Muddbunnies Riding Club (Seattle) – Sasha Visconty, Vice-President
First, let me start by saying thank you for all of the Muddbunnies whoâ€™ve reached out and checked in on me. For those who have no idea what Iâ€™m talking about, I crashed on a recent Muddbunnies Seattle club ride at Tiger Mountain on a trail that weâ€™ve ridden dozens of times before, even at night. But that night, my bike slipped in the mud and I crash-landed on a log, breaking several small bones in my back. Iâ€™m ok and will be able to ride again in a few months.
This experience got me thinking about ride preparation so I wanted to share my thoughts.
Our ride leaders will always have a map or directions with them, have a backup ride lead, carry a first aid kit, whistle, and basic bike repair items and will identify a meet-up place in the case of an accident.
You can help too. Make sure someone at home knows the route youâ€™ll be riding and when youâ€™re expected home, bring your own â€œ10 Essentialsâ€ including a space blanket and whistle, bring extra layers and a windbreaker/rain jacket, and extra headlamp batteries.
Bonus Points! Although not mandatory, Some of our ride leaders do have first aid training and/or wilderness training. So can you! Weâ€™ll be on the lookout and let you know of any upcoming opportunities to attend these types of trainings, possibly at a reduced cost as MuddBunnies members, look for posts on the “Club Perks and Deals” section of the forum, (and links on the Facebook page) for more details.
Most of you know what the â€œbasic essentialsâ€ of wilderness survival packing are, and maybe some of you even have first aid kits in your backpacks. But there are some other lessons that were learned on this cold fall night:
- Choose a place that has cell coverage before the ride as the location people would go call for help. If you only have a few seconds before the call drops, be prepared to state the most important information right away (location/injured personâ€™s condition).
- Ask if anyone in the group has first aid or wilderness training
Itâ€™s the Northwest. Pack layers. We had peeled our layers, or started without many layers because it was light out, fairly warm when we left, and it should have been a pretty short ride. We were not prepared to be standing in the cold, damp, dark woods. Bring extra synthetic layers including a dry shirt, a warm layer, and a windbreaker/rain jacket. Have a shell or tights to cover your legs. Your pack might be heavy but itâ€™s better than hypothermia.
Carry extra items: At least one or two people should have a first aid kit. Carry a whistle in case you get separated or want to signal for help. Keep a space blanket in your pack. Have extra headlamp batteries. Itâ€™s also useful to keep a roll of flagging tape with the group to mark the trail. Items as simple as duct tape can be extremely useful if you need a makeshift split (roll a few feet of tape around a short pencil or pen to keep in your pack).
Going the extra mile: Consider taking a wilderness preparedness or wilderness first responder course. There are on-line resources that provide great information on pre-planning and gear that are worth reviewing.
Thanks to all the MuddBunnies out that night, the helpful gentlemen we met on the trail, and especially Eastside Fire & Rescue. An unfortunately event went as smoothly as we could have hoped for. Hereâ€™s to fast healing and quick return to the trails!
Check out some related articles on being prepared while mountain biking:
- Cold weather cycling emergency kit
- Prepare for winter biking
- Cycling clothing for cool weather
- Winter biking reality check
The Muddbunnies encourage and welcome female riders of all experience and skill levels to join them in getting down and dirty. Come on, ride like a girl!