Happier Trails

Mountain biking is a rugged, risky sport. Improved gear is making it safer

Heath Woods doesn't get much business these days. A paramedic at Mount Snow in Vermont, he treats injured mountain bikers during the summer. Yet over a four-week stretch during which hundreds of riders braved the mountain's rocky woodland trails and craggy fields, he saw nary a soul. A few years ago, he bandaged half a dozen banged-up riders each weekend. Now, says Woods, 26, "the equipment is so much better, fewer riders are getting hurt."

Mountain-biking injuries have plummeted since the mid-'90s. About 48,600 people sustained such injuries in 1995, reports the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. In 2001 the figure...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!