.

  10. Slow is fast: Slow down, exaggerate the skills. Once they are ingrained, you’ll end up riding faster and hitting bigger features while feeling safer and controlled!

 

These lessons have been learned over time and MANY crashes, we want to help you guys learn faster than us! Stay safe and have fun on your bikes!

As always we look forward to riding with you.

Laura Mislan 

 

COVID-19 Update: March 19, 2021

The improvements continue, keep up the good work Albertans! Currently we are still stage 2 of the re-opening plan, but our hospitalizations numbers are well under the target for stage 3.  The last update to restrictions was released on the 8th of March and officials have stated that they will wait at least 2 weeks in-between changes.  So with any luck this Monday we will move to stage 3.  As purveyors of outdoor recreation that will be good news for us!  There will need to be scrutiny by us as to if shuttling operations can proceed, but we are still over a month away from needing to be concerned about that.  Heading in the right direction thanks to the efforts of the community and government.  Thanks all!

COVID-19 Update: February 25, 2021

Alberta is currently in the downslope of a spike in cases that was at it's height in January.  Things are moving in the correct direction however the numbers are still well above even the highest point that we saw last spring.  Currently Alberta is in Step 1 of it's benchmark program attached to the number of hospitalizations.  The present number of hospitalizations is actually well under the Step 2 benchmark however the changes can't take place within 3 weeks of the previous change so we likely wont be moving to step 2 until March 2.  We might actually be at a low enough number to jump to step 3 by that point (<300 hospitalizations).

Alberta 66 MTB would not really be able to successfully run any programs under the restrictions of the current Step 1.  It would be close, but we would only be able to run children's programs and not have any transportation involved.  Close, but not quiet enough to make it worthwhile.  Once we move to Step 2,3 however we can start to make things happen, and it looks like by the time our programs actually start we will be there barring any resurgence.

With that said things are looking positive enough that we are opening up our registration on March 1 for the 2021 season.

We anticipate that by the time our season starts we will be back to roughly the same precautions that were required last season. This consisted of sanitation of surfaces in the vans, designated seats in the van, mandatory masks in the vans for all staff and non-cohorted individuals and a moratorium on the sharing of any snacks or other foodstuffs.  We also ask that any program participants who are experiencing Covid symptoms remove themselves from groups, and are offered refunds.

To sum up, we aren't there yet, but we should be by the time bike season starts. If we are not there by then Alberta 66 MTB is committed to complying with whatever regulations are put forward by the Government of Alberta.

COVID-19 Update: April 19, 2021

As of April 9th we are under CMOH Order 10-2021  
Sadly it appears that the Covid-19 numbers will not be sufficiently improved by May, so we must make some changes to how we will be proceeding.

 

Changes:

- Reducing May multi-evening course participant numbers from 10 people to 8 in order to comply with the 10 person limit for outdoor group physical activity, as our 2 coaches must be included in that number.

- Changing the lesson plans for our May courses so that they do not include any shuttle service.  All pedal powered or self shuttle.

 

Looking forward:

- 14 days out from any booked/scheduled shuttling activity (if there is no change to Covid guidelines) we will offer customers refunds/rebooking.

- 14 days out from any single session course (if there is no change to Covid guidelines) we will be reducing course participant numbers from 10 to 8.

- We will not be taking bookings of the shuttle service within one month if the covid guidelines have not changed.

- It doesn't appear that current guidelines will be affecting our Youth Camps, so as of this date we anticipate them going forward as planned.


If you are registered for one of our multi evening courses in May you will be receiving an email from us by end of day tomorrow (April 20th) outlining how we will be reducing the registration numbers.


In the grand scheme of things we don't have much to complain about when compared to other small businesses.  We are still able to operate part of our business with a few manageable changes, and any easing of restrictions will likely see us opening full operations. Thank you so much to you, our incredible customers, for your ongoing support and understanding.
Be well, and be kind to each other.

 
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