The number of vehicles in the parking lot for W. Kerr Scott Reservoir’s Warrior Creek mountain bike trails in recent weekends indicates a surge in use of this outstanding outdoor recreational resource.
This also is reflected in an increase in emergency personnel being dispatched in response to mountain bike accidents at Warrior Creek.
That area is in the Goshen Fire District and Goshen Fire Chief Mark Wood said his department has been dispatched to five such accidents at Warrior Creek since August. The Wilkes Rescue Squad also often is dispatched.
One of these five recent situations occurred Sunday and another the prior weekend.
Wood said one of the two resulted in a man in his 20s or 30s suffering a broken collarbone.
In the other, a 17-year-old riding with his father suffered cramps and wasn’t able to ride his bike back so Wood and Joel Blackburn pushed the bikes of the father and son back to their vehicle.
Broken collarbones are among the most common mountain bike injuries and cramps often indicate dehydration from not consuming enough water.
It can also result from a lack of electrolytes, particularly sodium.
According to various sources, there are basic concepts that help prevent these and other common, undesirable experiences while mountain biking.
In addition to causing cramps, dehydration slows physical responses and impairs senses, thus increasing the likelihood of crashes.
According to one source, a good rule of thumb is to drink about 16 ounces of water before riding and about 20-24 ounces per hour while on the bike.
Spending about 10 minutes warming up and stretching prior to riding helps decrease the likelihood of strains and sprains and improves reaction time, thus making crashes less likely.
Getting out of the bike seat and shifting weight from the seat to the pedals lowers your center of gravity and makes you more stable.
How you fall goes a long way toward avoiding injuries.
Try to tuck and roll when you fall and avoid tensing up.
If you’re able to realize you’re about to fall, lift one leg over the bike frame so both legs are on one side and eject to the side of the bike while attempting to avoid obstacles.
Control your speed and be conscious of being able to stop in half the distance you can see ahead.
Ride through puddles rather than around them.
Obviously wear a helmet, but it’s also a good idea to wear glasses and gloves.
Check your bike for mechanical problems before riding.
Know the difficulty of the trail you plan to ride and don’t go on trails that are too technical for your skills and experience.
Lastly, try to not to ride by yourself.
A group of three riders is best so someone can stay with an injured person if someone else has to leave to get help.