As a healthy outdoors sport, mountain biking offers great opportunities for fitness, adven-ture and wellbeing. The following recommendations from the alpine associations are de-signed to make mountain bike tours safer, environmentally friendly and free from conflicts:
- Be healthy on your bike
Mountain biking is an endurance sport. It is a sport that provides positive stimulation for the heart, muscles and circulation and requires you to be healthy and to realistically assess your own capabilities. Try not to rush and increase the intensity and length of your bike rides slowly.
- Careful planning
Specialist literature, maps, the Internet and experts are valuable tools to help you choose a bike tour that suits your fitness and ability. Always adapt tours to the group, weather report and current condi-tions. Note for single mountain bikers: even small incidents can lead to serious emergencies.
- Only cycle on suitable trails
Do not cycle off road to avoid erosion damage. Use only approved roads and trails and respect local re-strictions and regulations in order to avoid conflicts with landowners, those responsible for maintenance of trails and other users.
- Check your bike
Check your brakes, tyre pressure, the tightness of the wheels, suspension and gears before every trip. Annual maintenance of the bike by a specialist company will ensure its perfect technical condition. En-sure the seat is in a healthy position.
- Make sure you have everything you need
Warm clothing, rain and wind protection, a repair kit and a first aid kit should be in your rucksack, as well as your mobile phone (Euro emergency number: 112), a torch and enough food and drink. Gloves and glasses protect your hands and eyes. Map and GPS provide valuable guidance.
- Always wear a helmet
Uphill and down dale, always wear a helmet! In case of a fall or a collision, a helmet can protect you against head injuries or even save your life. Protectors can prevent injuries.
- Pedestrians have right of way
Have consideration for pedestrians by announcing your presence at an early stage and slowing down. Stop if necessary. A friendly greeting promotes acceptance. Cycle in small bike groups and avoid trails that are heavily used by hikers.
- Control your speed
Match your speed to the situation! Ride carefully and be ready to brake, because unexpected obstacles can appear at any time. You can learn biking and brake techniques in mountain bike courses.'
- Leave no traces
You can prevent soil erosion and damage to trails by braking gently so that the wheels don't lock. Take your rubbish with you and do not make a noise.
- Think of the animals
Twilight is feeding time for wild animals so cycle in the daylight to avoid disturbing them. Approach an-imals at a walking pace and close cattle gates after you.
10 recommendations from the Alpine associations
Created in collaboration with the Arc Alpin Club and Alpenverein Südtirol.