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 

ALBERTA 66 MOUNTAIN BIKING

Calgary, AB, Canada

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