GT has long urged the use of helmets. We have recently become aware of neck braces, designed for mountain biking and motocross riding, fitted between the rider and helmet, that can decrease the risk of paralysis, spinal cord and neck injuries. As the manufacturer clearly states, these braces cannot prevent all injuries. We urge riders, particularly riders into challenging and risky riding, to investigate and consider neck braces. One of these might save your life or keep you out of a wheelchair.
If you're going hard-core, be smart about it, eh? Always wear a full face helmet, state of the art neck brace, full body armor including spine protector, arm and leg pads, full-finger gloves and protective clothing. Choose a bike that's right for you, your riding and terrain, and check it often for signs of fatigue or other trouble. (Your GT dealer can help you on both fronts.) Read the GT Owner's Manual. And most importantly, ride within your ability, know your limitations. Practice. Stay in control, and carefully, gradually expand your limits - but ride within them.
Consider professional instruction. Just like for risky sports like automobile and motorcycle racing there is instruction available.