Planning to Bike Through a Canyon? Here is How to Stay Safe.

Biking has increased in popularity year over year, with more people biking now than ever in the last 10 years, with the over 50 million U.S citizens cycling regularly. Whether you are cycling to get to work, or just for a work out, it is an excellent way to get around and stay active. While this sort of biking can be very fun, you may want to take your bike up the mountain or through some canyons for some more scenic views. Canyon and mountain biking is a great way to experience some of nature’s most stunning views and it can be a very thrilling experience, but it can also be very dangerous if you are not prepared. Luckily, Utah’s bike accident lawyers at LifeLaw Personal Injury have you covered. In this article we will be diving into what you need to do to make sure that your mountain or canyon bike ride goes as safely and as smoothly as possible.

Before You Leave

While you might think that you only need to worry about your safety while you are out on the trails, your steps to a safe bike ride start right at home. Before you plan on leaving the make sure to do the following:

Inspect Your Bike: Check your bike to make sure that your tires are properly inflated and your front and rear brakes are both working correctly. If your bike chain is looking rusty or dusty consider cleaning and lubricating it to make sure that it shifts gears smoothly without any delays or skips. Lastly, if you are using a mountain bike ensure that your suspension is properly adjusted and functioning.

Wear Appropriate Gear: On a canyon or mountain bike ride wearing the appropriate gear is crucial for your safety. To start make sure that you are wearing breathable and moisture wicking clothes to keep yourself dry and avoid heat exhaustion. If possible try to wear bright colors or reflective materials so that you are seen by any other vehicles on the road. Next wear your helmet. A helmet is your number one defense against a traumatic brain injury, and should be worn at all times while on a bike. To make sure if fits correctly try shaking your head, if the helmet doesn’t move then it is properly fit. Lastly consider wearing gloves or eyewear like sunglasses or clear glasses. Gloves will be able to provide you with extra grip and protect your hands in case of a crash, while glasses will be able to shield your eyes from debris or dust.

Plan and Inform: Mountains and canyons are places that often lack cell phone service, and are easy to get lost in. So, before you go, research the trail you are going on to learn the length, the type of terrain, as well as the difficulty of the ride. You can use apps like AllTrails and Trailforks for this information. After you have researched your trail check the weather, try and avoid riding during any extreme weather conditions like thunderstorms or high winds. Inclement weather can increase your chances of getting into an accident greatly. Lastly, make sure that you share your plan with someone, be sure to tell them where you are riding, when you are leaving, and when you plan to be back so that they will be able to contact emergency services if you don’t come back in time.

Should I Take Anything With Me?

You might feel like you want to travel light on a bike ride up the canyon, but taking essentials with you can help ensure that you stay safe on your journey. Consider taking the following essentials when leaving for a ride.

Repair Kits and Safety Tools: It is best to be prepared for the worst, so it is crucial that you have the right tools in case of an emergency. Consider packing a multi-tool in your bag, with allen keys, screwdrivers and a tool that could fix your chain. This tool can help fix most minor issues you may encounter. In case your tire pops or deflates having a patch kit or a spare tube with a pump is an essential way to make an on the fly tire repair.

Hydration and Safety: Mountain biking can be extremely tiring, climbing steep inclines in the sun can lead to serious exhaustion. To help avoid further exhaustion make sure that you carry plenty of water with you, as well as an energy bar, or other foods to keep your energy levels high. In case of a crash or an accident also keep a small first aid kit with you containing bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. These can be crucial for any minor injuries that you could receive.

Lighting: At LifeLaw our Utah bike accident lawyers have seen how bike accidents occur, and the majority of them are caused by the rider not being seen. To make sure you are seen by other drivers your bike must be well lit. Equip your bike with front and rear reflectors, and if you are riding in low light conditions or during the night make sure you are carrying a flashlight or a headlamp.

How Can I Stay Safe During My Ride?

A canyon or mountain bike ride can be treacherous, especially if you are not sure what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Narrow Spaces: Canyon roads can typically be more narrow meaning that the space between you and oncoming traffic may be small. Make sure that you keep a safe distance from any oncoming vehicles, as well as travel with the flow of traffic. If you have to make any turns use hand signals to signify your intentions.

Stay Alert: The number one step you can take to help ensure your safety is to stay alert. Canyon and mountain biking requires adapting to your terrain, so keep your eyes on the trail for any obstacles, changes in terrain, or wildlife that may become a hazard.

Pace Yourself and Tale Breaks: These sorts of rides can be strenuous and energy draining. Make sure that you do not push yourself past what your body can handle. Take breaks when you feel tired and allow yourself to keep a pace that feels good for you.

Riding through a canyon or taking a mountain bike ride is supposed to be a fun new way to explore the outdoors, and by taking proactive steps towards your safety it can stay that way. Before you leave remember that your safety is the most important part of your ride. If you or someone you know is hurt in a cycling accident make sure to contact the Salt Lake City bike accident lawyers at LifeLaw Personal Injury. Here at LifeLaw we love cycling. In fact, one of our attorneys David Francis was on the US Mens Olympic Cycling Team alongside teammates Lance Armstrong, Jonathan Vaughters, and George Hincapie. We believe that this love and knowledge of the cycling world allows us to navigate a bike accident case better than any other attorney. To get the best possible representation for your bike accident case be sure to call LifeLaw Personal Injury! Contact us today for a free consultation, and to discuss your options.