Mountain Bike Safety
In the aftermath of this tragic accident, our focus once again turns to safety.
The Black Hills allows for bike enthusiasts of all skills levels to hit the trails, and with more than enough locations to choose from, there's bound to be a trail just for you.
Alyssa Biel, who works in sales at Two Wheeler Dealer, says, "There's Victoria Lake, Storm Mountain – those are both right outside of Rapid, here. Of course we have M-Hill in town and Skyline here in town, also. The Centinal Trail goes all the way from Sturgis down south. That's pretty popular."
The more you hit the trails, the more experienced you become. But experience is no substitute for safety. Even bikers who know trails like the back of their hand can be caught off guard by trail conditions.
Biel says, "I've been going down trails that I've ridden, you know, dozens and dozens of times and never had a problem with one section. Then, one day, I catch it just right and the next thing I know I'm on my butt on the ground."
Pine needles and layers of leaves can cause paths to be considerably slippery. Mud can be a wild card for trail conditions as well. And even though some bikers will take the time to remove rocks from the path, those rocks can just as easily be washed back onto the trail.
Like how experienced swimmers are at risk of drowning, even the best of mountain bikers can be thrown off the trail in the most extreme conditions. That is why it’s so important to be comfortable with your skill level and the conditions around you.
Biel says, "There's no shame in walking something if you're not comfortable riding it. It's okay to get off and walk up or down it. And even if you've ridden something a bunch of times, you know every once in a while something might be different. There might be a little bit of mud, there might be a couple pine needles, or something there."