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Risk Management Plan: Mountain Biking Essay


Mountain Biking

This is risk management plan for mountain biking on different routes that include public roads and fire trails.

Trip overview and description

The mountain Biking trip shall take place in Hartland “The Dump”, which is an 80 kilometer route in Vancouver Island-British Columbia.

The route has been ranked among the best for mountain biking in Canada, and enjoys a general rating of 6 out of 10. The group shall undertake about 40 km each day; making the trip a 2 day outing to and fro. The groups will travel by bike during the day and by night; the campus bus will be used for transport (Crouhy, 2005).

Groups’ goals and objectives

The groups’ goals and objectives should include:

  • To promote team effort and cooperation during the mountain biking exercise.
  • To master the mountain trail
  • To have fun and keep fit during the trip.
  • And finally, to complete the biking trail within the designated time.

Participant descriptions

In order to be considered for the trip, the participants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Physically and mentally sound
  • Must have prior experience in mountain biking and considerable skills in biking that shall be determined by the leaders

Leadership

The activity leader must have undergone the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Certification Initiative (COLCI) training program and attained a Leadership Level 3 Certification (LL3).

The leader should also display and have documented experience in mountain biking. He/ she should be of sound mind and judgment, with commendable analytical skills and interpretation. For one to qualify for leadership, he/she should also have the following abilities:

  • Have deep understanding of the area to be covered
  • Show proficiency in map and compass interpretation
  • Should also have scout bush-survival skills, like be able to make fires in harsh weather and use bush resources to determine location.
  • Experience in supervision as large groups require constant monitoring.
  • Display skills in search and rescue emergencies in case need be.
  • Be an expert in bike maintenance and set up.
  • Have recognizable leadership skills that students being guided can follow without doubt.

Leadership demands a certain degree of expertise above the normal bikers; therefore the leader should be an expert biker with a full understanding of the terrain. Lastly he/she should be physically fit to accommodate the stresses of the trip (Hubbard, 2009).

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: The group will start cycling from the most diverse mountain trail in British Columbia. The Columbia Valley has been called the paradise of mountain biking in Canada. The group will cycle the first 20 km during the morning hours, cruising through the valley’s forests, while enjoying the alpine peaks. The trail has a challenging downhill slope that requires skilled bikers to navigate it successfully.

The valley will open at 6.00 am and all the participants will be required to be at the starting point by 6.30 am. The leader will take the lead as he is aware of the terrain. At 10am, the group will stop at the hot springs to enjoy a hot cup of coffee, while soaking their feet in the warm water from the springs.

Then the ride shall resume at 12.30pm the next 20 km through the less strenuous paths. This will be a welcoming path for the new riders. For the more seasoned riders, they will have to tough it out at the steep slopes. At 3pm, the group shall converge at the backcountry camp for delicious meal and spar treatment from the high class four star resorts.

Day 2: the group will tackle the 40 km valley trail, which is a paved pedestrian bike path that connects whistler Village and the beautiful parks and beaches and playgrounds. The cyclists will have a non-stop riding activity that will focus on completing the course within the time allocated by the leader.

Equipment

In order to undertake the trip successfully, the group needs to have the following equipment:

  • Bicycle helmets that meet the accepted Canadian standards that should be worn at all times, during the biking exercise.
  • Bicycles that are roadworthy. They should be checked to ensure that they can withstand the mountain terrain.
  • Backpacks are highly recommended, as bikers are supposed to have minimal baggage during the trip. Reduced loads are advisable.
  • Bicycle repair kits should also be carried. These include pumps, super glue and spare tubes.
  • The group should also carry basic survival kits that include water bottles, energy drinks and sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
  • The leader should ensure that, rescue equipment is at hand at all times. The equipment includes ropes, tubes, and torch and first-aid kit.

Clothing

Bikers should ensure that they carry brightly colored clothes, that will enable easy identification in case they are lost in the mountains. The clothes should also be suited for the weather conditions in the mountains; they should also be designed to protect the skin against the dangers of the surrounding environment. The protective clothing should include closed shoes and gloves. Open shoes are a potential health risk (Miller, 2012).

Transportation and Communication

Channels of communication must be open at all times during the trip. This will act as monitoring mechanism. Use of satellite phones and mobile phones is highly recommended and each participant is encouraged to carry one. A survey of the area should be done to ensure that there is adequate network coverage. Signal flares are also important and should be used for location in case of extreme emergencies.

The group shall cycle by day and by night; the campus bus shall be used to transport them back to the camp site.

Safety Measures

Safety of the bikers should be of utmost priority. The group should have a vehicle ahead of them to clear the path for them. The vehicle should be equipped with signs and lights. All the participants should also carry maps to ensure that, they are familiar with the routes being followed.

The maps should also indicate rendezvous points in case individuals are separated for the group. Riding will also be restricted to daytime hours only; the bikers should however be careful not to ride off too early in the morning, as the morning light is not sufficient and they may end up lost.

Individuals with medical conditions should be checked on frequently, to ensure that they are not strained by the trip. Finally, the group should ensure that they maintain a uniform speed; that is not to fast or too slow. When approaching downward slopes, extra care is needed to avoid unnecessary accidents

First Aid

  • There should be at least an adult who is trained to administer basic first aid, accompanying the group on the trip. The adult should also have an Outdoor Area First Aid Certificate.
  • The kit should have all the requirements, customized to suit the mountain biking activity.

Group Preparation

The group should have basic information on road safety measures, when interacting with the public to reduce accident scenarios. The group should also be prepared to physically for the task ahead. The preparation will include fitness training exercises to be simulated on replica terrains as those on the mountains.

Each participant should also be equipped with information on bicycle maintenance and should also ensure he/she has the right biking skills for the activity. Long and strenuous trips require that the individuals be of sound health. Therefore, the group leaders should ensure that they do not allow sick people to participate in the activity (Tarlaw, 2002).

Water sources and Treatment

The group shall obtain drinking water for the mountain surroundings. Fresh water from the rivers and springs will be used. However, the water will have to be purified before it is consumed.

Treatment procedures

The following steps will be taken to purify water before consumption:

  • Collect water from a following source
  • Filter the water using clean cloth or sock to remove debris
  • Boil the water to remove any toxins and if boiling is not an option, iodine pellets can be used.
  • Lastly, to ensure that the water is safe for drinking, liquid chlorine can be added to neutralize any remaining toxins.

It is important to note that water with suspicious colors and odors should not be used. What from stagnant sources is also not allowed for consumption, as it may contain dangerous chemicals.

Environmental Considerations:

  • The participants must keep to the paths (roads, vehicle tracks and mountain tracks) designated for them. The group should avoid pedestrian walks.
  • Fires are hazardous to the environment and should be kept to a minimum during the outing, as they might cause forest fires and damage animal habitats. If possible stoves should be used in place of open fire, as they are much safer.
  • The group should also keep the water sources clean. The drainage facility should not be so close to the drinking sources.
  • The regulations governing the use of the environment should be observed.

Weather Information

Sunny weather conditions, with temperatures of about 13-15 degrees, are highly appropriate for the riding activity. Since early morning riding is not allowed, the group will be allowed to start their activities at around 6.30 am and be finished and back at camp by 5.30pm.

Rules and Regulations

  • The riders are required to stick open trails only; they are not allowed to venture into private property unless prior permission is obtained from the owner. Markers and other signs should be followed strictly.
  • The group should be aware of other people who will be using the trails. They should control their speed, to avoid accidents and injuries.
  • Always yield trial- the cyclists should wait until they are allowed to pass by other path users. Caution should be observed when approaching animals. In addition to this, cyclists should never interfere with animals; they should keep their distance from them.
  • The environment should be kept clean at all times. The group should not leave any trace.
  • The group should also be prepared to deal with any emergencies that might arise during the excursion.

Risk management

The outdoor activity must be conducted in a way that ensures the safety of the participants. Specific areas that risk management should be emphasized include travelling to remote areas, which have limited contact, limited means of communication and social facilities. Secondly, the group should be careful while they are exposed to the natural elements that can be harmful to their health (Barkley, 2004).

A comprehensive risk management plan should always accompany any field trip. The risk management plan, tries to put in perspective, the elements that might cause harm to the participants and then stipulates counter measures that will be used, in case the predicted events happen.

Before any group sets out for an outdoor activity, it is important for them to have a check list that acts as a highlight of the risk management plan. Below is a table showing a risk management assessment and action plan.

Risk no. The risk Consequences
From an event
happening
Existing
measures
Likelihood
of happening
Consequence
rating
Overall Risk
Level
A + B
Risk
Priority
1. Technology Communication failure due to limited access to fixed line phones, GSM and UHF radio Not really something to worry about as chances of it happening are low. However, if an emergency occurs, it is important that there be a channel of communication. Know the network coverage before hand.
Faulty equipment Can cause irreparable damage that can result to death. Mandatory checks on equipment 1 3 4
2. Operational activity causing damage Fall from height Death Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, proper equipment and clothing
1 4 5
Medical emergencies injuries Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, and proper equipment
2 4 6
Damaged bikes injury Mandatory checks,
Availability of spare parts, basic information on bicycle maintenance
2 3 5
3. Nature and Environment: from the environment to the group Extreme weather Slippery slopes, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, difficulty in communication Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, proper equipment and clothing, safety measures, venue
2 3 5
Falling rocks Major injury/ death Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, proper equipment and clothing
1 5 6

Action Plan

Correlating
Ref. from
Risk
worksheet
Treatment/Controls to be
implemented
Rating after
control
Person responsible
for implementing
treatment/controls
Time Frame Date Risk and treatment/controls
monitored/reviewedHow When
Date
completed
Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, proper equipment and clothing, safety measures
6 Tutor-in-charge Prior to and during trip
Mandatory checks
Effective group preparation, trained staff, proper equipment and clothing, safety measures
4 Tutor-in-charge Prior to and during trip

Contingencies

Aim of the contingency plan

The aim of this contingency plan is to provide alternative plans and response documentation for outdoor activities and especially mountain biking.

Objectives

To establish alternative plans that can be used for the following:

  • Effective operation during the field trips
  • For adequate supervision and monitoring while on the trip
  • Updating daily means of communication
  • Keeping checks and balances on the existing program

Information to be included in the plan

  1. Should ensure that they provide alternative numbers (hospital numbers, relative numbers and or next of keen), that will serve as emergency contacts in case the need arises.
  2. Detailed procedures that will be followed in case the group is separated
  3. Detailed procedures that will be followed if the weather conditions do not allow the activity to take place as planned.
  4. Procedures that will be followed if there is an accident or any other form of emergency.
  5. Parents or guardians should provide medical information about the participants.
  6. Also to be included are procedures that will be followed in case of environmental hazards
  7. All essential information (maps, catalogues, signs) should be put in place
  8. Departure times for the trip should be made flexible to accommodate any future changes to the program
  9. All forms of permissions should be obtained before any outdoor activity is undertaken.

Maps showing the mountain biking routes

Maps showing the mountain biking routes Canada Map showing the mountain biking routes.

Research and additional Information about outdoor activities

All outdoor activities must meet all procedures required to ensure that the risk management is effectively practices. The tutor-in-charge should be able to plan, supervise and take part in the activity.

Definition of terms generally used in risk management plans

Accompanying adults include tutors, school staff, parents, activity leaders and any other responsible person that can be of help in the trip. There is also a person or people trained to handle medical emergencies.

Activity leader (or leader) is the person with the relevant qualifications and/or experience to lead the activity. The leader is the overall coordinator of the event and normally gives directions on how the excursion will be carried out.

Activity-specific procedures are the mandatory procedures or practices relating to specific outdoor activities. They are supposed to be carried out to reduce risk occurrences or to deal with emergencies when they occur.

Duty of care is a legal duty that that transfers the care of the students from the parents to the teachers. While the students are on the trip, the teachers ensure that no harm comes to them, until they are back with their parents.

Excursion refers to a teacher supervised, school-organized activity involving the participation of students in extra-curriculum programs that are considered important parts of their studies. Excursions are normally informative and expose the students to out of the classroom experiences.

Hours of duty are the times that the teachers are granted the duty of care, when that time comes to an end, the hours of duty are given back to the parents.

Informed consent means that parents have given permission for their children to participate in the outdoor activity organized by the school and that they are aware of all risks involved.

Non-remote is generally a location that is not more than 20 minutes away from modes of communication and transportation. This is an area covered by a fixed landline and a network of roads, and other social amenities.

Outdoor adventure is a dynamic form of activity that is educative and doubles up as a form of entertainment to the participants.

Outdoor adventure activities are places or activities that participants take part in that involve risk, such as rock climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, wall climbing and cross country cycling. These activities involve large groups of people that have a common goal or objective.

Parent(s) refers to adults with parental responsibilities or guardianship. They are the key determinants of whether their children will take part in the activity or not.

Policies are guidelines that are used to direct the way activities are done. Without the policies, the activities would be dangerous to undertake.

Procedures are the detailed and specified steps and processes to be observed in the planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities.

Remote is a location that is more than 30 minutes from access to a fixed-line telephone, and is not connect to a network of roads. A remote area has sparse population and is characterized by lack of communication facilities and other social amenities.

Communication

Groups should notify the authorities before venturing into remote areas. This is important because, the police will be able to monitor there location in case of any emergency. However, it is always advisable to keep away from remote areas that have not formal means of communication.

Safety Procedures

All equipments that will be used in the activity must be of the right standard and certified by the relevant authorities. There equipments and facilities should also be inspected by the group before they head out for the trip; this is a mandatory practice that needs to be conducted by all the group members.

Personal items like jewellery and other items like ties and necklaces should not be worn, because they pose danger to the individual. People with long hairs, should ensure that they are secured before the biking events. People who ignore these simply rules end up suffering expensive damages (Rejda, 2007).

References

Barkley, B. (2004). Project risk management. New York: McGraw Hill.

Crouhy, M. (2005). The essentials of risk management. New York: McGraw Hill.

Hubbard, D. W. (2009). The failure of risk management: Why it’s broken and how to fix it. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Miller, M. (2012). Mathematics and statistics for risk management plan. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Rejda, E. G. (2007). Principles of risk management & insurance. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Tarlaw, E. P. (2002). Event risk management & safety. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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