The Most Common Mountain Biking Injuries

Mountain biking is a sport for thick-skinned thrill seekers who love the adrenaline rush. It’s not for those who can’t handle a fall — since there will be many — or the threat of injury. This is especially true for those who are just starting, since they’re the ones who are most likely to fall and hurt themselves. The proper balance only comes after years of training. Once you’ve ridden thousands of miles, then you’re less likely to be seriously injured.

So what are the most common mountain biking injuries?

Many doctors say they have bikers who come in with symptoms like numbness from overextending the hands while biking. There’s not much they can do except tell patients to take it easy for a while and practice good posture while biking to reduce the chance of future symptoms — or even nerve damage. This is also why carpal tunnel syndrome is another common complaint. Reducing the weight you place on your wrist can reduce the chance for chronic carpal tunnel to develop. 

Most bikers will experience knee or lower back pain at some point in their career. These are simple overuse injuries and usually require rest to heal properly. If injuries like sciatica or Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) occur, then you’ll want to speak with your outfitter about a bike that fits your frame better. Speak with your doctor about pain-reduction strategies.

Many bikers will experience a broken bone. Of these, the collar bone and wrist break the most often. That’s because bikers will reflexively try to break their fall with a single outstretched hand. The impact will fracture bones in the wrist or arm, but the shock will also crunch the weight of your torso and your arm together — which means your clavicle is taking the brunt of the force, and will often break.

Less common are neck and back injuries, but these are always a risk even with precautions. They also have the most severe consequences, not only for continued quality of life, but also for the bank account. A single spine treatment can be extremely expensive, depending on what you need done. Herniated discs and chipped or broken vertebrae are the severe injuries that doctors and emergency room surgeons see most often. For these, expect many months of physical therapy and additional surgeries down the line.

How can you prevent these common mountain biking injuries? The first is the most obvious: pad up and be sure to wear a helmet. These don’t completely eliminate the possibility of injuries, but they greatly reduce the chances. Less serious injuries arise because of posture. Others arise because the bike doesn’t adequately reduce the shock of impact. You could even hurt your lower regions if your seat isn’t up to snuff. It’s important to reduce the opportunity for common injuries by investing in a good bike — and making sure that the bike is right for you. That means finding an outfitter to size you up!

Is It Ever “Too Cold” For A Mountain Biking Vacation?

Whether you’re an avid mountain biker or a total beginner, there’s no better time to start than fall or winter (before the snow begins to pile up, anyway). That’s because it’s more difficult to become dehydrated during cooler months as long as you remember to keep drinking. But it’s also because the fall and winter months are crisper, cooler, and sometimes even much more beautiful from very high up.

Then again, many of us worry about the stinging chill of the wind.

The wind, no matter how strong, no matter how cold, shouldn’t stop you! All it should do is spur you to become more prepared for the elements than you were before. The cold weather months are greatest for mountain biking for one reason above all others: those months are when most learning occurs.

What’s the first thing to remember about biking in cold weather? First, prepare like you would for any other trip. If bikepacking, be sure to have all the food and water you’ll need — and a little extra just in case you run into problems. Bring the right maintenance tools in case your tire pops. Make sure you have an escape plan. If you’re a novice, you don’t want to stray too far from help. In other words, make sure you cell phone works wherever you’re headed.

After that, much of the preparation is about gear. You need to break the wind, and that means warmer clothes to start. In fall or winter, you can’t just head out with a tee-shirt. You need to be thinking about a base layer, mid-layer, and an outer layer (or your shell). That means thermal underwear, maybe a merino wool hoodie, a puffy coat filled with synthetic down to keep your body heat from escaping, and a raincoat and pants when necessary. A light pair of gloves is definitely a requirement, as is a buff or hat to keep your ears covered.

When it gets even colder, you might consider adding a ski jacket to really keep you warm. You’ll want a pair of heavier gloves to go over the lighter pair. You’ll also want a pair of ear muffs, heavy winter cap, and probably a ski mask or balaclava. The goal should be keep every inch of your skin covered. If even a little bit is exposed, then you might come down with frostbite before you even realize something is wrong.

Beyond that, you’ll want to make sure that you have a cold-weather tent. Make sure you’ve picked up a sleeping bag and sleeping pad rated for the temperatures which you’ll likely experience. After all your preparations have been made, go have fun!

Mountain Biking For Beginners

While there is the age-old adage that you never forget to ride a bike, riding a mountain bike on a trail out in the wilderness is a different story. Riding your bike on flat terrain or riding a stationary bike at the gym is considered a cardiovascular exercise. But mountain biking on varied terrain can be a work out for several different muscle groups.

If you feel like taking the leap into mountain biking, here are a few things that you need to know before taking the plunge.

  • Eat fresh veggies, fruit, and whole grains to build a base for endurance.
  • Start with going on a few bike rides a week that are low intensity to build up your stamina.
  • Gradually add more intense hiking and trails to your route.
  • Learn how to lean your bike through turns, similar to carving on skis. This prevents you from losing momentum.
  • There will be many obstacles along the trail including roots, rocks, and bumps. If they are small enough, you might be able to coast over them with no issue.
  • For larger objects, mastering the front wheel lift is imperative. There are several articles which break down on the best way to lift your front wheel.
  • There are also strategies that can be found online on how to best approach uphill obstacles. A method to use is lifting your front wheel and letting the backpedals do the work.
  • Don’t forget to rest.

Like any exercise routine, starting off slow and working your way to more intensity is the best way to approach mountain biking. There are several tutorials online to show you how to best handle your bike so that you can stay safe while riding out in the wilderness.

What Do Mountain Biking Outdoor Enthusiasts Think Of Trump’s Environmental Policies?

For those who don’t spend much time enjoying the great outdoors, climate change denial might not seem like that big of a deal. But for those outdoor enthusiasts who love it so much and spend more time outside than anybody else, the potential for environmental instability is a source of great unrest. One outdoor clothing and gear manufacturer, Patagonia, has decided to provide its share of recent tax cuts to environmental conservation groups.

This statement was provided on the heels of the Trump administration’s climate report, which provided nearly indisputable evidence that human activities were responsible for man-made climate change that will cause billions of dollars in damage, death, and result in millions of people displaced from their homes.

21 children who originally levied a 2015 lawsuit against the Obama administration are still fighting for their day in court. This year a U.S. District Court judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed, and almost immediately it was stalled by the Supreme Court, which will now rule on its validity. The suit alleges that the government both has the responsibility to protect our environment in order to maintain a stable climate for future generations, and has also failed in this responsibility by implementing policies which actually have an adverse impact on the climate.

22 members of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (or IMBA) travelled to Washington last month in order to promote the need for funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which expired when Congress failed to renew its resources last year. The LWCF usually acquires funding through a small tax on offshore drilling projects. It’s not surprising that a Republican-controlled Congress allowed it to expire, especially with a climate change-denier in the most powerful office in the world. The LWCF is depleted by about $2.5 million for each day it remains unfunded.

Recently a bipartisan group introduced a new bill aimed at imposing a carbon tax, spurred to action in part by the recent floods and wildfires that have wreaked havoc all over the country. For now, the bill has little hope of passing through Congress.

It’s unfortunate that the Conservatives in power would act in a way that puts not only the environment in danger, but also our future economy. Rising global temperatures will cost us a lot, and it’s worth investing to prevent those costs today.

Here Are The Newest Mountain Biking Trails

It isn’t always easy to discover new trails on which you can mountain bike. This is in part because a lot of nature lovers aren’t very fond of the loud sounds and dangers associated with bikes, and so they need to be well segregated from other paths in order to be viable. Luckily, mountain biking is becoming a more popular sport, and new trails are being made to deal with the greater traffic. Here are a few of the newest mountain biking trails as of 2018.

  1. Some of us consider Moab the mountain biking capital because you can find a new trail every year. If you’re lucky, you might even find a whole new network of trails. Have you been on the Rodeo Trail? It was completed in 2017, forming a loop near Chisholm trail. Much of the nine-mile ride is rated for beginners, so this is a good place to visit if you’re just starting out.
  2. The 12-mile Wasatch Over Wasatch (WOW, not to be confused with WoW) is a great trail in Park City, Utah. The upkeep is phenomenal, which is why you won’t want to miss the WOW trail if you’re in the area. Not only that, but you’ll find yourself with great views of Mount Timpanogos, Snake Creek Canyon, and Cascade Peak. There are shuttles available to bring you there if you’re too lazy to, ya know, bike!
  3. If you’ve never been to the artsy, weird town of Sedona, Arizona, then you’re missing out. You can find world-renowned vortexes here. That’s not your thing? Then check out the 27-mile Western Gateway trail system when it’s completed. Construction just started in Fall of 2018, but there are a number of other options already available, like Skywalker Loop.
  4. Brevard, North Carolina is home to a great singletrack in Pisgah National Forest. If you’re looking for something newer or more technical, try Spencer Gap. There are also plans to connect other popular trails in the region in the coming years.
  5. What better place to go mountain biking than a ski resort during summer months? Check out Sun Valley on Bald Mountain in Idaho, where you’ll find Trail 3. You can speed downhill for more than nine miles before you have the opportunity to stop. Hopefully that kind of rush is your thing!

Why Biking Is The Ultimate Workout

Biking, whether on a stationary bike, cruising on the boardwalk, or mountain biking, is one of the only few exercises that simultaneously work out your muscles and work out your cardiovascular system.

Which Muscles Does Biking Impact?

There are several different muscle groups that taking a bike ride activates. The pedaling motion of riding a bike activates the following muscles groups:

  • quadraceps
  • hamstrings
  • calf muscles
  • hip flexors
  • guteus maximus
  • plantarflexors
  • dorsiflexors

If you are riding outdoor fand keeping your balance, the following muscles groups are activated to assist in support and stability:

  • abdominal muscles
  • arm muscles
  • chest and shoulder
  • back muscles

Benefits of Cardio-Vascular Exercise

As previously mentioned, biking also is a cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular refers to your heart and lungs. These are two very strong muscles that also need to be worked Cardiovascular exercise is important because it helps create stronger heart and lungs and has other benefits such as:

  • weight loss
  • higher bone density
  • reduced stress
  • relief from anxiety and depression
  • better sleep
  • more energy
  • reduced risk of heart disease

If you are looking for an exercise that can help tone your muscles as well as help your cardiovascular strength then consider biking. It doesn’t matter if you are on a stationary bike at the gym or using a mountain bike to explore the wild, the health benefits are clear.

Famous Mountain Biking Trails of the World

For those who dare venture along the treacherous paths of a mountain biking trail, there is almost no greater adventure or sense of exhilaration than the winding turns and potential pitfalls that are but a taste of the very real dangers of the sport. Mountain bikers, practically by their very nature, seek out the most difficult trails that offer the greatest challenge, similar to skiers looking for the most challenging slopes along at a ski resort. But, how far do you need to go to find the extreme in mountain biking trails the world over? In some cases, they might actually be closer than you think.

The Hydrocut Trails

Located in the Kitchener/Waterloo area of Ontario, Canada, the Hydrocut Trails are relatively simple for the experienced bikers, but still offer thrilling, fast rides through 25 kilometers of wooded area. Complimented by board walks, bridges, switchbacks and what they refer to as “armoured” walls, the Hydrocut rides fast on single lane trails in dry weather and even faster on slick clay surface after a generous rain. The only thing this trail misses are the heights and drops that might appeal to more extremist mountain bikers.

Warrior Creek

For those along the east coast of the United States, trekking to Wilkesboro, North Carolina might be worth the trip. Warrior Creek sports a scenic view of “out and back” North Carolina biking trails, including rock gardens and lake views. Similar to the Hydrocut, Warrior Creek also contains several bridge passes as well as in-slope turns to keep any mountain biker on their toes. Trail boss Jim Horton has dubbed it, “OVT on steroids.” And if the OVT on steroids isn’t enough for you, Warrior Creek is only a part of a more elaborate trail network that includes the OVT and Dark Mountain to round out the whole of Kerr Scott. And if that isn’t enough, the trail also hosts a 6-hour endurance challenge every year in the spring.

Smithfield Mountain Bike Park

As if there weren’t enough reasons to visit the continent down under already, outside the city of Cairns lies the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park. One of the highest ranked rainforest trails in the world, Smithfield sports 60 kilometers of wilderness and technical riding that includes both short and long climbs as well as descents among a spread of over 700 kilometers of mountain biking trails around the city of Cairns in total. The trail was featured in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in both 2014 and 2016 as well as hosted the UCI World Mountain Bike Championship last year.

El Gallinero

For one of the ultimate nature trails that offers a significant challenge, traveling to Benasque, Spain needs to be the hope of any enthusiastic mountain biker. El Gallinero is home to a 30 kilometer trail that features of natural sights to see, including high alpine trails and down-to-earth wooded areas. These trails include fast single track experiences as well as more technical areas with twists and turns to challenge even experienced bikers. Perhaps one of the more appealing long-term draws is that El Gallinero is also part of TrackMTB’s Big Montains Pyrenees Trip.

Three More Types of Mountain Biking Injuries You Should Know About

While we all love mountain biking here, it is important to know that our favorite activity comes with some serious downsides. You can take every precautionary measure in the world, but you can still end up with an injury that will have you off of the trails for weeks, months, or even years. A few months back, we posted a blog about three types of mountain biking injuries, but we felt like it was important to revisit the subject and give you a few more.

Since mountain biking involves high speeds, hard surfaces, and very little padding, the injuries sustained while biking are quite serious. While you can get some cuts and bruises from falling off of your bike, those are usually nothing compared to the serious injuries you can suffer from falling off at the wrong time.

Here are some of the top mountain biking injuries, and how you can prevent them:

Broken Bones

Broken bones can range from minor annoyances to serious injuries that threaten the structural integrity of your body. If you break a bone with enough force, it is within the realm of possibility that you could need to get serious surgery, even amputation if it is severe enough. While this is a very rare scenario, it is very important to note that if you think you broke a bone while biking, you need to get medical treatment right away. Do not let your injury fester while you can improve it with the help of a physician.

Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries you can sustain while mountain biking. Falling off of a bike can cause your body to contort in ways that mess up your spinal alignment – this can give you a wide array of painful symptoms from minor back pain to total paralysis.


Even if you are wearing a helmet, it is possible for you to suffer from a serious concussion after a bicycle accident. Since you are travelling at high speeds, the force from your body hitting the ground, a tree, or anything else can cause a serious concussion. Concussions can range from mild to life-altering, as serious cases can make you lose your memory and proper bodily functions.

Here is a video of someone getting injured on their mountain bike – please stay safe out there!

The Benefits Of Mountain Biking – An Overview

If you’re curious to learn more about the benefits of mountain biking, then this article is going to give you the key information you need. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a closer look.

Firstly, it’s safe to say that mountain biking can be a fun and invigorating hobby that does wonders for your general health and fitness. In particular, it is very good for your cardiovascular fitness as well as your general heart health, and you will certainly notice that regular cycling of any sort will quickly improve your endurance levels.

Of course, having fun and exciting hobbies is also a key part of enjoying life, and any keen mountain biker will tell you how fun it can be to tackle a new trail or simply enjoy a bike ride in an off-road environment. In fact, for some keen mountain bikers, the activity can be considered a form of meditation that keeps you in the present moment and enhances your coordination whenever you are dealing with a difficult part of the trail.

Something else that’s worth bearing in mind is that mountain biking isn’t just an exercise for your calves and thighs, but it can also be considered a full body workout as well. In most cases, you will feel the ache in your abdominal and core muscles as well as your shoulders and arms, particularly if you have been tackling a tough route for several hours and more.

Finally, many people find mountain biking to be a very social hobby, and it’s certainly fun to head out on the track with your friends or family coming along for the ride. Ultimately, this activity allows you to have a fun, social hobby that’ll work wonders for your general happiness, and it also allows you to get out in nature and enjoy some breathtaking views that only a true mountain biker will ever have the opportunity to experience.

The Red Bull Hardline Takes Off For The Fourth Year

Mountain biking isn’t always what it sounds like. For the most part, the people who buy mountain bikes are rational, sane people who are just looking for a simple and fun off-road experience and have no desire to ride up and down a steep vertical incline, even if the bikes themselves are specifically designed for durability and to increase performance in a variety of rugged landscapes. Some people like to take things literally, though, and those are the people who are most familiar with the death-defying Red Bull Hardline.

The Red Bull Hardline is considered one of the most difficult mountain bike races in the world. The competition plays out in the rough hills of the Dyfi Valley of Wales, and is going on its fourth straight year. If mountain bike races weren’t scary enough, the Red Bull Hardline actually launches competitors over the heads of their spectators in a fifty foot leap from the side of a mountain. It might be said that this race isn’t for the faint of heart, but then again many more might say it’s only for the clinically insane.

Even so, these tough maneuvers are the very focal point of the race. Creator Dan Atherton wanted to create a course that pushed those who loved the sport, and so he did. Not only did he manage to conceive a race that is widely considered one of the toughest, but he also played a huge role in bolstering the number of people who participate or spectate. When things get dangerous, they also become more popular. It’s like a rule.

There might be a lot of people willing to give this gauntlet a try, but only twenty of the best riders in the world are afforded the opportunity. Red Bull TV both sponsors and broadcasts the event in order to promote the sport to as many people as possible.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, mountain bike racing (or MTB/ATB racing) was recognized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (or UCI) in 1990, even after the premiere UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 1998. The World Cup consisted of nine races and took riders to Europe and North America in order to experience and race in some of the toughest terrains in the world. By 1996, MTB racing as a sport became a part of the Olympic Games. The sport’s popularity has only grown since then. Since 2006, MTB racing is even encompassed in the World Deaf Cycling Championships.

There are a number of different types of racing, with different rules and regulations and disciplines assigned to each. These include cross-country, downhill, Super D, freeride, four cross, dirt jumping, marathon, and more. The Red Bull Hardline, naturally, is a downhill race.