Safety First- Jake’s Blog

imageOver my 8 years of racing I’ve been taught by my Dad that being safe is the top priority, because if you aren’t you could end up seriously injured or dead and have a very unexpected life in the future! Being safe keeps me healthy and confident that I will be able to Enjoy the rest of my life!  So over my many years of racing, and wide varieties of riding I’ve experienced multiple ways to stay safe while: XC, Road and Enduro racing and riding.

IMG_4635Staying Safe XC Racing: I feel XC Racing and Riding is the least dangerous discipline of the three we race, because you don’t carry as much speed as you do while Road or Enduro racing and crashing won’t be because of someone else! What I do to stay safe while XC Biking is to ride within my limits, by not doing any crazy jumps or riding something my bike can’t handle. If you choose to, you can ride with protective gear while XC riding, though most of the time XC trails aren’t dangerous enough to                                                                                      .                                                                                need them.

IMG_5206Staying Safe Enduro Racing: Enduro racing is the second most dangerous of the three. The nature of Enduro racing allows for use of Protectives, unlike during Road and XC! To stay safe we put on elbow and knee pads, full face helmets and goggles. They also have chest, neck and back protectors. These are great for protecting you WHEN you crash, not IF you crash because in nearly every crash your elbows and knees are the most at the most risk for injury. I love full face helmets, especially my rippin’ Met Parachute helmet, because WHEN the time comes that I face-plant I’ll be grateful to still be alive and have my face intact!!! The goggles are perfect for keepin’ me seeing straight when I’m eating dust, or when an occasional rock flies straight towards my eye!

IMG_8169Staying Safe Road Biking: In my opinion Road biking is the most dangerous discipline, because there are so many vehicle drivers who don’t pay attention or look where they’re going. That’s just while training, and racing isn’t much different. If you think about it, if you crash during a road race it is almost always because of the people around you, like because the person next to you crossed a wheel or bumped into someone. The things we do to stay safe (and I suggest you do to) when road biking are: staying focused and alert,  training we put on our rad Light and Motion bike lights to keep ourselves extremely visible, along with our with our Awesome Primal Wear Kits we should be impossible to miss! While racing we stay near the front of the peloton where there is the least likely place for a crash and we don’t cross wheels so we are as safe as can be! Those are the best ways I know to stay safe while road biking.

I’ve had dozens and dozens of experiences where I was glad I was prepared to be safe. But if you aren’t safe the consequences can be bad, just last Saturday after an Enduro race a friend of mine was doing a downhill run without protectives and crashed and broke his back! If he would have taken the precautions I was talking about he could have avoided this!  That was a good example of why you should wear Protectives, but if you need another…….. Today I was going fast doing a manual and the bike shot out from underneath me, I slid on knees elbows and stomach, but thanks to my Protectives I didn’t have a single scratch! I probably get more injuries around the house than I do biking! Hmm, maybe I should wear protectives around the house?

IMG_4860So I guess the lesson to be learned is always to err on the side of safety.  Being safe has saved my hide tons of times, and it will save yours too! So next time you go ride, be safe, because if you aren’t there might not be a next time!


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