Mountain biking is a specific type of cycling that uses a specially designed bike that riders take to single track trails, logging roads, and other unpaved environments. The typical terrain traveled with a mountain bike includes loose and/or large rocks, washouts, deep ruts, loose sand, gravel, tree roots, and steep grades. The sport of mountain biking has grown in popularity all around the world, giving rise to a number of sports trauma surveys indicating that the overall injury risk of mountain biking is as high as 36%. The primary risk factors include: slippery road surfaces, excessive speed, and personal factors. Of all mountain biking injuries, the most serious are spinal cord injuries with one in six cases resulting in total paralysis. The majority of mountain bikers are injured as a result of being tossed over the handlebars or falling from a significant height – usually resulting in severe head injuries, but often spinal and neck injuries as well. Travelers who participate in mountain biking should be prepared with adequate travel medical insurance with hazardous sports.
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