First aid for cyclists: everything you need to know
Mountain biking is a sport that is in fashion. More and more people are encouraged to make routes and discover new paths, whether they have never practised cycling or are already experienced. For those who are new to mountain biking, this article will help clear up doubts and get started in mountain biking in the best possible way.
Choosing the correct bike size
If you are going to buy an MTB bike to get started in this sport, do not neglect the importance of size. The easiest technique to not go wrong with this is to know how tall you are from your feet to the top of your head, and how tall your crotch is from the inside to the floor. Once you know your height, you have to look at what size it is equivalent to according to the bike manufacturer: S, M, L, XL. Normally, the standard size is indicated accompanied by cm. that the person who is going to wear it should measure, so you will have no problem discovering your ideal size.
When we go out with the bicycle, in addition to preparing the equipment, it is important to bear in mind that we can suffer a fall or injury during the route. Many times, we leave the house with the bike without a first-aid kit and without knowing what we should do in situations such as an accident or a fall. Therefore, knowing first aid techniques or knowing what the most common cycling injuries are can make a difference. Prevention is better than cure!
First aid for cyclists
First aid must be applied to the injured cyclist as soon as possible to ensure that the injury is as minor as possible. Also, in the event that you are practising mountain biking, it is best to carry a complete first aid kit. Normally the MTB routes are through remote places and it is always good to follow some advice, depending on the injury.
Common Bicyclist Injuries
As in any sport, we are exposed to some risks. So that you practice cycling without worries, we explain what the most frequent injuries are and what to do in each situation.
Cuts and wounds
In any fall or blow, it is very easy to get a scratch or scratch. Giving yourself a tap is the most frequent thing when you go by bike. What should you do? The first thing is to wash the wound with soap and water or if you carry hydrogen peroxide, to avoid infections. If there is bleeding and it does not stop, you have to press the wound with a bandage to stop it (if you do not have bandages, some clean clothes).
Blows to the head
If you fall off the bike, in addition to hitting other parts of your body, you will most likely hit your head. Therefore, it is super important to always wear a helmet. If someone falls and hits their head, avoid moving their neck until we are sure there is no serious injury. You don’t have to remove the helmet either, loosening the buckle is enough. If it has been a strong blow, the first thing is to call emergencies.
In short, dehydration occurs when our body lacks fluids to function normally. When we practice sports, including cycling, we need to hydrate ourselves by drinking enough water because when we sweat and get tired, we lose those liquids that are so necessary for the body. If you have thirst, a dry mouth, a headache, or muscle cramps, you could be starting to become dehydrated. It is good to stop to drink water during the entire bike route, not a lot of water at once. Also, if you notice that you are very hot and your body temperature is rising, it is important to wet cloth or some clothing with cold water to pass it over your head and face.
In summer you have to protect yourself from the sun and heat. Cycling is a sport that we practice outdoors, so, in times of high heat, body temperature can increase and if we reach 40 degrees or more, it can give us a heat stroke. One solution is not to go out with the bike in the hottest hours (noon and early afternoon). Even so, the most important thing is to be well hydrated and avoid being exposed to direct sunlight for many hours.
What to carry in the first aid kit for cyclists?
The first aid kit can be different depending on where you go with the bike and the routes you do. Riding a mountain bike all day is not the same as cycling from home to work since there are hospitals closer to the city and it is easier to find help than in the mountains or in more remote places. Therefore, if you are going to go far or out of the city, carrying a first aid kit is almost mandatory.
We advise you to always carry in the first aid kit for cyclists:
- Band-aids in case you get a small cut or tear
- cotton or gauze
- Hydrogen peroxide or ethyl alcohol to disinfect wounds
- burn ointment
- Small scissors to cut the bandage or gauze
- You can also bring an isotonic drink to recover the mineral salts that are lost when doing sports or electrolyte sachets in case muscle cramps or fatigue appear
What routes can you do?
On the first outing, it is best to do a route that is not very long. You have to try the bike and see how you feel about it to enjoy the landscape and the road. You don’t need to be in super good shape, but in order for you to finish your route the first few times, you have to be realistic and the ideal is to make a start without pushing your limits. A good option is to choose an Hovscoelectric bike since the motor can help you at times when you do not have enough strength to pedal or when going uphill.
Another tip is to prepare the route you are going to take to avoid surprises or getting lost along the way. The first experience with the MTB will mark you and that is why everything has to be well prepared. If you follow these tips, you will enjoy the journey and you will want to go out more with your mountain bike.