In this podcast I talk about becoming an MTB Warrior, or someone who is able to “bring the others back”. Being the kind of person who can help yourself and others both on and off the trail is something that the world needs more of and something I think we should talk about more as a sport.
The truth is that mountain biking is a hard, dangerous activity. And while the cycling industry keeps working harder and harder to soften the edges and make it as appealing to as many people as possible in an effort to sell as many bikes and accessories as possible, you can’t get rid of all of these elements.
Wrecks on the bike and mechanical failures can put you in a position where you will need to know more than the geometry and specs of your bike.
You also have to look beyond just the trail and make sure you are prepared to deal with potential issues like vehicles getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and hostile animals/ fellow humans
Because of this I think that it is important to look beyond the bike and become an MTB Warrior, or someone that can help themselves and others if needed. The point isn’t to become paranoid but simply to be prepared.
Look at it like this – You can pretend that nothing will happen to you or you can pretend that something might and take appropriate steps. Either way you don’t know until the end how it turns out so you’re just deciding on which “pretend” you want to play.
In my experience there are 7 skill sets that you need to truly be prepared:
Health/ Fitness – It all starts here. Being healthy and fit for the tasks needed is the foundation that all your other skills are built on.
MTB Skills – Being able to ride with efficiency and flow is important not only for your performance but your safety as well. Riding at the ragged edge of your skills all the time because you have none is a sure way to end up hurt and the one needing help.
Maintenance and Mechanical Skills – You need to know how to work on your own bike. While you don’t need to be able to build a wheel, knowing how to keep your bike running and safe is not something you want to outsource to someone else. You also don’t want to be the guy standing on the side of the trail hoping that someone will come along who knows how to fix whatever is wrong with your bike.
Medical – We participate in a dangerous activity that can take place far away from where medical personnel can easily get in to help. This means you should know how to stabilize someone who has suffered a traumatic injury until help arrives.
Combatives/ Self Defense – Violence can happen anywhere and to anyone. Pretending that it isn’t going to happen to you won’t help if it comes your way so you need to know how to spot it and handle it if it does.
Bushcraft Skills – Since we can get pretty deep into nature it is only smart to know how to co-exist with it. Being knowledgeable about what you might encounter and how to survive overnight if needed can be the difference between a cool story and a tragic tale.
EDC (Daily/ Vehicle/ Bike) – EveryDay Carry is simply what you have on you so you can be helpful if needed. From carrying a small knife and flashlight on a daily basis to having a tourniquet in your hydration pack, there are a lot of simple things you can carry that can keep you prepared for whatever gets thrown your way.
My goal with MTB Strength Training Systems is to expose and educate my fellow riders on these other elements that I feel should be part of their training program.
In the meantime you can join a BJJ gym, watch the free video series on Mountain Man Medical and make sure you have the basic things you need to fix minor mechanical problems on the trail.
To close, here is a quote from one of my favorite warriors from the past…
“The warrior attitude is very simple. Focus your mind on your goal, constantly strive to attain perfection, and do not allow yourself to be sidetracked.” Miyamoto Musashi
Until next time…