Are you looking for a new sport for your summer vacation? Single-track mountain biking is a fun type of downhill biking that is very popular. Many downhill biking parks and ski resorts have single track trails during the summer. They have runs that vary in steepness, length, and difficulty. Of course, with the added adrenaline and speed of these single-track trails comes a greater fall hazard. The narrow tracks mean there is less room for error, especially when you are going fast. Often, you will brush the branches of a tree or narrowly avoid a rock as you round a banked corner. Since it is much more dangerous, you need to get the proper safety equipment -- just having your regular bike helmet isn't enough!
Save your butt a lot of pain by renting padded shorts. Or you can find padded underwear to put on underneath normal shorts. Special mountain bike shorts are stretchy and go past the knee to give you some extra protection. They have padded underwear lining. These can usually be rented or bought at most mountain biking rental facilities. The constant vibration of a bumpy dirt single track is much more strenuous than riding your bike around on asphalt, so be prepared with padded shorts.
Shins Guards and Knee Pads
Mountain bike rental facilities carry special shin guards that are ideal for single track; you can talk with a place, like Bootdoctors, for more information on these gear rentals. The shin guard starts at the ankle and goes all the way to the bottom of the knee; then a separate plate covers the knees. This allows flexibility at the knee with full protection. Basically, it is like a shin guard and knee pad in one. When you round corners, you are often forced to stick your knee out for balance. Even just slapping against shrubbery at high speeds can break the skin if it is not protected. Also, if you slide out onto your knees (arguably the most common type of fall), your whole leg will be protected.
A Full Helmet
As mentioned, a normal bike helmet might not be protective enough. Most professionals wear helmets that fully cover the ears and back of the head. These are much more protective than traditional bike helmets that are sold everywhere. They have thicker plastic and latches to secure goggles. They might also have a fitting to mount an action cam so you can record your best rides!
Single track will be much more exciting for you this summer when you are fully protected since you will mitigate injury, and you won't be afraid to let loose!