Safety isn’t something most of us think about that much when we’re mountain biking. Helmets and gloves are pretty standard, and more people are wearing kneepads for when things might get a little gnarly. When riding DH, we usually upgrade to a full face helmet and some body armour. When you’re responsible for leading a group, things are different. For YYCMTB there’s a bit more to safety, including some things you might not have thought about.
Safety at YYCMTB
Let’s be clear – “safe” does not have to equal “dull”. Mountain biking is fun and challenging, and improving your skills means making some mistakes. Falling off your bike and getting scraped and/or bruised is something that can happen when we ride, and especially when we’re learning. That said, we don’t want anyone to get seriously injured, ’cause you can’t ride when you’re broken.
We do a few basic things to encourage safe sessions:
- Bike Check – This is a quick end-to-end check of your bike to make sure that everything is working the way it should be, including brakes, gears, wheels, bars, stem, etc. This takes less than 5 minutes, but quickly exposes any issues.
- Gear Check – Helmet, gloves, glasses/contacts, shoes, are the obvious ones. Things that get missed, especially by new riders, are water, sunscreen, and a bit of food. Not so obvious things like allergy meds can come in real handy during the hay fever season. Epi-pen? Yeah, don’t leave that at home!
- Low-Pressure Zone – Our clients should never feel that they “must” do something. We’ll encourage you to try new things on your bike, but we can’t make you do anything you don’t want to. In fact, we will discourage you from trying things that we feel are beyond your ability to handle.
There are some other safety-related things we do that aren’t obvious, but they’re definitely there.
- Emergency Response Plan – For every session/location, we have an ERP.
- Permits – Basically, this is proof that we meet the standards required by governments for the operation of a commercial guiding/instruction business, and have permission to work where we do. It’s worth noting that permits are sometimes necessary even for free group rides.
- Insurance – Very necessary.
- Certifications – Our instructors and guides are trained on how to lead effective, fun and safe sessions.
- Hassle-Free Zone – YYCMTB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of clients and instructors in our sessions. Play nice or go home – it’s as simple as that.
If you have any questions about safety at YYCMTB, please feel free to get in touch with us.