BASIC MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING
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BASIC MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING

Mountain Biking is one of the most popular adventure tourism activities across the world. It is also a sport where the participants are on the saddle for most of the day and hence could be very tiring.

9.1  Mountain Biking is one of the most popular adventure tourism activities across the world. It is also a sport where the participants are on the saddle for most of the day and hence could be very tiring. It is imperative that the riders follow certain safety rules as well as use quality equipment to avoid accidents. Trained manpower

9.2  Mountain biking guides should have a minimum of two years experience on different terrain as an apprentice, be trained in basic repairs of the bike in addition to being first aid qualified. This would include repairing punctures, opening and changing chain link, adjusting gear and brake cables, etc Guides/Instructors

9.3  The guides for mountain biking should, as a minimum, hold the following;

I.  Minimum two years experience as an apprentice under a mountain biking trip leader with a minimum of 100 days running mountain biking trips. A log book must be maintained which should be certified by the trip leader.

II. A first aid/ CPR certificate provided by a recognized and qualified provider.

III. Ability to undertake repairs on the bike if required. Covered in 13.2 Equipment

9.4  The mountain bikes should be of an approved model with multiple gears. Mountain biking, especially trails, is an extreme sport and there should be no compromise with the quality of equipment. A poorly built bike is dangerous. There have been occasions when the bike’s frame has cracked on a technical downhill. At such speeds and terrain, the body takes the entire impact and the consequences can be lethal. It is imperative for the operator to ensure that best quality bikes are used such as Fire fox – Trek Bikes model 4300 / 3700 with Shimano bottom brackets for safe biking trips across India. Clients should be allowed to bring their own bikes for mountain biking expeditions should they wish to do so.

9.5  The correct sizes of bikes should be chosen depending on the biker. Bikes come in various sizes, both frame and tire size. Correct size would ensure that the person can ride comfortably and does not get hurt. A small bike would mean that the person cannot get the maximum out of the bike, and a large bike could lead to muscle pulls etc. In any case, standing on ground, the gap between the seat of the pant and the stem should be at least 3 inches, especially if the terrain is rocky.

9.6  Helmets must be worn by all bikers at all times. Should not only be mandatory, but should be of good quality and should fit snugly and strapped properly. Else, it can fly off during an impact and provide no protection.

9.7  It is advised that bikers use gel seats when they are required to cycle long distances. Padded/gel shorts are better, for they stay with your skin and move with it. Gel seat covers move here and there and are Ok if you do not have padded shorts.

9.8  All cyclists must carry at least one water bottle or hydration bags like camelback and the guide should ensure that cyclists rehydrate themselves at regular intervals.

9.9  Suitable biking apparel to be worn to avoid accidents. Loose fitting pants/ trousers might entangled in the cycle chain and cause accidents.

9.10  Cycling must ideally stop an hour before dark. Jackets with reflective tapes across the back should be worn if cycling in the late evenings or when the visibility is poor. Front and rear lights are important and should be mandatory. Often, lights are not for the rider to see the road ahead, but for others to see the rider. Batteries should always be charged for greater effect.

9.11  All guides must ensure that additional water is available in case of requirement. As a guideline, each biker would need 5 liters of water for a full day of cycling.

9.12  All trip guides must carry a First Aid Kit, repair kit, and pump.

9.13  Elbow and knee pads must also be worn for additional safety. Operations

9.14  All cycling activities should start with proper fitting out of the cycles depending on the participant’s height. The guides should help the bikers fit out their cycles.

9.15  Guides should ensure that the bikes are fully fit for use. They must check tyre pressure, proper tightening of the pedals and proper functioning of brakes and gears.

9.16  The cycling day should start after proper warm up / stretching exercises conducted by the guides. Not warming up can result in serious injury.

9.17  There should be a minimum of two mountain biking guides. This should be increased depending on the terrain and the number of cyclists.

RISK MITIGATION

9.18  The guides should brief the bikers every morning regarding the route for the day, the major ascents and descents as well as the prevailing weather and traffic conditions. There should be a designated lead biker/ guide and a guide bringing up the rear.

9.19  Participants should be advised to use sun screen lotion so as to avoid sun burn.

9.20  When cycling on roads, guides should ensure that the cyclists keep to the extreme left of the road.

9.21  Guides must ensure that the cyclists cycle in a single file specially in congested areas

9.22  Guides must discourage the use of listening devices like Ipod and ensure that the cyclists do not have ear phones plugged into their ears. Talking on mobile phones while mountain biking must be strictly forbidden.

9.23  Guides should set a speed limit for the cyclists. Guides must ensure that cyclists do not overtake the lead guide. The lead guide must maintain a constant speed.

9.24  They must stop for water and refreshments at regular intervals. In undulating terrain and ascents, the stop should be every 10 kms or less depending on the cyclists. On plain terrain, this may be done every 20 kms.

9.25  They must ensure that the participants refill their water bottles at all stops.

9.26 Cycling should stop at sundown. DO NOT cycle when it is dark.

9.27& At the end of the day, the guides should ensure that the cycles are cleaned before being stored for the night.

9.28  It is mandatory for all mountain biking trips in India to have a back up vehicle with spares, repair kit, pump, water, a comprehensive First Aid kit, emergency gear, spinal board and cervical collar. The back up vehicle should bring up the rear. SOP’s and operating instructions

9.29  All cycling operators must maintain and update Standard Operating Procedures for their operations.

9.30  They must keep a log of their cycles and their usage and ensure that the cycles are in top condition before every trip.

9.31 They must ensure that all the associated gears are in working condition at all times. Documentation :

1. A log book should be maintained for all trips.

2. Any accidents/ events should be recorded.

3. A bike and equipment maintenance register should be maintained.

4. Trainee mountain biking guides must maintain a log book duly signed by the trip leader. Emergencies and rescues

9.32 In addition;

a) Adequate first / aid medical equipment must be available with the team.

b) Guides must be aware of the nearest hospital at every point of the route in case of an emergency.

c) A detailed and documented evacuation/emergency procedure must be available with the team along with closest available emergency services which can be called upon as required.

d) A mobile phone should be with the team along with emergency contact numbers of ambulance/ nearest medical facilities / police.

e) A spinal board and cervical collar should be carried in the back up vehicle where possible