09 July 2008

Safety Always Comes First

Recent development of material manipulation and crafting, the mountain bikes are getting lighter. At the same time, there are tremendous improvements in the shock technology. These two progressions promotes longer travel full suspension, hence more aggressive riding. Consequently, the freeriding and downhill riding are becoming more popular than ever.

When more people pick up freeriding and downhill riding, there are bound to be a few newbies that eager to ride more. Riding more, for new comers, can be risky. The first recorded bicycle accident is probably a collision in 1842, allegedly between Kirkpatrick McMillan, an early rider of the velocipede, and a young girl in Glasgow. The report, however, is vague and the identification disputed.

There are a few causes of accidents, but the one that I would like to discuss here is sharing of trails.

Sharing of trail means respecting each user, irrespective of their riding style. Cross country riders have the niche to climb every hills presented to them, however downhillers love gravity to do its function. One up, one down… if they share a trail, they are bound to meet at a point. The meeting point, if adrenaline is high, is probably where they collide.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is an excellent resource on trail system design, trail building and maintenance. They advocate that, if the trail is shared, then safety always comes first.

In Bukit Kiara, there is also a rider ethics being advocated. Again, safety always comes first.