Before hitting the trails, it’s important to be attentive, check your gear (days before the ride), and keep watch of your surroundings

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Eerik Sandstorm/Unsplash

Recreational Outdoor Exchange organized a seminar called Ride Safe and Ride Hard featuring professional bike rider, coach, and race organizer Eboy Roselada on Aug. 29, Wednesday.

Roselada, who has been in the mountain bike community for 30 years now and is an advocate of bike gear and equipment safety, says the top three factors that can determine whether or not accidents occur include surroundings, equipment or gear, and human factors (such as physical and emotional states). It’s easy to blame your bike skills as the main cause of an accident, but in reality it has more to do with those three factors. And so the number one rule to a safe outdoor bike session is to make sure that your surroundings, apparel, and physical and emotional conditions are all secure.

Don’t Take Your Surroundings For Granted

Before you hit the trail, Roselada says it’s important to first check the weather, terrain, and temperature. If you tend to take outdoor conditions like the weather for granted, remember that regardless of how skilled you are, these conditions are crucial to your performance. But besides the weather forecast, the coach suggests to always be mindful of basic safety rules, road rules, and appropriate gear (for instance, reflective gear is especially necessary during night time).

Check Your Equipment Before Race Day

“Whenever I organize adventure rides, I always require [the team] to have their bikes checked at least three days before the actual ride,” says Roselada.

Don’t wait for the actual race day before giving your bike a thorough check. It’s something that has to be done during your training sessions or at least days before the actual race. Roselada stresses the importance of making sure your brakes, tires, helmets, protective gear, and drivetrain equipment are ready before you hit the road. Even if it’s a sunny day and you’re confident about your bike skills, there’s still a good chance to experience an accident if your gear is not in good condition. Other things you must master before you hit the road are the attack position, front stops and rear slow brakes, and control and cornering, which are basic biking skills that can save you from an accident.

Have the Right Mindset (and Skill Set) 

“I always ask my [team] if they’re okay with biking on a trail with a mix of signal tracks, downhill, and some grounded rocks. I ask them if they’re up for it. If they say yes, then they’re good to go. But if they say no, then that’s a problem,” Roselada says.

Before you start biking, it’s important to have the right mindset: That is, you have to be sure of yourself once you hit the trail. This assurance is largely indebted to first making sure that your proficiency level is at par with the kind of biking trail you’ve chosen. If you feel that a trail is too complicated, and you’re not too confident about your current biking skill, don’t bike on that trail. It’s better to cycle through a “safe” track in which you’re a hundred percent sure of what you’re doing. Because even if your bike is in good condition and the weather is ideal, if you’re at a level that’s not aligned with the track’s difficulty level, an accident can still happen.

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