6. Wear a helmet:I shouldn’t even have to write this, but it amazes me that to this day I still see people riding trails (often difficult ones) on $3000 bikes without a helmet (that they can buy for $40). Don’t be a fool.
7. Wear cycling glasses: the 2nd best way to ruin your day (other than your wheel falling off mid-jump) is getting a branch in the eye because you forgot to bring your cycling glasses. You can get a decent pair of clear glasses at your local bike shop for under $30, or at the very least, throw on a pair of sunglasses (not recommended if you are riding in forested areas as you will find it hard to see)
8. Wear body armour: knee and arm padsare inexpensive (compared to the cost of a mountain bike), andunless you’re riding a trail that you know for sure you won’t wipe out on, there’s no good reason not to wear them. They can save you a lot of skin. If you’re riding something super-gnarly, then full-body protection is a good choice as well.
9. Set up your bike properly: having your bike set up and tuned to your body will reduce wear-and-tear injuries, particularly on your wrists. Having your wrists under- or over-rotated because of poorly set up brake levers is an easy way to having ongoing wrist problems, which can often take a really long time to heal. So set up your bike properly!