Being high in the sky, amongst the soaring snow-covered peaks, sucking in the pure fresh air and filling the soul with wellbeing has long been a movement for many seeking out a healthy and rounded lifestyle.
Using nature to find balance and detox dates back centuries; long before snow sports and bikes become available, the mountains were used by the Victorians for a ‘change of air’, restoring the energy needed for life in the hard, industrial, smog-filled lowlands.
Whether we find ourselves in the mountains seeking inspiring golden sunsets or ice-filled climbs, it’s easy to appreciate why it’s become a chosen playground. Likewise, it’s no surprise that modern mountain biking, the ‘clunker bike’, started in the steeper zones of California and Colorado, where gravity could be best tapped into.
Those early days, where drifting dust filled corners and throwing bikes, that had been designed for sedate urban spins, into bone shuddering jumps cannot lay claim to the benefits of pure air. But they did start the idea of using bikes to explore and go further into landscapes that may have never felt the tread of a tire.
It’s not ancient history either, but modern mountain bikes and equipment have evolved so quickly it could now be considered worlds apart. New geometry, new materials and undoubtedly new ideas have pushed the boundaries for what mountain bikes and riders are now able to do. New trails and mountains have opened up as it’s possible to ride a modern mountain bike almost anywhere; one bike can take you up never-ending mountain climbs and then let you fly back down through technical trails. Day in day out.
Modern equipment has equally evolved. Lightweight, well-ventilated helmets able to withstand different types of impact are more common, but technology has also given us the ability to do a lot more.
Exploring the mountains, losing yourself in the activity and nature should be welcomed, but it should not lead to reduced safety, especially when you get lost, which we’ve all managed from time to time.
Imagine finding yourself lost, or injured, in a very remote Alpine landscape unable to communicate properly. It’s at those moments when technology can take over. Systems, such as a RECCO® reflector, which ensure that you are searchable to professional rescuers in the event of an accident or getting lost in the mountains, can make a life-changing difference.
RECCO® is a two-part technology which consists of a reflector integrated into apparel, helmets or protective gear, and various detectors, which depending on location is used by rescue professionals to pinpoint a rider’s precise location, before the consequences of a fall or wrong turn has the chance to become even more severe.
Some people will say that too much technology can interfere with getting back to nature, but when it’s integrated into your kit, just sitting there passively, needing no energy or adding any extra weight, only waiting to be called into action when an emergency strikes.
It’s then we see the usefulness and importance that innovations and technology can bring to biking, and rather than interfere it will only let you go further and to lose yourself more often in the mountains, but never be lost.