Living in Western Colorado, we have access to a large variety of excellent mountain bike trails. This diversity of trails includes both high alpine riding and biking in the desert and red rocks. While providing care for both road cyclists and mountain bikers, it is clear that there are some differences in injuries sustained in these two groups of cyclists. The diversity in equipment, terrain, riding style mean different types and prevalence of injuries when riding a mountain bike versus the road bike, and medical providers should be aware of those differences.
We recently published an article in, Lower Extremity Review, reviewing mountain biking injuries. (HERE) One of the interesting areas of working on this review was the lack of research or information on the recreational riders. The majority of research published on mountain biking has involved competition, elite riders or injuries at mountain bike parks.
What is clear is the increasing interest in mountain biking in the United States. There are many reasons for this including improvements in mountain bike technology, improved and more accessible trails and the growing knowledge of the health benefits of cycling. This is clearly evident in our area of the country.
So, get on your mountain bike and enjoy the great outdoors but be careful out there. And if you have a chance, experience mountain biking in western Colorado.