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As the pandemic carries on, many area residents, including those of Asheville, Arden, Fletcher, Hendersonville and Weaverville, are escaping the confinement of their homes to enjoy some time outdoors cycling and mountain biking. EmergeOrtho: Blue Ridge Region's sports medicine specialists, Dr. Jay Jansen and Dr. Michael Shea, support this trend. However, they want to make sure our community stays safe and injury-free, which is why they have created safety guidelines for cyclists of all ages and skill levels to follow during their bike outings. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (828) 258-8800 to schedule a safe in-office appointment in Asheville or the surrounding area or a telemedicine visit for remote orthopedic consultation. EmergeOrtho: Blue Ridge Region also offers immediate treatment at their Orthopedic Urgent Care clinics at their Asheville office, located at 129 McDowell St.; South Asheville office, located at 2585 Hendersonville Road; Hendersonville office, located at 800 Fleming St.; and Weaverville office, located at 159 Weaver Blvd.

"Dr. Shea and I are glad to see so many members of our community hitting the roads and trails and enjoying this great outdoor activity," says Dr. Jansen. "We just want to make sure we are doing our part as medical professionals and members of the community by educating cyclists on the necessary precautions they need to take to help them avoid injuries while riding."

To help avoid bone, joint and muscle injuries while out for a ride, follow these safety tips from EmergeOrtho: Blue Ridge Region's sports medicine specialists.

  • Always wear a helmet that fits well and has a secure and buckled chinstrap.
  • Wear the appropriate gear for mountain biking, such as gloves, body armor, protective footgear and additional padding.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing that can get caught on your bike or surrounding obstacles.
  • Make sure your bike has working lights if riding at night.
  • Use a bike that is the appropriate size for you.
  • Regularly check your bike's brakes, tires and gears.
  • Do not use your phone or wear headphones while riding your bike.
  • When riding on streets, stick to bike lanes when possible, obey all road rules and ride in the direction of traffic.
  • When riding on trails, do not exceed your skill level and make sure to walk drops and obstacles that are outside of your riding ability.
  • Make sure you wear sunscreen when out in the sun as well as stay hydrated by drinking a bottle of water every hour.
  • Pace yourself to avoid exhaustion, which is not only dangerous but also can cause you to lose control of your bike.

"Both new bikers as well as experienced cyclists who are logging in more miles than normal have an increased risk for injury," says Dr. Shea. "If you do suffer a bone, joint or muscle injury, it is very important that you seek medical treatment from an orthopedic expert as soon as possible. However, if you have suffered a head injury or have bleeding that isn't stopping, you will need to have someone take you to the emergency room or an urgent care immediately."

To learn more about orthopedic safety or to schedule a safe appointment with Dr. Jansen or Dr. Shea, call (828) 258-8800.