EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region Experts Give Need-to-Know Biking Safety Tips

Because cycling and mountain biking offer a safe way to exercise as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many members of our regional communities are hitting the roads and trails in droves. As fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeons, Dr. Christopher Daley and Dr. Christopher Houdek of EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region are dedicated to our region's health and safety and are offering safety guidance for experienced and new cyclists alike. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (828) 324-2800 to schedule a safe appointment in Granite Falls, Hickory, Lenoir, Marion, Morganton, Newton, Taylorsville or Valdese. Walk-in clinic hours in Granite Falls, Hickory, Marion and Morganton as well as orthopaedic telemedicine appointments are also available for remote consultation.

“As sports medicine specialists, we definitely encourage the trend of biking staying active for their health,” says Dr. Daley. “To help cyclists of all skill levels avoid injuries as they ride, we want to share some helpful safety tips and reminders.”

Follow this safety guide from EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region to avoid injury and stay safe on your rides: 

  • Always wear and secure your helmet.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, and wear other safety gear when mountain biking, such as body armor, mountain biking shoes and gloves.
  • Make sure your bike is appropriate for the terrain you're riding on and properly sized for you.
  • Do not ride distracted: Do not wear headphones, text or make phone calls while riding.
  • Keep your bike's tires, brakes and gears maintained.
  • If you ride at night, have your bike lights turned on and wear reflective material.
  • Always supervise children when they are bike riding.
  • For trail riding, even experienced mountain bikers should be cautious on new trails and walk the areas where there are drops or obstacles. Avoid riding on trails above your skill level.
  • If cycling on the road, always be defensive and alert while also following all rules for cyclists, using bike lanes, signaling when you turn, and following traffic signs and lights. 
  • Take breaks when you need them. Exhaustion can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • Avoid riding in inclement weather, and wear sunscreen when needed.
  • Always stay hydrated, drinking 8 oz. of water for every hour of biking.

“Those who are newer to biking or even those who are increasing their mileage can have a higher risk for injury” says Dr. Houdek. “If you think you’ve suffered a fracture, have muscular pain or experience joint instability after a fall, see an orthopaedic specialist as soon as possible — if you hit your head or have bleeding that won’t stop after a few minutes, go to an emergency room or urgent care immediately.”

To learn more about orthopaedic safety or to schedule a safe appointment with Drs. Daley or Houdek, call (828) 324-2800.