One of my absolute favorite places to ride in the entire country is the Pacific Northwest Mountains. There are some great trails for dirtbiking and the scenery is fantastic. You can set up camp at the summit of a mountain and ride for house up and down the trails, taking short hiking detours or even fishing. Camping out overnight under the start is another gorgeous time. The night sky is so brilliant and clear that it doesn’t even seem real.
A major concern, however, when trail riding through the mountains is safety. Of course you have the standard safety measure of dirt bikes, such as helmets, boots, pads, etc., and this is somewhat heightened because of the terrain you will be riding over in the mountains, but the primary concern you want to watch out for is wildlife.
On our trail rides, it’s not at all uncommon to see bear, wild boar, snakes, or any other assortment of creatures roaming around the wilderness—and you need to be prepared to deal with them. People of different persuasions choose different safety measures, but I personally never go trail riding in the mountains without my 1911 handgun. If a bear is charging at you and your crew of riders, you need to be able to do something about it, and you can’t always ride away—and sometimes that’s is the worst thing to do.
Bringing a handgun will ensure the safety of your and your crew during your trip on the trails. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What kind of gun did he say?” I personally use a 1911 wood grips handgun, which shoots a .45 caliper round. This should be plenty of stopping power to stop a bear in its track with just a few shots.
I wouldn’t advice and smaller handgun grips for protection because the stopping power just won’t be there. Bears are big animals and they have a lot of force and momentum behind them. If you see what charging at you, you want to be able to stop it dead in its tracks. There is no time to mess around.
The number one concern when taking a biking trip should always be safety and you cannot be safe if mother nature is out preying upon you.
Other than that, as I said the trip is a beauty. And don’t get me wrong, I have only seen 3 bear on the half-dozen or so trips that I have taken in the mountains, but when it comes to safety, you always want to be safe rather than being sorry. Nothing worse than someone getting wounded trying to run from a bear or worse yet dying from an attack on your overnight campsite—especially when the cost of staying safe is so minimal.
Be sure to carry a gun, and cover up your food and store it high in the trees. That is the number one things that will lead bear to your site and if you do that, hopefully you will avoid them altogether.