Mountain Bikers Hit the Trails
Riders Need to be Safe in Order to Prevent Injury
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While some people ride bikes to relax others ride to compete. People like Duluth’s Max Fierek.
“I really enjoy the thrill of being timed against other racers,” he said. “I race the national circuit, so I race against the best guys in the nation.”
According to Fierek, mountain biking is tougher than it looks and is a great way to stay active.
“There’s so much more physical strength involved,” said Fierek. “Your body has to be prepared to , your arms and your legs. Everything has to be in good shape to be able to do this kind of sport.”
But before jumping on a bike and hitting the trails riders need to think safety first.
“It starts up top with a good helmet,” said Dr. David Rust with St. Luke’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Dr. Rust says helmets are the most important piece of equipent.
“All mountain bikers should be wearing a good, well-fitting helmet to prevent head injuries.”
“For me, having a full face helmet, a neck brace, knee pads and a pair of baggy shorts is really important,” adds Fierek. “It protects you from abrasions, bruises and getting seriously injured. That keeps you off the bench and riding more.”
Fierek knows every trail comes with risk.
“I would say it’s a really high contact sport, accidents happen all the time.”
“There’s a number of traumatic injuries that we see,” said Dr. Rust. “Nowadays it seems like the mountain bikers are doing more and more, finding new ways to be creative.”
When he’s not competing Fierek can be found at Spirit Mountain, where a network of trails awaits both experienced and novice riders.
“Be cautious, be patient,” said Fierek when asked about advice for new riders. “Take it easy your first couple times and get used to how it feels. We’re all more than willing to help out with whatever. Everyone started someplace, and we’re happy to see new people in the sport.”
With mountain biking gaining popularity Fierek and friends are bound to see plenty of new faces.