Off road riding is now one of the most popular sports activities in many countries. Enthusiasts explore different terrains, from deserts to valleys, and use their skills to steer through the unfamiliar terrain. But for many people, bikes used for off road riding could also be used for farm work, service maintenance, and even emergency services.
But for anyone who uses off road dirt bikes for any of these purposes know that it entails technical skills and know-how to steer the bicycle safely through any ground. Regardless of how you use your bike, you need to follow these safety measures.
1. Be observant
It is essential to be aware of your surroundings when driving off road. The tendency for many riders is to look down and focus on the ground. But this prevents you from being aware of the terrain under your front wheel. Keep your head up even when you’re tired, this ensures that you can manoeuvre your vehicle quickly when it becomes difficult. According to Riding in the Zone, looking down will make you vulnerable to sudden changes in terrain that you may not have seen beforehand.
2. Keep your body in a neutral position
Body position is essential for off road riding. Handling off road bikes requires a neutral and upright body position at most times. Drivers need to keep their feet firmly planted on the pegs for better control. They should avoid unnecessary movements like pulling on the handlebars or leaning on them. This will offset the distribution of weight on the bike, which can lead to potential accidents.
3. Know which terrain you should stand or sit
Experienced drivers know where to sit or stand, and they know it depends on the terrain. Each position serves a specific purpose, and that a good combination to remember is to sit through smoother areas.
If you are riding a mountain bike and need more technical control over the bike, you could stand and pedal even more. If you are confused when to stand or sit, the most important thing to know is to stand on a bumpy ground so you can absorb the impact. When turning corners, you should sit down.
4. Know when to counter-lean
Off riding requires skilful control, and that often requires using your whole body. You can lose control if you lean over the bike. It’s best to lean on the opposite side when making a turn to stay on top of the bike. The driver’s weight keeps the load vertical and provides more control on the ground.
5. Take a break
When riding off road, you can quickly get tired because it requires a lot of energy. You might start feeling tired and lose control of your vehicle. Take a break and get some water before moving forward.
Off road riding requires strength, agility and dexterity, aside from knowledge and skill. Whether you are riding an ATV motorbike or a mountain bike, you need to know these skills to make sure that your off road riding is safe.