First Aid and mountain biking

by Jodie West

Mountain Biking is considered to be a risk-assumed sport. It is quite likely that you will have experienced some form of injury during your time riding even if it’s nothing more serious than a few scrapes. Do not be discouraged by the risks. Accidents are few and far between and the fun you have always out weighs the scrapes you collect.

Due to the nature of Mountain Biking and the distances and terrain covered First Aid provisions should always be considered when organising or going on a ride. When riding in an area like the MBSwindon Croft Trail then keeping a First Aid kit in the car is more than adequate. This is because there are always quick ways back to the car park. If you are riding alone then it is advised to carry a small kit with you.

If you are planning on heading off on a long trip lasting several hours in potentially remote areas then carrying a first aid kit really is the responsible thing to do. This doesn’t mean to say that every rider should be lumbered with a large rucksack carrying a full on crash kit with De-Fib! Whilst it really is a good idea to have at least one First Aid certified rider in your group, even if you don’t you should still carry a sufficient First Aid Kit. MB Swindon ensures that every guide will carry a First Aid Kit. The club also has several certified First Aiders with a varied and wide knowledge gained from various different backgrounds. Personally I am very interested in this particular area and always have a large supply of kit available should anybody require it.

How many people ride with the tools to fix their bike (spare inner tubes, chain sections etc) but no kit to patch themselves up?

Recommended first aid kit:

As a minimum I would recommend (this list is taken from personal experience and should not be used as medical advice) the following items:

  • Vinyl Powder Free sterile gloves
  • Sterile Alcohol Free Wipes
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Wound Dressings/Bandages (various sizes)
  • Foil Blanket
  • Plasters
  • Medi Tape
  • Scissors

First Aid appointed members are more than willing to offer advice on a friendly, non professional basis based on personal experience alone.

Tom adds:

Other basic safety advice includes taking a map of the area, informing others where you are going and considering the risks of changing weather. It is also worthwhile considering carrying an emergency blanket. If riding on your own then a whistle is another useful safety device. This allows a rescue party to locate a casualty.

Rafe adds:

There are some great basic first aid kits available from Boots and eBay that contain everything you need in a soft case for around £5 so being prepared needn’t be expensive. There are also some great first aid apps for the iPhone, and no doubt others, with my preferred one being the St. John Ambulance one which whilst not a substitute for proper first aid training it does contain some great information and works well as an aide-mémoir.

One thought on “First Aid and mountain biking”

  1. Great advice, as a person who deals with this sort of thing on a professional basis, and having had to offer first aid to mountain bikers, walkers and Green lane motorcyclists when out and about, a basic first aid kit is a must.
    One of the most important things in my opinion is the art of keeping a level head and offering reasurance, (in addition to stemming the flow of blood and keeping the heart and oxygen going….)
    I’ve always have the benefit of Memory map on my iphone, so i can plot exactly where i am and offer suitable points of entry for the crew to get to you.
    If you ever have the misfortune of having to call for the emergency services, they will require some key information such as:

    1. an accurate location of the casualty
    2. the age of the casualty
    3. that they are conscious and breathing???
    4. nature of the injury
    5. pre incident medical conditions
    6. on any medication

    Obviously you may not have this info, so may i suggest you carry a mobile phone with your personal information listed under ICE (in case of Emergency) or get a laminated card with this info on it. When i lead a group i ensure i’ve got all of these details of those in my group and someone has mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

all about MTB in and around Swindon and North Wiltshire, including the Croft MTB Trail