Article

Self-assessment of riding skills and perception of trail difficulty in mountain biking - An investigation within the German-speaking mountain biking community

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Abstract

Mountain biking is a popular activity in both outdoor recreation and mountain tourism. Trail difficulty rating systems attempt to help visitors to match their own skill level with the technical difficulties of recreational trails. However, the perception of trail difficulty might be related to factors like age, gender, actual skill level or mountain biking experience. This study compares (1) the perceived trail difficulties between different groups and (2) differences between self-assessed skill-level and actually manageable maximum grade of difficulty. Participants (n = 2040) were asked in an online survey to assess the trail difficulty of 30 selected mountain bike trails. These trails were presented by pictures varying in technical difficulty according to the six grades of the Singletrail-Skala (STS; 5 pictures of each grade of difficulty). The STS is a difficulty rating system for mountain bike trails used by several destinations in the European alps as well as by some internet platforms that offer mountain bike gps-tracks or maps. Individuals' actual maximum grade of difficulty according to STS was determined by asking whether participants would manage to ride a certain trail or not. Findings show that the perceived difficulty of a trail increases as the skill level of a participant decreases. No other factors affecting the perceived difficulty could be identified. Furthermore, participants’ self-assessed skill level differs from their actual maximum grade of difficulty according to STS. Whereas beginners underestimate their skill-level, more experienced mountain bikers overestimate their skill-level. Additionally, especially male mountain bike riders tend to overestimate their skill-level. In general, correlations between self-assessed riding skills and actual maximum grade of difficulty are low. The findings of this study provide information for the development and implementation of mountain bike trail difficulty ratings. Management implications •Since perceived difficulty of the same trails can differ more than one degree of difficulty between experts and beginners, difficulty rating of trails should not be done by highly skilled riders only. •To prevent injury or mental or physical overload, trail recommendations and trail choices should not rely on self-assessed ability ratings only. Difficulty rating systems should include precise descriptive and objective criteria (descriptions of trail conditions, pictures, etc.) to account for the differences in perceptions between individuals. •Based on our results we conclude, that five to six grades of difficulty should be sufficient to describe the technical difficulties of mountain bike trails. With more degrees of difficulty, there is an increased tendency for the individual degrees of difficulty to overlap too much in the perception of individual riders. What in consequence may lead to inconsistencies in the assessment of the difficulty of mountain bike trails. •Development of a “trail app” for cell phones could increase the validity of trail ratings since a larger number of mountain bike riders could be involved in the assessment of trail difficulties.

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An important and relevant issue for contemporary tourism, sport and recreation planners is how to further develop trails and mountain bike areas that are in keeping with the demands of proficient mountain bike riders. In this article, we offer an overview of the affective experiences ensuant with mountain biking over a range of common ride obstacles and terrain. By adopting a post-modern subcultural approach, our analysis reveals the link between rider affect and different components on mountain bike tracks. In doing so, our paper brings together the voices of dedicated and experienced mountain bike riders in New Zealand.
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The increased interest in mountain biking on trails in natural areas necessitates the systematic management of mountain biking. In Slovenia, access to forest singletracks and signposted mountain trails, which are highly preferred by mountain bikers, is generally not legal. There is also a lack of mountain biking management and infrastructure at the national level. An important challenge for mountain biking management in natural areas is conflicts with other user groups, particularly hikers. This paper investigates the relationships between riding preferences and styles, conflicts, and attitudes towards mountain biking management among Slovenian mountain bikers. The survey results reveal four riding preference groups, largely consistent with three identified main riding styles of mountain biking in natural areas: gravity, all-mountain, and cross country. The identified key predictors for encountering a conflict with hikers are preferences for riding on hiking trails, the importance of downhill speed, and the frequency of practicing gravity riding in bike parks. Opinions about different management measures suggest the ineffectiveness of formal sanctioning, but a high willingness for volunteer participation in trail maintenance activities. The findings imply that the successful management of mountain biking in Slovenia should combine legislative measures for opening access to trails in natural areas, the establishment of single-use trails for specific riding styles, and indirect management actions to promote education in the fields of nature protection, responsible access, and trail tolerance. Mountain biking clubs and associations may offer a promising avenue for stimulating active involvement of mountain bikers and promoting education and bridge-building actions (e.g., volunteer work).
Article
Over the past two decades, mountain biking has emerged as an increasingly popular recreational activity. However, at least in Austria official trails do not necessarily match the preferences of bikers and therefore they often ride on unofficial trails or on trails where biking is not allowed. This behavior can result in conflicts with other trail users, landowners, hunters and conservationists. With data from an online choice experiment we confirm and extend results from previous studies on mountain biking, such as riders preferring technically challenging trails with lots of singletrack and vertical climb. However, the specific preferences depend on rider characteristics, especially experience and age. Through a simulation of market shares and the calculation of compensating surplus for riders in the study area in forests close to Vienna, we demonstrate how this research can provide insights about how to adjust trails to better match the interests of bikers while still respecting regulations which are in the interests of landowners, hunters and ecological concerns. Management implications ● To avoid conflict with other trail users, we propose tailoring trails specifically to the needs of the diverse group of bikers. ● For example, trails should have large amounts of technically challenging singletrack, at least on down hill sections. ● Trails should vary in their attributes such as vertical climb or length, to fit the preferences of riders with different socio-demographic background and experience. ● Multi-use trails for bikers and hikers can be recommended, however, horses on the same trails should be avoided.
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Introduction Evaluating Data Quality Number of Scale Points Labeling Scale Points No-Opinion Filters Epilogue
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The management of recreational mountain biking is examined in this paper, based on. the findings of social and environmental research undertaken in Wellington Park, near Hobart, Tasmania. A review of existing research on the impacts of off-road mountain biking on the physical environment and on other recreational users is presented, followed by the findings of a questionnaire survey of mountain bikers and other park users and an environmental impact study of mountain biking. The questionnaire survey results (n = 255) revealed that conflicts between mountain bikers and other recreational users of Wellington Park were uncommon and there was considerable tolerance for mixed use of tracks. The concerns of non-bikers were mostly about bicycles travelling at excessive speed and not giving an approach warning. A physical impact study, which measured changes in track surface elevation under different conditions, revealed no significant difference between the level of impacts caused by mountain bikers and walkers under the conditions tested. Riding on wet sites and up steep hills and skidding were shown to have significantly greater levels of impacts than riding on flat, dry sites. User education and suitable track maintenance regimes are suggested as the favoured options for managing the main areas of concern relating to off-road mountain biking, namely environmental damage, safety issues and quality of experience.
Article
A frequently encountered consideration in the construction of social survey opinion questions is whether respondents should be offered the choice of a middle response option that states a neutral response. This paper reports the results of six split-ballot tests in each of which a random half of the sample was offered the middle option and the other half was not. As in many earlier studies, the explicit offer of the middle option was found substantially to increase the proportion of respondents expressing a neutral response. An analysis of whether the size of this effect differed according to the socio-demographic subgroup of the respondent found few such interactions to be significant.
Article
Since mountain bikers have become one of the dominant groups of public land users in the last 25 years, many new challenges and concerns have arisen. Previous research suggests that the social compatibility of this new user group with the existing pedestrian and equestrian groups is of largest concern. The nature of the issues that exist between the user groups generally are of interpersonal conflict, dealing with the relations and social exchanges between users based on their activities. To best understand the nature of the conflicts and to come up with policy solutions the user groups can adhere to, I identified my study groups as the three activity participant groups; pedestrians, equestrians, and mountain bikers. Through a four question open-ended interview, I have collected opinions from each user group regarding what they perceive as the problem and how it might be resolved. The objective of this research is to use the perceptions of each user group to recommend policy to accommodate social compatibility between the groups. This ultimately is hoped to reduce interpersonal conflict, increase safety for all users, and reduce environmental impact by accommodating user groups specific trail needs. I found that individual users tend not to have strong opinions, but are mainly concerned with personal safety and disruption by other users. Most solutions were concerned with separating user groups. This may be an area for further study to determine the effectiveness of such a solution.
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Features the essential methodologies and statistical tools for developing reliable and valid survey questionnaires Modern survey design requires the consideration of many variables that will ultimately impact the quality of the collected data. Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research outlines the important decisions that researchers need to make throughout the survey design process and provides the statistical knowledge and innovative tools that are essential when approaching these choices. Over fifteen years of survey design research has been referenced in order to conduct a meta-analysis that not only unveils the relationship between individual question characteristics and overall questionnaire quality, but also assists the reader in constructing a questionnaire of the highest relevance and accuracy. Among the book's most outstanding features is its introduction of Survey Quality Prediction (SQP), a computer program that predicts the validity and accuracy of questionnaires based on findings from the meta-analysis. Co-developed by the authors, this one-of-a-kind software is available via the book's related Web site and provides a valuable resource that allows researchers to estimate a questionnaire's level of quality before its distribution. In addition to carefully outlining the criteria for high quality survey questions, this book also: Defines a three-step procedure for generating questions that measure, with high certainty, the concept defined by the researcher Analyzes and details the results of studies that used Multitrait-Multimethod (MTMM) experiments to estimate the reliability and validity of questions Provides information to correct measurement error in survey results, with a chapter focusing specifically on cross-cultural research Features practical examples that illustrate the pitfalls of traditional questionnaire design Includes exercises that both demonstrate the methodology and help readers master the presented techniques Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research succeeds in illustrating how questionnaire design influences the overall quality of empirical research. With an emphasis on a deliberate and scientific approach to developing questionnaires, this book is an excellent text for upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate-level survey research courses in business and the social sciences, and it also serves as a self-contained reference for survey researchers in any field.
Article
Background Recreational mountain biking continues to increase in popularity and is a significant source of traumatic injury, including injuries to the hand and wrist. Methods A prospective survey of all hand and wrist injuries sustained while participating in recreational mountain biking presenting to the emergency department at the Municipality of Whistler and the District of Squamish was conducted over a 12-month consecutive period. Results An analysis of 765 unique emergency department visits with 1,079 distinct injuries was performed. Of these injuries, 511 were sustained to the upper limb. Injury to the metacarpal and metacarpal phalangeal joints was the most common hand injury (52) followed by proximal phalanx and proximal interphalangeal joint (20). Conclusions Mountain biking is a frequent source of a variety of upper limb trauma, and preventative efforts are necessary to minimize the burden of these injuries.
Article
As a consequence of the increase in recreation in protected natural areas and the expand- ing diversity of activities, recreation conflict has been identified as a concern for manag- ers. To date, researchers have focused on examining recreation conflict from a quantita- tive perspective employing predetermined scales and questionnaires. This method of inquiry has been useful in progressing the understanding of recreation conflict, however the subtleties in understanding the complexities of recreation conflict may have been overlooked. This paper draws on exploratory research findings from fieldwork and inter- views with bushwalkers to demonstrate the value and importance of understanding the user's perspective and their experiences. Findings suggest that recreation conflict inci- dents have occurred between mountain bike riders and bushwalkers when mountain bike riders engaged in inappropriate behaviour such as riding on walking-only tracks. This paper therefore highlights the complexities and subtleties of recreation conflict and pro- vides suggestions to inform the development of a more comprehensive model for recre- ation conflict management in protected areas.
Article
The environmental impacts of mountain biking and rider preferences in Southwest Western Australia were analysed to determine appropriate trail design and to ensure that this popular nature-based activity has minimal environmental impact while meeting rider requirements. Environmental impacts such as soil erosion and compaction, trail widening and changes in vegetation cover on a recreational trail and racing track were monitored for 12 months to determine the short- and long-term effects of riding during winter (rainy) and summer (dry) seasons. Rider preferences were determined through a survey of mountain bike riders in the region. The study found that trail erosion, soil compaction, trail widening and vegetation damage can occur but they can be avoided or minimised with appropriate trail siting, design and management. The study also found that rider preferences for downhills, steep slopes, curves and jumps along with water stations and trail markings need to be included in the siting and design of the trails. When multiple-use trails are considered, mountain bikers are willing to share the trail with other users except motorised vehicles.
Research from numerous corners of psychological inquiry suggests that self-assessments of skill and character are often flawed in substantive and systematic ways. We review empirical findings on the imperfect nature of self-assessment and discuss implications for three real-world domains: health, education, and the workplace. In general, people's self-views hold only a tenuous to modest relationship with their actual behavior and performance. The correlation between self-ratings of skill and actual performance in many domains is moderate to meager—indeed, at times, other people's predictions of a person's outcomes prove more accurate than that person's self-predictions. In addition, people overrate themselves. On average, people say that they are “above average” in skill (a conclusion that defies statistical possibility), overestimate the likelihood that they will engage in desirable behaviors and achieve favorable outcomes, furnish overly optimistic estimates of when they will complete future projects, and reach judgments with too much confidence. Several psychological processes conspire to produce flawed self-assessments. Research focusing on health echoes these findings. People are unrealistically optimistic about their own health risks compared with those of other people. They also overestimate how distinctive their opinions and preferences (e.g., discomfort with alcohol) are among their peers—a misperception that can have a deleterious impact on their health. Unable to anticipate how they would respond to emotion-laden situations, they mispredict the preferences of patients when asked to step in and make treatment decisions for them. Guided by mistaken but seemingly plausible theories of health and disease, people misdiagnose themselves—a phenomenon that can have severe consequences for their health and longevity. Similarly, research in education finds that students' assessments of their performance tend to agree only moderately with those of their teachers and mentors. Students seem largely unable to assess how well or poorly they have comprehended material they have just read. They also tend to be overconfident in newly learned skills, at times because the common educational practice of massed training appears to promote rapid acquisition of skill—as well as self-confidence—but not necessarily the retention of skill. Several interventions, however, can be introduced to prompt students to evaluate their skill and learning more accurately. In the workplace, flawed self-assessments arise all the way up the corporate ladder. Employees tend to overestimate their skill, making it difficult to give meaningful feedback. CEOs also display overconfidence in their judgments, particularly when stepping into new markets or novel projects—for example, proposing acquisitions that hurt, rather then help, the price of their company's stock. We discuss several interventions aimed at circumventing the consequences of such flawed assessments; these include training people to routinely make cognitive repairs correcting for biased self-assessments and requiring people to justify their decisions in front of their peers. The act of self-assessment is an intrinsically difficult task, and we enumerate several obstacles that prevent people from reaching truthful self-impressions. We also propose that researchers and practitioners should recognize self-assessment as a coherent and unified area of study spanning many subdisciplines of psychology and beyond. Finally, we suggest that policymakers and other people who makes real-world assessments should be wary of self-assessments of skill, expertise, and knowledge, and should consider ways of repairing self-assessments that may be flawed.
Article
Background: Downhill mountain biking (DMB) has become an increasingly popular extreme sport in the last few years with high velocities and bold manoeuvres. The goal of this study was to provide information on the pattern and causes of injuries in order to provide starting points for injury prevention measures. Methods: We performed a monthly e-mail-based prospective survey of 249 riders over one summer season ranging from April until September 2011. Results: A total of 494 injuries occurred during the 29 401 h of downhill exposure recorded, of these 65% were mild, 22% moderate and 13% severe, of which 41% led to a total restriction greater than 28 days. The calculated overall injury rate was 16.8 injuries per 1000 h of exposure. For experts it was 17.9 injuries per 1000 h of exposure, which is significantly higher than the 13.4 for professional riders (OR 1.34; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.75; p=0.03). A significantly higher rate of injury was reported during competition (20 per 1000 h) than during practice (13 per 1000 h) (OR 1.53; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.01; p=0.0022). The most commonly injured body site was the lower leg (27%) followed by the forearm (25%). Most frequent injury types were abrasions (64%) and contusions (56%). Main causes of injury reported by the riders were riding errors (72%) and bad trail conditions (31%). Conclusions: According to our data DMB can be considered an extreme sport conveying a high risk of serious injury. Strategies of injury prevention should focus on improvements in riders' technique, checking of local trail conditions and protective equipment design.
Article
A new psychophysical method has been developed for measuring the psychological dissimilarity of attributes. This method assumes that if two attributes tend to coexist in the same individual they are to be regarded as functionally similar, while if they are more or less mutually exclusive so that they tend not to coexist in the same individual, then they are functionally dissimilar. The degree of similarity is measured in terms of the phi-coefficient, which enables one to allocate the attributes along a single continuum, and to measure the degree of similarity by scale separations on this continuum or scale. The method may be called a method of similar attributes or a method of similar reactions. The phi-coefficient enables one to ascertain whether a series of attributes really belong functionally on the same continuum. This is done by the test of internal consistency whereby the calculated scale separations and the experimentally found scale separations can be tested for agreement and the amount of discrepancy indicated in terms of sigma. The method has been applied to the record of endorsements by 1,500 people of ten statements of opinion about the church. It is shown that these opinions can be allocated to a single continuum with measured scale separations. The purpose of this study is to make a rational formulation for the association of attributes by which the existence of continuity in a series of attributes may be experimentally established and by which their functional dissimilarities, their scale separations, may be truly measured. For these purposes correlational procedures are inadequate because correlation coefficients are not measurements. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The studies reported in this paper had two aims: (a) to identify which psychological variables underlie people's overly positive assessments of their own ability and (b) to explore the relationship between these and actual ability. In a first study, over 300 drivers assessed their driving ability in comparison to that of a novice. A positive view of own driving ability was directly related to the amount of accident-free and endorsement-free driving experience a driver had had and the driver's level of Neuroticism. It was negatively related to the number of errors drivers reported in other everyday tasks. In a second study, the actual driving skills of over 100 of the original subjects were assessed by a driving instructor. It was found that self-assessments did not relate to actual ability, but instead to the comments made by the instructor and the subject's self-assessment as measured during the earlier study. These results are discussed in terms of a stable, but inaccurate, self-concept which is established as experience of the domain grows in the absence of contrary evidence.
Article
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A rapid increase in mountain biking partici-pation over the past thirty years has led to concerns about ecological impacts to recreation environments, especially trails. It is widely accepted that recreational use of natural areas inevitably results in some degree of change to resource conditions, and managers must consider the social acceptability and ecological significance of such changes in their decision making. The ecological impacts of mountain biking, however, and rela-tionships between impacts and trail features remain poorly understood. This study uses Common Ecological Regions (CERs) as a mapped ecological framework to guide comparative analysis of differences in maximum trail incision and trail width at varying slope levels for mountain bike trails in five CERs in the southwest U.S. A point-measurement trail assessment procedure was utilized to measure maximum incision and width for 163.2 miles of mountain bike trails. Results show a significant effect of CER on trail width and maximum incision and a significant effect of trail slope on maximum trail incision. Maximum trail width and incision were greatest in the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains region, perhaps due to environmental features such as erodable soils and sparse trailside vegetation, higher use, and/or user behavior. Maximum incision increased consistently with slope for three of five CERs. Relative to other trail impact research, the sites assessed in this study were in similar condition to other trails on the specific parameters mea-sured. The findings from this study reinforce results from previous research that certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are compa-rable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less than impacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails.
Article
This paper proposes that when optimally answering a survey question would require substantial cognitive effort, some repondents simply provide a satisfactory answer instead. This behaviour, called satisficing, can take the form of either (1) incomplete or biased information retrieval and/or information integration, or (2) no information retrieval or integration at all. Satisficing may lead respondents to employ a variety of response strategies, including choosing the first response alternative that seems to constitute a reasonable answer, agreeing with an assertion made by a question, endorsing the status quo instead of endorsing social change, failing to differentiate among a set of diverse objects in ratings, saying ‘don't know’ instead of reporting an opinion, and randomly choosing among the response alternatives offered. This paper specifies a wide range of factors that are likely to encourage satisficing, and reviews relevant evidence evaluating these speculations. Many useful directions for future research are suggested.
Article
The project conceived in 1929 by Gardner Murphy and the writer aimed first to present a wide array of problems having to do with five major "attitude areas"--international relations, race relations, economic conflict, political conflict, and religion. The kind of questionnaire material falls into four classes: yes-no, multiple choice, propositions to be responded to by degrees of approval, and a series of brief newspaper narratives to be approved or disapproved in various degrees. The monograph aims to describe a technique rather than to give results. The appendix, covering ten pages, shows the method of constructing an attitude scale. A bibliography is also given.
Article
Mountain biking is an increasingly popular, but sometimes controversial, activity in protected areas. Limited research on its impacts, including studies comparing biking with hiking, contributes to the challenges for mangers in assessing its appropriateness. The impacts of mountain bike riding off trail were compared to those of hiking on subalpine grassland in Australia using a modification of a common trampling experimental methodology. Vegetation and soil parameters were measured immediately and two weeks after different intensities of mountain biking (none, 25, 75, 200 and 500 passes across slope, 200 pass up and down slope) and hiking (200 and 500 passes across slope). There were reductions in vegetation height, cover and species richness, as well as changes in species composition and increases in litter and soil compaction with riding. Riding up and down a moderate slope had a greater impact than riding across the slope. Hiking also affected vegetation height, cover and composition. Mountain biking caused more damage than hiking but only at high use (500 passes). Further research including other ecosystems, topography, styles of riding, and weather conditions are required, but under the conditions tested here, hiking and mountain biking appear to be similar in their environmental impacts.
Article
Hiking, horse riding and mountain biking are popular in protected areas in Australia and the United States of America. To help inform the often contentious deliberations about use of protected areas for these three types of activities, we review recreation ecology research in both countries. Many impacts on vegetation, soils and trails are similar for the three activities, although there can be differences in severity. Impacts include damage to existing trails, soil erosion, compaction and nutrification, changes in hydrology, trail widening, exposure of roots, rocks and bedrock. There can be damage to plants including reduction in vegetation height and biomass, changes in species composition, creation of informal trails and the spread of weeds and plant pathogens. Due to differences in evolutionary history, impacts on soil and vegetation can be greater in Australia than in the USA. There are specific social and biophysical impacts of horses such as those associated with manure and urine, grazing and the construction and use of tethering yards and fences. Mountain bike specific impacts include soil and vegetation damage from skidding and the construction of unauthorised trails, jumps, bridges and other trail technical features. There are gaps in the current research that should be filled by additional research: (1) on horse and mountain bike impacts to complement those on hiking. The methods used need to reflect patterns of actual usage and be suitable for robust statistical analysis; (2) that directly compares types and severity of impacts among activities; and (3) on the potential for each activity to contribute to the spread of weeds and plant pathogens. Additional research will assist managers and users of protected areas in understanding the relative impacts of these activities, and better ways to manage them. It may not quell the debates among users, managers and conservationists, but it will help put it on a more scientific footing. Yes Yes
Article
Mountain biking is a popular activity in urban areas, including in forest remnants in Australia cities. To increase the technical challenge for riders, trail technical features such as jumps, bridges, mounds and ditches, along with informal trails are often constructed without authorisation. We assessed the social, environmental and management challenges associated with the presence of such features, developed a method for assessing them, and then used this method to examine them in an endangered forest within the Gold Coast in Australia. In a 29 ha remnant of Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) forest there were 116 unauthorised features, mostly jumps, ditches and mounds, which collectively resulted in an area of 1601 m2 of bare soil and 4010 m2 of undergrowth cleared. Features differed in their size, construction materials used, and their impacts on the environment. Although nearly two thirds had low to moderate safety, most were in moderate to good condition, had fall zones and optional routes for riders. Management options for land managers, in this case a publicly funded University, include (1) feature removal and site rehabilitation, (2) conversion to official features, (3) removal and provision of an alternative location for official features, or (4) maintain the status quo. There are social, financial and environmental benefits and limitations to each of these options highlighting that unauthorised trail technical features are a challenge for planners and managers that often have no easy solution. Yes Yes
Article
Multiple studies have described in general the injuries associated with mountain biking, and detailed accounts of spine injuries sustained in hockey, gymnastics, skiing, snowboarding, rugby, and paragliding have previously been published. However, no large-scale detailed assessment of mountain biking associated spinal fractures and spinal cord injuries has previously been published. This study was undertaken to describe the patient demographics, injuries, mechanisms, treatments, outcomes, and resource requirements associated with spine injuries sustained while mountain biking. Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Patients who were injured while mountain biking, and who were seen at a provincial spine referral center between 1995 and 2007 inclusive, with spinal cord injuries and/or spine fracture were included. A chart review was performed to obtain demographic data, and details of the injury, treatment, outcome, and resource requirements. A total of 102 men and 5 women were identified for inclusion. The mean age at injury was 32.7 years (95% confidence interval 30.6, 35.0). Seventy-nine patients (73.8%) sustained cervical injuries, while the remainder sustained thoracic or lumbar injuries. Forty-three patients (40.2%) sustained a spinal cord injury. Of those with cord injuries, 18 (41.9%) were American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) A, 5 (11.6%) were ASIA B, 10 (23.3%) ASIA C, and 10 (23.3%) ASIA D. Sixty-seven patients (62.6%) required surgical treatment. The mean length of stay in an acute hospital bed was 16.9 days (95% confidence interval 13.1, 30.0). Thirty-three patients (30.8%) required intensive care unit attention, and 31 patients (29.0%) required inpatient rehabilitation. Of the 43 patients (40.2%) seen with spinal cord injuries, 14 (32.5%) improved by 1 ASIA category, and 1 (2.3%) improved by 2 ASIA categories. Two patients remained ventilator-dependent at discharge. Spine fractures and spinal cord injuries caused by mountain biking accidents typically affect young, male, recreational riders. The medical, personal, and societal costs of these injuries are high. Injury prevention should remain a primary goal, and further research is necessary to explore the utility of educational programs, and the effect of helmets and other protective gear on spine injuries sustained while mountain biking.