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Top Safety Tips For Mountain Biking Holidays

Jul 15, 2008
Going mountain biking is one of my favourite ways of keeping fit and keeping my weekends busy. In particular mountain biking down hills and nature parks is my favourite pastime. When riding down trails in wooded areas, one must always be cautious of their own safety and become accustomed to wearing the right gear for when doing the trails. As much as they may seem exciting and wild to be involved with, it makes sense to be prepared to protect yourself.

Mountain biking holidays are simply breaks away and trying out their trails. Some places can be as exotic as Andalucia, Spain or South Africa. These offer great views, good trails and plenty of bikes to hire (unless you decide to take your own). People do not generally need a lot of experience to take part in these kinds of holidays; however, it helps to have some off-road biking experience and some trail riding experience.

Without knowing how to ride down hills and bumpy surfaces, you may find it difficult when going abroad to mountain bike. These can very often be fun if you have full control of your own bike, but would prove to be a difficult adventure for those who are under confident in their riding skills. Mountain biking holidays are aimed at providing people a unique experience as a holiday break, but also allowing them to see the joys of mountain biking in a different climate.

For those going for the first time and have a little bit of experience with riding bikes on rocky hills, they will need to take heed of a few safety tips before embarking on this adventure. The first most important piece of safety equipment to take is a good helmet, which should fit perfectly round your head. The ones to look out for are the ones that sit just above your eyebrows, are snug round your head (so they do not slip forward or backward) and have an adjustable strap. They should also be strong enough to protect your head and are not too heavy on your head.

You may find that some mountain biking holidays will offer safety equipment for hire; however, it is advisable to take your own, as this way you can use one without worrying about how it will fit.

Make sure you buy gloves (fully fitted or cut off), to protect them from any knocks or scratches. It is highly recommended that you also buy arm and shin guards, so if you were to fall you can protect your arms from any nasty cuts and bruises. People with mountain biking experience on hills will have experienced falling and may have sustained some injuries. With this experience comes the knowledge of how best to avoid injuries by falling the 'right' way e.g. rolling onto the front of your arms protecting the face. This way you will just roll on the ground rather than land onto something that may break.

The next thing you must make sure is whether you are physically fit enough to take on such an active holiday. There is no point in taking part in mountain biking holidays in Italy, created for expert riders unless you are not afraid of putting yourself at risk. It is also not recommended to try out steep mountain trails if you have a very bad sense of balance. The best thing to do is to pick out the holidays, which are tailored towards beginners or intermediate levels. This way you will enjoy easier trails and have a guide to help you on your way.

You should also consider the kind of bike you are going to take. This has to be a strong bike, which is maintained well and does not have a loose chain to hinder your riding skills. Depending on the type of biking you are into, a good mountain bike usually has good front suspension, good quality trail tyres, wide handlebars, good gear shifters and a lightweight frame. This makes for an easier and smooth ride. Personally, back suspension just does not cut it for me, but could be good for people trying out jumps and stunts.

Finally, when trailing on your bike, remember to enjoy yourself. This is a good experience and makes for one of the best active holidays around.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on mountain biking holidays, having been on many active holidays as part of her healthy living.
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