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  1. #1
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    Frequency of Falls?

    Hi,

    I'm 57, and used to mtn. bike back in my 20s/30s a lot. I took a nasty fall which, 20 years later, resulted in a total replacement of my left shoulder. That was in November.

    Since then, I've been rehabbing it, and while weak, I am hankering to get a mtn. bike again and go sample the local flavors of Portland (where I live) and the PNW.

    I'll be honest, I love the idea of getting back into biking again, but I'm pretty nervous about crashing and breaking up my left shoulder. I've already had one mulligan on it, and it took the amazing skill of the west coasts best shoulder guy to give me a functional joint again. Am I being stupid to risk this?

    How often do you guys fall, and are shoulder injuries common in mtn. falls? I know they are on the road...

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Regards,
    Francis

  2. #2
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    My frequency of falls is fall off, curse a bit, drink some water, straighten the handlebars and pull my shorts out of the dark recess, etc. About 10 minutes i guess!

    Just kidding, i almost float over the dirt rocks and branches. You wouldn't know it by all of the scabs on my forearms.

    Seriously, i fall about twice a year. I am due!

    The worst was sticking the front wheel (26 rigid/ht) between two slippery roots and catapulting over the bars. I wasn't nearly ready to land on one of the roots. It took a while to get rolling again (read above).

  3. #3
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    I fall 4-5 times during the first hour or so of every ride. Once I begin to tire, it's more frequent. Most spills are the result of my fear of falling. I'm usually fully capable of floating and blasting and putting the bike where I want it to go, but sometimes my g-nads shrivel up, I scrub of the "speed" to gingerly pick my way through a section, then I slide off when I lose my balance from going too slow. On the plus side, it's usually just the legs that get scraped up on rocks and pedals. Shoulders are A1!

  4. #4
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    I don't fall very often but used to CRASH about every 10-15 rides because I generally push my limits at times but since switching to flat pedals full time in October, I haven't crashed once where I ended up on the ground. As far ask whether you should risk it or not, thats a question for your doctor. I fractured my neck in 2014 and was supposed to be out 11-12 weeks. Just short of 9 weeks, I was cleared to ride. The doctor said I could crash the exact same way I did before and wouldn't get hurt in the same manner because the bones healed up stronger than they were originally.
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  5. #5
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    It depends on your definition of falling....here's a synopsis of my last ten mile ride on my local rooty, rocky loop.
    -Just riding along until I decided to session a tricky little rocky climb, on the second attempt I hung up my rear wheel and went to the ground on my right side, 1" scrape with two drops of blood and 3" bruise; made it up clean on the third try.
    -Second lap downhill I increased my speed on a stone wall crossing and rammed my front wheel into a rock, landed with a thud on right shoulder and hip, no damage to anything but my ego.
    - Skills practice in the driveway at the end of the ride when a over rotated manual put me on my back, directly on my sacrum. Lied motionless for 27 seconds before deciding that was enough for one day.
    -Moral of the story is that even though it usually hurts to fall, it doesn't always result in injury. Start back slow, get some strength and skills back and see where it takes you.
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  6. #6
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    I am 54 and got back into mountain biking twelve years ago. I used to crash fairly often when I first started back and I also fractured my neck in 2008. But now I rarely crash. I also switched to flats (Chesters and 5-10 shoes) after riding clipless for a decade as I would occasionally have a fall-over stall out where I didn't manage to get unclipped. And I got a dropper post. While I would say a dropper is a "high performance" piece of equipment as it allows me to ride faster, I also consider it a piece of safety gear as it lowers your center of gravity and makes it much less likely to go over the bars when descending. The slacker geometry (less steep head tube angle) also makes today's bikes safer in regards to avoiding OTB crashes.

    I'd say mountain biking is as dangerous as you make it. You can push the limits and sometimes cross the line and crash or you can back off from the line and avoid crashing. Start off easy, be patient and develop your skills; it takes awhile. My back up bike is still a steep angle head tube xc race bike with no dropper but I can't recall ever crashing it, more due to the skills I have developed than anything else. My main bike I can descend faster because of the dropper and (slightly) slacker geometry.
    Last edited by chazpat; 04-26-2018 at 02:31 PM.
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  7. #7
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    A few things have helped me reduce my falls from averaging probably 1-2 per ride, to maybe 1 every 20 rides. 1 is carrying and maintaining more speed...more momentum through slow speed areas helps you stay up versus trying to baby it and pick through slow tech. The others are equipment related. A 29er is more forgiving and hangs up less. A slack head tube angle is more forgiving at high speed. A dropper is essential for proper positioning. You only live once and have two shoulders....ride if you like it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haymarket View Post
    1 is carrying and maintaining more speed...more momentum through slow speed areas helps you stay up versus trying to baby it and pick through slow tech.
    Yep. Can be hard to convince a new rider that they need to go faster to be safer, though! You need forward momentum to get over stuff rather than hitting it and mostly just bouncing up.
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  9. #9
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    I seem to crash when I ride lift assisted trails. I.E. I ride them like I was 12 with no fear. So I crash about once a year and it's usually a pretty good one. I just need to get it on video. I am skidish at times when I think about all my injuries over the years (broken finger, concussions, rib fractures, wrist sprains and broken neck-when I was younger) but I try to keep that out of my head. The rush of riding and clearing obstacles or beating my fastest times is the best. So my advice is to ride and let it go. Riding is for fun.
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  10. #10
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    RMJack, I too am 57. I've been riding on dirt since the 70's. To address your question (how often do you guys fall) ... I think my frequency has been about the same over the last several years. I ride 5+ days a week, and I would estimate I meet terra firma 2-3 times a week. Just enough to never be without a scab somewhere on my limbs.

    To put things in perspective... I ride aggressively (pushing things aerobically and technically) on varying terrain from hard pack XC stuff, to rocky, rooty tech climbs, descents and gardens. About 50/50 of XC/techy. I do like challenging rock gardens. I don't ride a lot of what is considered "down hill" or free ride (shuttle up, ride down kinda stuff). My wheels are usually close to the ground, so not a lot of air time over 1-3 feet other than a few drops from time to time. In my case, injuries are almost always knee and shin bangs, usually against rocks. Never broken, but a lot of missing skin. I also get occasional shoulder and upper arm bruising from deflecting off of trees and rocks. It's warm here, so no long sleeves or pants, no armor or guards. Just shorts, t-shirt, long finger gloves and a MIPS bucket. Underwear optional...

    If you're concerned about mitigating crashes... what's help me a lot is setting up the bike for the ride. The right tire pressure and front/rear sag and rebound has made a significant difference for me. My last significant crash was on a rocky decent and drop I've been over a hundred times successfully. But... too much tire pressure, to much front sag, and wrong rear rebound sent me over the bars. I try to take the time before each ride to look things over. Fore me, 5-10 minutes well sent.

  11. #11
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    You guys crashing every other ride are hard core, kudos to you all! If I crashed that much I would be too broken to ride anymore, I seem to get beat up pretty good when I go down so I definitely focus on keeping my bike upright.

    I'm also mid-50's and tend to ride fairly aggressively, I'm competitive by nature and love going for pr's and an occasional kom but anything outside of my comfort zone I back off, 1 or 2 diggers per year is about my tolerable limit these days.
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  12. #12
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    Funny story: I too had total left shoulder replacement at 65 YO. I got permission from my surgeon to ride 87 days after surgery. I didn't really share with him what type of riding I planned on doing. I promptly fell off a skinny, buried the front wheel and slammed my shoulder into the top of the tree trunk I'd been riding on. It hurt a lot but seemed undamaged. When I relayed this hilarity to my surgeon a few months later, he didn't seem too concerned. He told me I couldn't damage the new joint, but in very unique circumstances (not very likely) I could break or damage the bone connected to it. In the 2-3 years since I've fallen onto to 3 or 4 times w/o any bad consequences.

  13. #13
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    I have been hit by a car while walking through a pedestrian crossing when I have had the right of way 4 times. Mainly suffered a concussion and soft tissue damage. I still walk and cross streets at the designated intersections.

    I got ploughed down by a car who decided to run a red light. Suffered major head trauma and effectively ended my working career.

    If you ask me, it's way far safer to ride a bike in a forest where there are no cars.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddoh View Post
    Funny story: I too had total left shoulder replacement at 65 YO. I got permission from my surgeon to ride 87 days after surgery. <snip> In the 2-3 years since I've fallen onto to 3 or 4 times w/o any bad consequences.
    What an encouraging story, thanks! I should check with my surgeon, that's an excellent idea.

  15. #15
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    A broken collar bone is probably the most common mtb related fracture. Point being when you fall (not if) the natural tendency is to stick your arms out to catch yourself. Doing so will definitely stress your shoulder. With that said I have a long list of mtb injuries and a broken collar bone isn't one of them.

    I'm good for a couple of solid crashes a season and usually 1 injurury requiring time off the bike about every 2 years. I seem to fall more around the campfire as the hours get on in the night though.
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  16. #16
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    The thing is, it can be anything.

    Just on Friday night, almost at the end of an easy ride around the local horse trails, there was a branch sticking that I never saw, and broke it with my right leg.

    Nothing major but if that branch doesn't break, it goes through my leg.

    I'm 52 and new to the sport, but my falling has drop down a bit.

    I use to fall just about every ride.
    just get a bike and ride!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill401 View Post
    I have been hit by a car while walking through a pedestrian crossing when I have had the right of way 4 times. Mainly suffered a concussion and soft tissue damage. I still walk and cross streets at the designated intersections.

    I got ploughed down by a car who decided to run a red light. Suffered major head trauma and effectively ended my working career.

    If you ask me, it's way far safer to ride a bike in a forest where there are no cars.
    4 times? Iím pretty sure thatís on you with that...look both ways! That said, road biking is more dangerous as far as risk of death...minor injury frequency probably goes to MTB.

  18. #18
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    I seem to fall more when I am trying to take it easy
    if I am full into a ride 100% I fall less,
    does running into trees count as a fall or splat?
    that may up my numbers considerably
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I don't fall very often but used to CRASH about every 10-15 rides because I generally push my limits at times but since switching to flat pedals full time in October, I haven't crashed once where I ended up on the ground. As far ask whether you should risk it or not, thats a question for your doctor. I fractured my neck in 2014 and was supposed to be out 11-12 weeks. Just short of 9 weeks, I was cleared to ride. The doctor said I could crash the exact same way I did before and wouldn't get hurt in the same manner because the bones healed up stronger than they were originally.
    I just switched to flats a couple of months ago too. Confidence is way up!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haymarket View Post
    A few things have helped me reduce my falls..one is carrying and maintaining more speed..
    This is an interesting comment, it makes sense to me. I fall off quite often and most of them are low-speed dumps onto the ground. Either getting hung-up or the front wheel sliding out from under you, that happened to me on Saturday.

    If you carry more speed you're more likely to make it through. A good example is a one-foot drop-off. If you roll slowly off the edge your front wheel smacks the ground, suspension compresses and the bike's at catapult angle. If you fly off the same drop fast, the front end doesn't have time to drop before the tail follows it and you're safely on your way.

    The only snag is that if you're going faster, the falls can be harder. Even at low-speed though, I'm sorry to say that landing on your shoulder is common, especially if you go over the bars. Would I risk it with a Lego shoulder? If I'm being honest, probably not. I'm over fifty too and I know how long things take to heal now. I still cycle, I still fall off but I really don't know how confident I'd be with an injury like that. The consequences of smashing that shoulder again could be dire.

  21. #21
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    If you go out nervous about crashing chances are you are going too and possibly get hurt. Start with green trails and build your confidence slowly and hopefully you can get past it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    If you go out nervous about crashing chances are you are going too and possibly get hurt.
    There are days I just don't feel right and know crashing is more likely. It's hard to put a finger on it, you're just not 'in the zone'. When I feel like that I try to play it safe and not push my luck.

    Does not make any difference as to whether or not I crash though! ;0)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    There are days I just don't feel right and know crashing is more likely. It's hard to put a finger on it, you're just not 'in the zone'. When I feel like that I try to play it safe and not push my luck.

    Does not make any difference as to whether or not I crash though! ;0)
    I hear ya!! When I was younger I could push through it and maybe bounce of a tree or two, break a fall with my head in the rocks and get right back after it. Nowa days it just takes too long to recover from such things so I just dial it back when I'm not feeling it.

  24. #24
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    I'm 65. I rarely crash riding locally, but I'll crash 2 or 3 times per Moab trip....but then I wear forearm/elbow and knee/shin armor. I am actually fairly adept at crashing without (knock on wood) too many injuries, just one cracked rib 2 years ago.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haymarket View Post
    4 times? Iím pretty sure thatís on you with that...look both ways! That said, road biking is more dangerous as far as risk of death...minor injury frequency probably goes to MTB.
    Perhaps one of the 3 was avoidable on my side in assuming that the car at the red light was going to stop and not zip around turning right. But the others were when I was in the middle of the crossing and the driver just wasn't paying attention and was looking at just the cars and not pedestrians. It's those left hand turning (a)holes that are the worst for me. Zero you can do to stop them.

  26. #26
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    I'm in this age group, and rarely crash anymore. While I do not ride timid, or shy away from technical terrain, I do ride just a little safer than I used to, and am an old XC guy who mostly likes to zip around singletrack, not jump and huck the bike much at all. I really think if you start riding again, and pick your trails and lines judiciously, you'll rarely crash, and probably never crash on your shoulder. Go for it!

    I should note I'm also from Oregon (40+ years, born there), but now live in New England, while there are black diamond trails everywhere, there's more rocks and roots here than where you are, so it's pretty likely you'll be able to find trails that don't push your limits of risk. Having said that, it's a lot easier to find long thrilling DH's to bomb there if you want, and you may want to be wary of that temptation.

    I agree with others that hitting something like a technical descent with too little speed can often be worse than going too fast. Some years ago I crashed this way. "Just to be safe" I went 1pmh down a short steep rocky section, jammed up, and ended up going ass over tea kettle. I have been down that same section many times since, and rarely touch the brakes.

    A dropper seatpost may also be a must on any bike you ride.

  27. #27
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    I'll be 50 on Tuesday. Been riding off road since I was a kid (on dirtbikes), mountain biking since the late 80's. I used to fall more often, but part of that was developing skills, part learning limits. I got back into riding in a big way last year when I bought my first fat bike. Three bikes later, I have the quiver I like. I have the most fun on the fat bike. I've fallen twice since getting it. It's a rigid hardtail, so I don't go looking for 4' drops or crazy tech stuff. That said, I ride most of the trails around here and apply the wisdom I've built up over the past 30-odd (very odd indeed) years.

    I will probably have to have shoulder surgery sometime in the future-but that is due to powerlifting. Heavy benching has taken its toll, and I'm still not satisfied with a chest workout that doesn't see reps with 315+. The upside is that I have a lot of muscle mass to pad my falls when they happen ...
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  28. #28
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    As a new rider last year I crashed almost every time out and had the bruises and cuts to show for it. This year Iím 25+ rides in and have only fell twice. One fall was on my first black diamond trail and I tipped off the side of a 3 foot high bridge. Wasnít as bad as I thought it would be lol. I would explain the decrease in accidents to having a better bike and being a much better rider now with some experience and confidence under my belt.

  29. #29
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    I've never been much of a crasher, so serious crashes have been pretty rare for me. I have minor fall offs more often.
    I used to ride with guys who were good for an over the bars every ride.
    I am not sure how to explain it, but some people tend to be crashers.

  30. #30
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    58 here...I still ride aggressively on technical NE terrain and have had my share of 'incidents' over 30+ years. I only go down a handful of times/year but usually it's a doozie. Last one was an OTB in January which resulted in Grade 3 shoulder separation after I bounced off the frozen CT tundra during a night ride.

    The last 3 years I picked up a new riding buddy who is also 58...he raced competitive MX bikes for 30 years but had limited mountain biking experience. He has progressed quickly, rides aggressively and follows me everywhere now but he went down fairly often the first couple of years. A year ago he changed from clip-on's to platforms and that has helped him (I've been clipped in since day one).

    Around here it seems like the worse crashes are usually fairly slow speed OTB's while grinding through one of the many super boney sections. Fork compresses, weight not back quite enough and BOINK...before you know it you're thrown into a pile of rocks. My new Kona has slacker HTA which makes a HUGE difference from previous bikes. With front wheel way out in front, I don't even think about these type of OTB's anymore.
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  31. #31
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    I'm 54 and I crash hard about 2 or 3 times a year. Most of the time it is near the end of a long day and I am beat or I am just completely overtrained and can't focus. I'm still learning to deal with this and get off the bike when I need too.

    I have had a lot of injuries over the years while riding, but shoulders have not been one of them.

    That being said, I don't think you should let the fear of what might happen keep you from enjoying life and off the bike. If you want to ride and your Doc says it's ok then go for it. Keep within your limits, focus and if you are having a bad day get off the bike and do a hike.
    One could trip on a shoelace or slip on a banana peel trying to avoid inherent dangers.

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  32. #32
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    All,

    thanks for your perspective. I've taken a few rides on my old '06 hardtail, and while slow and out of breath, have had a lot of fun in Forest Park (in Portland, a few miles from me).

    I've found a Wed. group ride (haven't gone yet) at the local park (L.L.Stub), and plan on going in a month or two, once I've built up my cycling legs and don't feel like a total spaz.

    I've also been test riding new bikes, and will likely get a new one very soon. They are totally different than 12 years ago...

    Looking forward to seeing how good I can be even knocking on 60.

    Thanks again!
    Francis

  33. #33
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    Knock wood I guess, but I almost never fall. I'm certainly not overly cautious either. As I age, I don't heal nearly as quick as I used to so I'm thinking this is a good thing.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMJack View Post
    All,

    thanks for your perspective. I've taken a few rides on my old '06 hardtail, and while slow and out of breath, have had a lot of fun in Forest Park (in Portland, a few miles from me).

    I've found a Wed. group ride (haven't gone yet) at the local park (L.L.Stub), and plan on going in a month or two, once I've built up my cycling legs and don't feel like a total spaz.

    I've also been test riding new bikes, and will likely get a new one very soon. They are totally different than 12 years ago...

    Looking forward to seeing how good I can be even knocking on 60.

    Thanks again!
    Francis
    Right on.. Like others here have said. Slacker head angles and a dropper post will help limit the OTB incidents. Which is where a lot of biking shoulder injuries come from. Good luck.
    I choose to live and to lie..kill and to give and to die..learn and love and to do what it takes to step through. MJK

  35. #35
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    Couple of things. A 29er with full sus will get you out of a lot of tough spots. get some really good tires that grip well for your trails. Ride within your limits. Use any armor? I like G form for the XC type minor crashes.
    Last edited by leeboh; 05-02-2018 at 06:52 AM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Couple of things. A 29er with full sus will get you out of a lot of tough spots. get some really good tires that grip well for your trails. Ride within your limits. Use any armor? I like G from for the XC type minor crashes.
    thanks for the suggestions - great minds and all that - I've been looking at 29" trail bikes, and after the sticker shock, have been looking seriously at

    - the new 29 stumpjumper comp
    - the pivot switchblade - (love it but busts my budget)
    - yeti SB100 - (love it but it busts my budget)
    - how the hell do kids afford these 6k bikes?

    any others I should consider? the max I want to spend is 3.5 - 4k...

    I'm leaning towards the SJ, mostly for nostalgia, I've had a SJ hanging in my garage since the late 80's.


    I've only demo'd the SJ in the dirt, and yes, a dropper post, full suspension and 29" inch wheels feels like driving a low riding couch compared to my ass in the air, nose on my skinny bars old XC bike.

    I should probably get armor, especially when learning new stuff, but I'm only really worried about protecting my collarbone/shoulder. Unfortunately, armor doesn't seem to work for upper body, unless I want to go full motocross pads which seems ridiculous. Probably start with knee/shin guards, as I've popped off the pedals once or twice. ouch. They move fast.

    I have decided to run flats, even though I've always run SPDs. Felt weird the first ride or two, but it is nice to be able to get your foot off the pedal instantly.

    Regards,
    Francis

  37. #37
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    Stub Steward has a lot of hucks and several sizable gap step down jumps. I would not recommend graduating from Forest park to Stub. If you drive out a bit farther on 6 to Tillamook state forest there is a bunch of really good single track. Rogers Camp, Browns Camp, Wilson River Trail, and Gales Creek to name a few. The new stumpjumper looks like a solid ride and at your price point I'd add the Tranition Smuggler to your list.
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  38. #38
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    Frequency of Falls = 1 Hertz
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    Frequency of Falls = 1 Hertz
    heh - someone is an EE, a ham, or both..

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Stub Steward has a lot of hucks and several sizable gap step down jumps. I would not recommend graduating from Forest park to Stub. If you drive out a bit farther on 6 to Tillamook state forest there is a bunch of really good single track. Rogers Camp, Browns Camp, Wilson River Trail, and Gales Creek to name a few. The new stumpjumper looks like a solid ride and at your price point I'd add the Tranition Smuggler to your list.

    Thanks for the thoughts on Stub. I'll check out the others first, although I've read Browns camp is full of horse crap... Wilson River looks cool from what I've seen on youtube.

    As for the smuggler, looks very interesting, I'll have to check that out more.

    Thanks,

  41. #41
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    I stopped crashing ever since I started wearing knee pads. Now I'm afraid to take them off. I rarely (as in never) wear elbow pads but now I've prob jinxed myself...

    Truth is I've gone from XC bike w/ skinny tires to long travel w/ big tires. Speed have crept up but that has saved me from lack of skilz that the XC bike couldn't have. Sure climbing is more difficult but that's just more calories burned for more beer.

  42. #42
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    Define crash:

    1) Having to get off my bike unexpected?
    2) Letting go of my bike to prevent or reduce injury?
    3) Being injured while riding due to the above?

    I have My share of #1 and #2, but few #3.

    Most of my big crashes are due to stupidity, like messing with my zipper while riding in the park, drifting into a ditch, and pulling a double with a four point landing on my knee; that one hurt for a couple years.

    Being willing and able to ditch your bike is an important skill. I had thousands of falls while riding off road unicycles, broke all of my fingers once and all the fingers on my right hand twice. But, I learned how to get off my muni without planning.

    That said, I donít really think about crashing unless Iím riding some gnarly tech. Most of the time Iím focused on completing the move; staying committed helps with completion.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMJack View Post
    ...any others I should consider? the max I want to spend is 3.5 - 4k...
    Look at some direct bikes. Like the YT Jeffsy. Canyon, Commencal both are top brands too. From what you're talking about, I think you'll find the bike you need there, at an incredible price point.

    Take a look at the subforums here on this site for those brands. Lots of info there, and plenty to reduce fears of buying sight unseen.

  44. #44
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    OP, in regards to upper body stuff, there are good ways to fall, and not so good ways. I find yoga and some core work out stuff to be really helpful. Really. Practice some shoulder rolls on soft grass. Flexibility/stretching helps me a lot on the bike, as well as easing post ride soreness.

  45. #45
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    Intense has also gone direct, a carbon bike at/near the cost of non-direct alum bike.

    This is below $4K:

    Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory Bike 2018 | Chain Reaction Cycles

  46. #46
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    60 is just around the corner for me. I ride with more caution now. I still like to let her rip on the descents, but only when I know the trail. We do a fairly technical weekly race series in the spring in Sacramento and the course changes every week. I won't push myself too hard in the technical stuff because I have seen and I have partaken in some pretty bad crashes out there. I might crash about once a year, but I fall down/over a few times a year. For me, it's all about staying in control and getting through a technical section so that I am healthy enough to do it again. And if I have doubt, I get off the bike and walk over or through that technical section that I have doubts about.
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  47. #47
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    So, essentially you're coming back to the sport and want to avoid getting hurt, but still have fun. Is it possible? I'd say yes.

    A few years ago, my wife broke her neck and was paralyzed. Since I am her sole caregiver and can't really afford any kind of injury, I never thought I would mountain bike again. I only got back on the bike after a 2 year layoff at her insistence. Glad she did.

    Two things really helped to avoid any major injuries. The new bikes are so much more forgiving than the ones from just 5 years ago. My bike has saved a lot of falls that I would have taken on my old bike.

    I also spent a lot of time focusing on just skills. Really practicing every little skill I would need on the trail. I look back now and realize that if I had done this practice when I was in great shape, I could have really had fun rather than powering through everything.

    To answer the question, I would say I crash a couple of times a year. I fall over a lot more than that in our technical terrain, but it's always at slow or no speed and I'm prepped for them. The crashes hurt. The fall overs leave bruises and scrapes.

    I would say buy a new bike and work your way back into it. Nothing quite like a good MTB ride.

  48. #48
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    Risk/reward, right?!

    MTB'g kicks ass for so many different reasons.

    The force is strong in you.

    Keep pushing, and try to be smart/patient. You already had a mulligan on the damn thing.

    I recently came back from a 4-day Pisgah trip after having left shoulder ACJ reconstruction in 2017. It was my first trip back to Pisgah with my newly repaired shoulder, and all went well.

    Check out the Pro-X Compression shirt by G-Form. The compression feels good on my shoulder, has some light padding in multiple areas (including shoulder and collarbone), and mobility is excellent.

    PS - I don't fall or crash much. I'm 51.
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  49. #49
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    Skills course

    im 61. When I was about your age I took a betterride skills course. Learned a lot of good skills that made me feel much more confident. I ended up riding more aggressively AND under much better control. I feel much safer, even though riding faster than I used to. I don't push too hard because of the whole need to get to work on Monday thing, but certainly have pleanty of fun!

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    "Check out the Pro-X Compression shirt by G-Form. The compression feels good on my shoulder"

    Good info! I have one Ti shoulder and arthritis in the other and usually aches and pains after hard rides. This baby may help.

  51. #51
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    Great advice on a lot of different fronts, thank you!

    1
    1. get a new geometry bike with suspension
    2. take a skills class, practice hopping off, rolling as well as bike skills
    3. body armor, I'm going to check out these out


    I'm not worried about scrapes and bruises. my goal is to avoid a repeat of the crash that ruined my shoulder (leading to multiple surgeries and eventual replacement). I'll just go slower when I feel my skills aren't up to the trail I'm on.

    Great stuff, and makes me feel good about getting back into cycling. Lots of us older guys still on the trail apparently.

  52. #52
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    " I'll just go slower when I feel my skills aren't up to the trail I'm on."

    Just don't go too slow. Sometimes that can be dangerous!

  53. #53
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    I go over the handlebars about once every 4 or 5 rides.

    Most of the time it's into the brush on the side of the trail. Only needed stitches once. Nothing broken yet.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMJack View Post
    Hi,

    I'm 57, and used to mtn. bike back in my 20s/30s a lot. I took a nasty fall which, 20 years later, resulted in a total replacement of my left shoulder. That was in November.

    Since then, I've been rehabbing it, and while weak, I am hankering to get a mtn. bike again and go sample the local flavors of Portland (where I live) and the PNW.

    I'll be honest, I love the idea of getting back into biking again, but I'm pretty nervous about crashing and breaking up my left shoulder. I've already had one mulligan on it, and it took the amazing skill of the west coasts best shoulder guy to give me a functional joint again. Am I being stupid to risk this?

    How often do you guys fall, and are shoulder injuries common in mtn. falls? I know they are on the road...

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Regards,
    Francis
    I started a year ago at 57. I have gone over bars a couple of times at slow speed and slid out a couple of times. No shoulder injuries but ribs got hit twice so sore for awhile.
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  55. #55
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    Go big or go home ... or both

    Instead of rolling off this car sized boulder, I decided that jumping off it was a better idea, just a little too much speed and a little too far left, hello hill, hello tree, ouch!

    Frequency of Falls?-37241c78-1419-4543-a23b-6d5136943b40.jpg

    Tree 1
    Ben 0

    ... meanwhile Iím back on the bike, arm is sore, stitches are holding.

    We will meet again!

  56. #56
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    I fell over today at the top of a short climb, at a dead stop! Too lazy (tired) to pull my foot off the pedal.

  57. #57
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    It's mountain biking and we crash occasionally. I am acutely aware of how fragile I am at 70 and I remember all the bike, motorcycle, ski, etc injuries, especially in the morning. And, I remember all the months doing nothing strenuous while a knee or shoulder healed. I lost a good bit of this ski season waiting for a shoulder separation to heal. I got this one pulling too hard on a pole pruner and made it worse when I crashed in the mud two months later.

    I walk tough places now. I brake a lot and don't get much air unless the jump is little and the landing is good. It is frustrating to walk things that I used to ride. However, some of those spots like two switchbacks at Rockville Hills are also places where crashes kept me off the bike for a few months.

    Be more careful, don't be afraid to say no when you buddies say go, but you will crash again. It's mountain biking.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  58. #58
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    I wa essentially told the same thing about my neck. I fractured my C1 & C2 in 2014. 8 weeks later I was cleared to ride. The doctor told me "you could fall just like you did last time and won't break the same bones, they're stronger now than before. You might break something else though"
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  59. #59
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    Over the years Iíve circulated through extreme sports, met my wife during my steep creeking days, finally gave up the boating after a good headshot, but really it wasnít the risk that led me stop, but the family I didnít want to leave behind.

    ďBiking is much safer than boatingĒ, my wife tells, because ďthereís oxygenĒ.

    Itís all relative, but I gotta admit, she makes a good point.

    What I like about mountain biking is the ease with which I can control the flow, the ability to repeat lines with relative ease, and the fitness bump I get from doing the up as well as the down.

    Mountain biking makes a body feel good!

    Rode last night, took the weekend off to let the arm heal a bit, felt great, coming down was a hoot as always, kept the speed down a touch cuz the vibrations made my arm sore, otherwise it was rockin and rollin.

  60. #60
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    I have to admit that I'm doing a bit more than I thought I would when I took mountain biking again last year. I live in BC and, of course, eventually that means the North Shore. And I do take it easier than I used to. Kind of. For example, when I first saw the drop in the pic below, I swore I wouldn't do it. No way, too big, too dangerous at my age.

    Then, sure enough, after practicing and practicing on smaller drops, I now do it regularly. I know it's not huge, but at first I didn't want to take the risk. At 57, maybe I'll come to regret it. And seriously, this is as big as it gets for me. And skinnies that are off the ground several feet? Not likely. I don't fall as frequently as I did eight years ago, probably because I do avoid some parts of trails. The bike helps too, I'm sure.

    Frequency of Falls?-fromme-may-16-2018-5.jpg

  61. #61
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    Face mask and full armor, youíre good to go for a pretty solid fall, might not even hurt... that much

    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    I have to admit that I'm doing a bit more than I thought I would when I took mountain biking again last year. I live in BC and, of course, eventually that means the North Shore. And I do take it easier than I used to. Kind of. For example, when I first saw the drop in the pic below, I swore I wouldn't do it. No way, too big, too dangerous at my age.

    Then, sure enough, after practicing and practicing on smaller drops, I now do it regularly. I know it's not huge, but at first I didn't want to take the risk. At 57, maybe I'll come to regret it. And seriously, this is as big as it gets for me. And skinnies that are off the ground several feet? Not likely. I don't fall as frequently as I did eight years ago, probably because I do avoid some parts of trails. The bike helps too, I'm sure.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMJack View Post
    Hi,

    I'm 57, and used to mtn. bike back in my 20s/30s a lot. I took a nasty fall which, 20 years later, resulted in a total replacement of my left shoulder. That was in November.

    Since then, I've been rehabbing it, and while weak, I am hankering to get a mtn. bike again and go sample the local flavors of Portland (where I live) and the PNW.

    I'll be honest, I love the idea of getting back into biking again, but I'm pretty nervous about crashing and breaking up my left shoulder. I've already had one mulligan on it, and it took the amazing skill of the west coasts best shoulder guy to give me a functional joint again. Am I being stupid to risk this?

    How often do you guys fall, and are shoulder injuries common in mtn. falls? I know they are on the road...

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Regards,
    Francis
    Sounds like you've been out of biking/mtn biking a long time if not since your earlier days.
    If that's the case, then you'll have to judge yourself on how likely you are to ride within comfortable limits and mitigate your risk, fears or injury, sane speeds or limits on techy terrain. The answer is; Can you do that - ie; self police ?

    If you have been riding in those between years, how do you rate your 'process' as per aging while riding? Were that the case, you'd probably better know where you stand.

    I suppose some of us are more easily talked into upping our game with others we ride with so you have to know how strong your will is to stay healthy and not over-play your hand.

    I had a big crash, /shoulder versus ground around 20 years ago and I too may need something done in a matter of time but I never stopped riding so I've seen myself change my pace and style or risk levels through the years.

    As for falls, I never pushed myself too hard so my record of falls may not be very helpful. I suspect we all have our own level of risks, speeds and types of rides or competition that factor in so don't put too much value on that.
    As a skier, I always felt those that bragged about never falling didn't really put themselves out there to learn and grow much or at the same rate but not everyone likes falling or sees it as the stepping stones to advancement and not everyone skiing "gets it" with a few months or a few years. Some are fine with a slower safer learning curve.

    In 20 plus years of mtb, the shoulder was the worst for pain and injury. I've had 3 - 4 OTB and those were all low speed like slow-motion, all memorable for no injury and yet seeming spectacular .... lol.

    I might skid on loose gravel and lose it at moderate speeds a few times a year at most, some years none, but a recent scabbed up knee was the result of an 8% beer mid-ride and I should have known better.

    Lately, I feel as though my BP may wander some with slight dizziness or lightheaded feeling so I'll monitor and keep an eye on things. I was on a low dose bp med for a few years, came off it with some good numbers rebounding and it went kind of out of whack again months ago so I'm on it now. I know for a fact that I can get or have a bit of a dizzy spell sometimes on the bike so I keep things pretty tame these days.

    IMO, your own smarts can keep you safe and minimize chances but no guarantees. I'm almost 57 and just enuf smarts to get me this far.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  63. #63
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    I had a kind of weird one last weekend. I was concerned that I seemed to be doing some skidding around curves. I went into a tight curve and slid a little and decided to stop and inspect the trail to see if I was scuffing it. I turned my head sharply around as I was about midway through the turn while also braking to stop. This caused the bike to stand up and then fall over to the outside. Though I was riding flats, it was as if I was clipped in, I just fell over on the bike, I guess being twisted around caught me off guard. I laughed and then struggled to get off the bike while laying on the ground. It took some effort. I checked the trail and decided it was due to a lot of pinestraw on the trail that was causing my sliding.

    A couple of days later I was showering and felt a soar spot behind my armpit. I looked in the mirror when I got out and saw a baseball size bruise with an inch long scrape in the middle. At first, I couldn't think what I could have done to cause it, then I remembered the fall over. I had kind of landed next to a small tree and caught it in the back. I'm on blood thinners so my bruises can be a bit dramatic.
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  64. #64
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    Hey Francis,

    Worrying is bad for you and thinking is very overrated. Just ride your bike and have a good time. If youíre worried about getting hurt, then mountain biking is probably not the sport for you. Honestly, there are so many ways to ride a bike, it shouldnít be hard to find one that fits your desired level of risk.

  65. #65
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    And I'm back again from my ride this morning. I tend to really hug trees in the twisties. This morning, I was hugging a tree and a root bounced me sideways into the tree. Smacked it good, though I didn't crash or even stop. OP may not want to be such a tree hugger.

    I had kind of a rough week, beside this and the one above, I turned an ankle trail running on Tuesday.

    Frequency of Falls?-shoulder.jpg
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    And I'm back again from my ride this morning. I tend to really hug trees in the twisties. This morning, I was hugging a tree and a root bounced me sideways into the tree. Smacked it good, though I didn't crash or even stop. OP may not want to be such a tree hugger.

    I had kind of a rough week, beside this and the one above, I turned an ankle trail running on Tuesday.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Shit! That looks painful! Good to hear all is ok. I saved a few yesterday...whew!

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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Shit! That looks painful! Good to hear all is ok. I saved a few yesterday...whew!

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    It actually looks a lot worse than it is. It doesn't hurt to raise my arm, it just stings a little where you can see the flesh was rubbed off. Most of it isn't even sore to the touch.

    My wife will freak when she sees it though. I can probably hide it somewhat but we're going to the beach this week and it will be hard to hide there.
    Last edited by chazpat; 05-21-2018 at 05:34 AM.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    My wife will freak when she sees it though. I can probably hide it somewhat but we're going to the beach this week and it will be hard to hide there.
    Ha Ha,that is the hardest part of getting injured - trying to keep it from the wife!! I get tired of hearing "Do you know how old you are?" Yes I do, I am 54 going on 21


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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Hey Francis,

    Worrying is bad for you and thinking is very overrated. Just ride your bike and have a good time. If youíre worried about getting hurt, then mountain biking is probably not the sport for you. Honestly, there are so many ways to ride a bike, it shouldnít be hard to find one that fits your desired level of risk.
    I've found that the more cautious people I ride with tend to get hurt just as often as I do. And they definitely don't have as much fun as those of us who don't worry as much.

  70. #70
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    Every time I get stitches, I ask the provider to add an extra stitch or two so itíll stay together while Iím riding. Donít want the wound opening up, it takes longer to heal.

    How many stitches have I had? More than a few hundred. Bruises, scrapes, and broken bones are numerous.

    My mom used to tell people that ER was my second home.

  71. #71
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    I'm 36, ride 3-4 times a week and crash about 3-4 times a year (not counting mild washouts or jumping off the back of the bike or jumping over the handlebars). I have banged up my shoulder and wrists on multiple occasions, cracked several helmets and torn cartilage in my ribcage (that really sucks), but have been lucky to avoid anything more serious. I ride with good kneepads on every single ride, but the best thing I've learned is to tuck and roll when your falling. It's sometimes not possible, but I'm positive its saved me from breaking my wrist, breaking my clavicle and/or dislocating my shoulder (and yes, I just knocked on wood). It might seem overkill, but watching some videos (even an 8 year old can do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2t_BmsYssQ) and practicing on grass or carpet is the only way I know to get the necessary muscle memory to execute the technique under stress.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Every time I get stitches, I ask the provider to add an extra stitch or two so itíll stay together while Iím riding. Donít want the wound opening up, it takes longer to heal.

    How many stitches have I had? More than a few hundred. Bruises, scrapes, and broken bones are numerous.

    My mom used to tell people that ER was my second home.
    Are you really a nurse, Ben? I would think you'd be doing your own sewing by now.
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  73. #73
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    I am a nurse practitioner, my specialty is psychiatry.

    I can suture, but itís tough to do it one handed

    Mostly I go to the ED for ex-rays and the stuff that needs more extensive care.

    That said, I had a big fall while riding in Oregon last week, broke a rib, smashed my knee and tweaked a finger, took a day off, skipped the ED, and rode conservatively the rest of the trip.

    Still hurting, spinning is fine, canít breathe too deeply yet, left side is weak, no hard impacts for a couple more weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Are you really a nurse, Ben? I would think you'd be doing your own sewing by now.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I am a nurse practitioner, my specialty is psychiatry.

    I can suture, but itís tough to do it one handed

    Mostly I go to the ED for ex-rays and the stuff that needs more extensive care.

    That said, I had a big fall while riding in Oregon last week, broke a rib, smashed my knee and tweaked a finger, took a day off, skipped the ED, and rode conservatively the rest of the trip.

    Still hurting, spinning is fine, canít breathe too deeply yet, left side is weak, no hard impacts for a couple more weeks.
    Thanks for the timely response.

    I didn't know they had nurse practitioners in psychiatry. Sorry to hear about your latest crash; broken rib, ouch. Hope you heal up quick.
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  75. #75
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    60yo. I can go most of a year without crashing. But when I do, it is most often an over the bars excursion. Shoulders are definitely at risk. Broke my humorous right up near the shoulder a couple years ago from OTB, which also resulted in some soft tissue damage that I am choosing to live with for now.

    For me, most of my crashes happen when I am tired. I am increasingly willing to recognize that fact in the moment - think, hey, I'm tired, time to pull back 10% to stay healthy.

    Works for me as far as avoiding crashes, and doesn't detract from my enjoyment.

  76. #76
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    I had years off .and only really started again 3-4 yrs ago. 203 of those just riding XC type trails...

    I come off regularly and the biggest change though is that at someone else's advice I practiced coming off... (starting on nice soft landings) ... and learning to chuck the bike away .. I come off more but injure myself less.

    This has mostly worked ... I'm riding a lot of list assisted DH this year with the young one.. and I've only really hurt myself once in a year (almost) since the advice.

    Obviously at our age it's relative... I did an OTB 3-4 months ago on a really steep slope and actually managed a full somersault and landed on my feet... (before then falling)... but just the somersault bit really gave me a bad back for a week or so... I just don't bend like I did.

    As others have mentioned not carrying speed and getting tired... are contributing factors.
    Sometimes at the end of the day I can hardly get my bid ONTO the uplift... and have to wonder if I'm that tired out why I'm considering hurtling down a mountain at silly speeds...

    Equally... one of my young mates (in his late 40's) seems to have a lot of accidents just not maintaining speed..

    If you don't count leg gashes etc. then my last accident was just a bit of stupidity and wearing sunglasses that slipped as I too off from a lip.... then found out it was 364 days since I broke my arm and soon after got the advice to practice falling/bailing... the day before I had an OTB but it was chosen ... the alternative to trying to make the berm was probably hitting a tree instead.. but instead of doing what I used to do and try and hang on ... I went off the end of the berm and bailed... a few scratches from briars and stings from nettles but otherwise not hurt... a year ago I'd have tried to do the corner ... and probably hit a tree.


    I can quite honestly say the practice bailing makes the biggest difference... I'm riding way bigger stuff but I only hurt myself due to a bit of freak stupidity... I think this translates to carrying speed as well.

  77. #77
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    Iím a recovering muni rider (mountain unicycle), the number of falls I suffered in ten years of riding would take centuries to match on a mountain bike. Broke all of my fingers at least twice, shin/ankle/calf injuries too numerous to count, developed some serious muscle imbalance from riding predominantly right handed, back and right shoulder started to bother me 24/7, so biking was a healthier alternative.

    Being able to fall well is important, Iíve fallen thousands of times on a muni, but falling from a bike is very different because your weight is forward and you have bars in the way, so tumbling or falling to your hands/arms is the only option in a OTB crash. Falling either way is potentially dangerous, back falls can be crippling, hand falls lead to fractures.

    Hereís a few things that I feel have been helpful for reducing OTB crashes:

    1- use a dropper post and put it down before starting a downhill, gives you more space to maneuver and makes it easier to bail
    2- run a taller bar height, adds leverage and makes it easier to get back/get off (bail)
    3- ride a slacker frame (HTA <66 deg), allows you to ďpush thoughĒ wheel traps and stabilizes the bike at speed
    4- ride a bigger/fatter wheel (29+), better for rollover, more stable at speed, and gives you more time to bail
    5- donít be afraid to sacrifice the bike; ie jump off and let the bike go
    6 -learn to bail before you crash
    7- practice crashing, yup, actually try to crash and practice jumping off. This is best practiced with pads , at low speeds, and on soft surfaces (snow, sand)
    8- ride platforms, seriously, how can you get off a bike quickly when clipped in?

    Tip: think of the bike as a pommel horse, use the bars to push off, get some height, and let the bike go out in front of you.

    If youíre not falling, youíre not trying
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  78. #78
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    I greatly reduced crashes by going back to flats. a quick dab and keep going. With clipless, I found myself bailing due to lack of confidence in getting my foot unclipped.
    I rarely go down anymore other than the aforementioned stupidity.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Iím a recovering muni rider (mountain unicycle), the number of falls I suffered in ten years of riding would take centuries to match on a mountain bike. Broke all of my fingers at least twice, shin/ankle/calf injuries too numerous to count, developed some serious muscle imbalance from riding predominantly right handed, back and right shoulder started to bother me 24/7, so biking was a healthier alternative.

    Being able to fall well is important, Iíve fallen thousands of times on a muni, but falling from a bike is very different because your weight is forward and you have bars in the way, so tumbling or falling to your hands/arms is the only option in a OTB crash. Falling either way is potentially dangerous, back falls can be crippling, hand falls lead to fractures.

    Hereís a few things that I feel have been helpful for reducing OTB crashes:

    1- use a dropper post and put it down before starting a downhill, gives you more space to maneuver and makes it easier to bail
    2- run a taller bar height, adds leverage and makes it easier to get back/get off (bail)
    3- ride a slacker frame (HTA <66 deg), allows you to ďpush thoughĒ wheel traps and stabilizes the bike at speed
    4- ride a bigger/fatter wheel (29+), better for rollover, more stable at speed, and gives you more time to bail
    5- donít be afraid to sacrifice the bike; ie jump off and let the bike go
    6 -learn to bail before you crash
    7- practice crashing, yup, actually try to crash and practice jumping off. This is best practiced with pads , at low speeds, and on soft surfaces (snow, sand)
    8- ride platforms, seriously, how can you get off a bike quickly when clipped in?

    Tip: think of the bike as a pommel horse, use the bars to push off, get some height, and let the bike go out in front of you.

    If youíre not falling, youíre not trying
    I agree that a dropper post makes it a lot safer. But reading this I realized that I don't really have a plan for how to crash bailing off the back. As mentioned, falling on your back could be bad. I guess you could push the bike away and still do a tuck and roll? What is the safe way to bail off the back?
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

  80. #80
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    Push off from the bar and pedals, pull your feet up, let the bike go, spot your landing, think pommel horse.

    If the post is already down, you got clearance.

    What I meant about the risk of a bad landing on your back was from an OTB. Falling backwards off your bike is generally safer, just watch your hands to avoid risk fracture.

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I agree that a dropper post makes it a lot safer. But reading this I realized that I don't really have a plan for how to crash bailing off the back. As mentioned, falling on your back could be bad. I guess you could push the bike away and still do a tuck and roll? What is the safe way to bail off the back?
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I agree that a dropper post makes it a lot safer. But reading this I realized that I don't really have a plan for how to crash bailing off the back. As mentioned, falling on your back could be bad. I guess you could push the bike away and still do a tuck and roll? What is the safe way to bail off the back?
    PRACTICE .... especially somewhere nice and soft.
    What really made me change was starting to do DJ at 50.... the best advice I got is practicing bailing.

    The better you get the further a bail is from a crash... and the more comfortable you are doing it the less you stiffen up.

    Specific to your bailing backwards question ... I find hitting the drop or jump is different.
    At my age I'm not trying a backflip or a cool manual so looping out is not likely... but if you have some speed and the front wheel is up you can literally just push the bike away if wearing flats. If you pumped in with some enthusiasm and didn't touch the brakes... your body is upright and just aim to land on your feet... if it's good then you run it out.(at this point if anyones watching make it look cool). if it's less good then tuck and roll...

    If the front wheel has dropped or you braked then you can try and get your feet over the bars before your body... or try and somersault but last time I did this my old back got more hassle from me twisting violently in the air than the landing. (Though I just had a stiff back...) .... This was exceptional though and I wasn't actually moving when the situation started...

    My experience is successful bailing is as much about how you get into something as how you then bail is practice... a nice bit of flat and soft grass and just trying to jump off and let the bike keep rolling works wonders... but I found easier initially on my small DJ bike.. if you can do that then stepping off backwards is actually much easier.. but you can practice by just deliberately stepping off from a wheelie...

  82. #82
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    I told my wife last night, after a hard crash (clipped a tree with my bars): ďI need to stop crashingĒ.

    Three hard crashes this season, none last season, one each the prior two seasons.

    There is no doubt Iím trying harder, but trying harder to do what?

    But donít worry, the bike is okay ... well sorta, the seat is bent (taped it on), the dropper remote shattered on my shin (tied it to my bars).

    I have a big hike coming up next month (Whitney), Iím supposed to train for it, or at least be healthy enough to hike. Tomorrow weíre hiking Tallac and I can hardly walk.

    Iím thinking Tylenol and Vitamin I
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29
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  83. #83
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    I crashed twice Thursday evening. One was a minor slide in dust. The other involved a header down a 5- or 6-foot ravine onto some large, uneven boulders. It was like diving into a swimming pool. On the way down I had some time to plan my landing. Right forearm on one rock, hand in a loose fist. On the left side the angle of the rock was such that I couldn't get my forearm down and had to use my hand. Sore wrist, but no damage. Didn't hit my head. Just scraped up my forearm and legs. Of course, my bike came down on top of me (when doesn't it?), but I managed to get out from under it, lift it back onto the trail, and climb up behind it. I felt lucky to have escaped with minor blemishes and attribute that to all the tumbling on mats and in the grass and snow I did as a kid.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by babybabe View Post
    Bike came down on top of me (when doesn't it?)
    True.

  85. #85
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    Yeah. I often have to lie there a minute and figure out how best to extricate myself from under and tangled with the bike.
    Do the math.

  86. #86
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    I have now fallen three times in two weeks, after no falls for a long, long time. Fall #1, a short chute type downhill, which I had been taking faster and faster. This time, the front wheel caught loose sand over hard, and I fell on my left side. No injuries, other than bruises and abrasions. Fall #2, another short downhill, front tire hit a large rock protruding from the ground at a sharp angle, more bruises and abrasions. Fall #3, yesterday. Got off the bike to wait for my wife, while mounting, another rider came up from my right, and monentarily startled, just simply fell over, incredibly stupid.

    It's all on me. I need to refocus when I am riding, end of story.
    Last edited by Galeforce5; 2 Days Ago at 12:07 PM.

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