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  1. #1
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    Practice tumbling?

    When I was a junior road racer, I read you should practice tumbling, like a forward roll, to minimize crash injuries.

    Anyone do it?

  2. #2
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    You have wayyy too much time on your hands.

    I promise you that even if you practice falling, you are still going to scream like a little b!tch on the way down.

  3. #3
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    Some will chime in and claim the ability to control their falls, landing, whatever ... I'm not saying I don't believe them, but I don't see how it could make any difference. My crashes are so diverse and usually instantaneous that I'm on the ground before I know it.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  4. #4
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    Yes, forward shoulder rolls. Wear you pads, practice on grass. Stack up some cardboard boxes, jump over. Just remember to let your arm roll in, not to stay out straight for the broken collar bone.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Some will chime in and claim the ability to control their falls, landing, whatever ... I'm not saying I don't believe them, but I don't see how it could make any difference. My crashes are so diverse and usually instantaneous that I'm on the ground before I know it.

    I'll echo that^^^ Most wrecks of any consequence I've been involved in are unexpected and happen so fast that there is no time to alter your body position in any way. You literally have to just roll with it.

  6. #6
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    hahaha LOL Oh yeah I practice crashing all the time..just by simply riding my bike! hahaa

    My last Trail Taco happend SO FAST I was standing up already by the time my buddy infront of me "heard" me go down, hit his brakes and turned around to look...Dust everywere but over and done QUICK.

    I have no memory of "doing anything" to assist with my shoulder blade SLAMMING the ground as my front whel tacoed...I went over and flipped onto my back...done!

    Now until the day I die I will have this bump ontop my shoulder = AC Seproation
    Can't wait to heal, armour up and hit the trail again!!
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  7. #7
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    Just keep riding. You'll get plenty of practice!

  8. #8
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    As long as you don't get hurt practicing .If anything it will improve your balance and physical dexterity. Eye to body coordination .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'll echo that^^^ Most wrecks of any consequence I've been involved in are unexpected and happen so fast that there is no time to alter your body position in any way. You literally have to just roll with it.
    Same. When I crash hard enough to make it hurt, I'm tumbling and bouncing along the ground before I have any idea what's going on. I'll get up, find my bike 20 feet away, and wonder just WTF happened.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  10. #10
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    The last time I actually had time to think about what to do in a crash was when I went OTB down a steep ATV trail. I was all tangled with my bike as I was going over so as it came over me I threw it as far as I could. Fortunately, it landed farther than I did and I avoided landing on it. Every other time, I just met the ground more spontaneously.

    But really, if you do anything to improve your flexibility, or your ability to discern which way is up or forward as you're tumbling down the trail, it will be to your advantage.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Just keep riding. You'll get plenty of practice!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^ This!

    I think the OP has been watching mtn biking videos, and you see those guys bale out as soon as they think they're not going to make a jump, or whatever. Doing huge jumps or riding down the side of a tree-less mountain is much different then riding tight single-track with trees right along the side of the trail the whole way. When you crash in those situations all you can do is "hope for the best". I don't think there is really anything you can do to "prepare" for that. Like Sevenrats said "just ride".

  12. #12
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    I would think that something like judo training would probably make a difference.
    Are you really sure about that?

  13. #13
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    I don't believe I need anymore practice, in fact, it's about time to start playing for real...
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  14. #14
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    Go for a walk in your neighborhood and dive roll over car hoods. You'll be golden come crash time.
    Life will pound away where the light don't shine, son...

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    prior to getting really into mtb (especially dh) i spent some years training in systema martial arts, where they really stressed ability to shoulder roll in every direction while keeping muscles relaxed to avoid brusing and avoiding hitting "solid" parts of the body - the idea being that you should be able to roll on a hard surface (such as hardwood or concrete) without causing much injury. It was recommended we also try these techniques in natural environment where there are roots and sticks to really practice remaining "soft". Now i dont have any actual hard data, but my belief is that this helped me drastically when i do crash, as I naturally go into a shoulder roll and haven't had any serious injury from that sort of crash

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'll echo that^^^ Most wrecks of any consequence I've been involved in are unexpected and happen so fast that there is no time to alter your body position in any way. You literally have to just roll with it.
    That's for sure. Last Sat. I just did an end-over when I hit a root wrong and I suddenly found myself on my chest. I never saw that coming. I didn't get hurt excecpt a cut on my right elbow. No damage to the bike. I just did a "WTF"? Checked everything and continued riding.

  17. #17
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    I have judo training and can roll and fall with the best of them. But, I don't think it has helped in any crashes. Far better is to learn when to bail out so as to avoid an outright crash. Bailing gives you a chance to control your fall and roll.

  18. #18
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    Having actually practiced rolling to prevent season killing clavicle breaks for ROAD RACING, I find being comfortable with rolling is useful, but must also echo that many times you will go down with no option of rolling. Yes, I've rolled a few times. Mostly, I've just planted solidly with not enough time to make major changes in my trajectory. Tai Kwon Do limbered me up a lot, and being limber is probably the best we can do to mitigate injury.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Having actually practiced rolling to prevent season killing clavicle breaks for ROAD RACING, I find being comfortable with rolling is useful, but must also echo that many times you will go down with no option of rolling.
    I had a pretty hard, high-speed crash during a crit. I hit the ground hard at the apex of a corner, broke my clavicle, then continued tumbling across the road for the next 40 feet, until I found my feet right before I would have hit the opposite curb. I was plenty limber in that crash, but somehow it didn't prevent broken bones or road rash.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

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    Re: Practice tumbling?

    When I was younger, we used to do intentionally do dumb stuff that would force us to tuck and roll (jackass style stuff, like pulling a scooter behind a moped and trying to jump a hedge).

    The reflex of how to throw a shoulder in, or at least, not land face first, has saved me many times. Just this weekend I was otb after clipping a tree on a downhill. Rolled over my shoulder, wound up sitting on the trail without a scratch. Yea, I've been tangled, I've gotten hurt on quick falls where there is nothing that can be done, but you're better off knowing how to fall than just flopping.

  21. #21
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    Practice tumbling?

    Bikerfox recommends it

    http://www.foxflip.com


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  22. #22
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    I'm either very lucky or very good. Most likely lucky, nobody is this good. In the past year I have gone OTB a couple of times, not a scratch.

    Fell headfirst down an embankment on singletrack a couple of weeks ago, managed to get turned around with my feet under me, and stuck the landing. A few months ago I was carrying something down a flight of stairs with another guy, tripped and fell backwards down the stairs. Dusted myself off, and went back to work. Yesterday I was on a ladder that BROKE IN HALF under me. I was pretty sure it was gonna hurt when it was over, but once again, after I untangled myself from the remains of the ladder, not a scratch.

    I'm 68 years old. I should probably be more careful, but how much fun is that?
    It don't mean a feng if it ain't got that
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    I'm 68 years old. I should probably be more careful, but how much fun is that?
    The first thought that comes to mind is "you must be in good shape", to be able to just walk away from those things. And lucky.

    But I like how you're 68 and still riding! Gives me hope, at 57.

  24. #24
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    I have on a couple of occasions used the shoulder tuck to roll out a crash. Only a couple. Most of my crashes don't present that opportunity.

    Being agile and loose are probably more important. On most of my OTB crashes, I've been able to vault the bars and land on my feet. On many slow speed technical tip-overs, I am able to "walk it out" off to the side of the bike.

    This weekend I noticed many high-speed near-crashes where rocks or roots on the trail have become more pronounced due to compaction of the tread or erosion, and those more pronounced "features" kicked one or both of my wheels out to the side. I didn't crash on a single one. I was able to remain agile, allow the bike to move underneath me, and ride it out.

    Then there's the quick stuff that tosses you to the ground before you realize what happens. Putting out an arm to catch your fall is probably the first thing that will cause serious injury in those situations. Avoiding that urge is probably key to avoiding injury, or if you do, staying loose so your fall allows your joints to move and slow your fall more gradually, rather than tensing up and being a rigid structure.

    I also can't emphasize enough that your body structure will make a big difference. If you have weak, light bones, it will take a whole lot less to break them. My bones are quite dense. I weigh more than I look like I should, and I've never broken a bone...and not for lack of trying. In fact, other people are more likely to break bones in a collision with me (has happened twice so far playing sports).

  25. #25
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    When I was in the navy, the most challenging event was landing on the carrier at night. If you caught the wire, fine, otherwise you'd "bolter" and go airborne again. One commander wanted to do night "touch and goes", or just "practice" night landings. The uproar was deafening and finally, one lead LSO pointed out that "anyone who needs night touch and goes will get them!" (or bolter as a natural consequence of being dicked up). Practicing falling is somewhat similar.

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