View Poll Results: What caused your last big crash?

99. You may not vote on this poll
  • My bike failed (tire blowout, mechanical failure)

    6 6.06%
  • I was in over my head. I did not have enough skill for the terrain.

    11 11.11%
  • I was inattentive. Not paying attention.

    34 34.34%
  • Someone else's fault. Got taken out.

    2 2.02%
  • Going too fast for line of sight and trail conditions.

    29 29.29%
  • Other (explain)

    20 20.20%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
    fc is offline
    used to be francois Administrator
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    Aug 1996

    What caused your last big crash?

    Crashes just happen right? Well they do but if we dig deeper, we find out that most of them are avoidable and we can learn from most of them.

    So tell us about your last big crash(es) and let's categories them. Tell us about your bike too and the trails you like to ride.
    IPA will save America

  2. #2
    noob bikepacker
    Reputation: sXeXBMXer's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    My last hospital invovled big crash was way back in the 80's on my BMX bike.

    My last crash looked bigger than it really was according to the people behind me:

    I was going a medium speed on a relatively muddy trail, and saw a downed tree coming up. it was probably 2-3 foot in diameter, but laying right on the ground. I thought I might as well try to clear it. Well, I miss timed the beginning of the hop and the actual diameter og the log. I landed bottom bracket and front sprockets right on the log and did a head-over-handle bars flip off the bike. I landed falt on my back, and then the bike followed landing on me. My step-son was behind me and said it all looked "planned", and that the sound I made hitting the ground was "hilarious".

    Luckily the ground was wet enough that my landing was not as bad as of it had been dry, and the log was soft enough from water that there was no damage to my chain or front sprockets. It left a nice gouge in the wood....that matched many other ones so I knew I was not the only one to try and fail this jump.

    What was hilarious was the fact that I was covered in mud from head to toe. the only thing that I had "planned" was getting over the log w/o getting off my bike....and that happened...sort of
    Iv'e Got sXe!
    '15 Surly ECR (en route)
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    '81 Mongoose Supergoose

  3. #3
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    Oct 2014
    I was hauling a$$ up a slight off camber incline at Shawnee Mission Park in KS. There was a little evergreen (2ft.+) growing up on the left/downhill side and I was trying to time my peddle strokes to miss this puppy. I missed and it caught between crank arm and shoe. Bike caught and threw my weight forward onto the stem as the tree sprung in perfect time to send me, still clipped in, over the bars. Onto my back and then I rolled towards the downhill unclipped and jumped to my feet hoping no one saw that. Yeah, there was a guy coming the opposite direction that had stopped. He said, "You OK?". Yep, nothing hurt but my pride.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    The same thing that caused the crash before that, overestimated my abilities.

  5. #5
    playing in the woods
    Reputation: BENKD29's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    well, i suppose it all started because i was following another rider too closely in unfamiliar terrain. i was just dropping into a trail, zig then a zag, came around a rock and saw a good size branch sticking out into the trail (4-5 inches across) right at handlebar level. i leaned the bike over as i passed and knew i was going to clip it because of the line i was on. what i didn't know was that it wouldn't just catch the outside of my hand, but instead caught the front brake.

    i was on my head before i could figure out what happened. I've never had a tree/branch take me off my bike like that. i landed on my shoulder and head hard and heard a loud crack. after the dust settled i looked behind me and the bike was standing perfectly up side down behind me on the trail. i felt a medium pain in my shoulder and tried to shake it off quick so the rest of the group could continue. then i felt my collar bone and it came to an abrupt end where it should have kept going.

    "son of a... this is going to suck!"

    that was 9 weeks ago, i had surgery to repair it 8 weeks ago. I've been riding trails again for the last two weeks... carefully.

    what have i learned?
    - indoor trainers SUUUUCK!!!!!
    - road bikes suck, but are 1000 times better than an indoor trainer.
    - collar bone surgery costs $34k
    - don't crash on a lame group ride (in May) four days after your first race win ever.
    - most importantly: never tailgate another rider in unfamiliar territory, especially if your just being impatient because your stuck behind a slower rider, and especially if your unfamiliar with their riding style.

    the good news: no bikes were harmed in the making of this story.

    the bike: 2011 Jamis Dragon 29 Race, now back in action.
    the terrain: a variety of XC/trail type of riding. mostly intermediate/advanced, rocks, roots, trees, mud.
    Hardtail 29er
    Fat Lefty
    Rigid SS 29er

  6. #6
    playing in the woods
    Reputation: BENKD29's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The same thing that caused the crash before that, overestimated my abilities.
    not to be confused with "more balls than brains" or "hold my beer, WATCH THIS!"
    Hardtail 29er
    Fat Lefty
    Rigid SS 29er

  7. #7
    Tigers love pepper...
    Reputation: cobi's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Hmm, not sure if it qualifies as inattentive or too fast. Last two big crashes were clipping my bars on the same rock. Damn wider handlebars! Apparently I cut that corner VERY close in the past. I'm going with innatentive, although could wider bars technically be a mechanical failure?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rev Bubba's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Couldn't get it up.

    Two hard days in a row and I was nearing the end of day two. I came on a log I had crossed with no trouble before but I couldn't, or just didn't, get the front end up and went arsh over tea kettle.

    I cursed a bit on landing, glad I was bruised, not broken. Brushed myself off and rode back to the car before I broke something.

  9. #9
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    My last 2 wrecks were not my fault.

    One I blame on mushy suspension. I was expecting firm and I got floppy. I bunny hopped off a hill and the bike just never took a solid set when I compressed. It squibbed right and I dead-sailored. I landed on the wheels, at a hard lean, but when the suspension bottomed out both tires let loose and my left shoulder got driven into the ground. Broken collar bone and 5 ribs. Surgery.

    The next one was me avoiding another rider at an intersection on a DH. I missed them but clipped a tree on the right. It high-sided me and I fell in broken shale and got my left leg all cut up. Nearly broke my right pinky, bent brake lever slightly, and stem turned on the steerer. Extra beer.

    Before that I tried to dodge a small tree on the left, caught my bar on a tiny tree on the right, and it just grabbed hold. It got me off balance and I went sideways into a large tree. Wicked thigh bruise. The first tree was dead. I pulled it out with one hand. Could have mowed right through it.

    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  10. #10
    FBI tested, NSA approved!
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    Sep 2013
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Nov 2010
    My last "big" one was a pure mistake. I was not over my head, no mechanical failure, simply a mistake or mis-judgement.

    It happens!

  12. #12
    Reputation: H@L@'s Avatar
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    Jul 2015
    I went over my handlebars about a year ago after I took a rock garden a bit too fast on my HT. I came into a corner thinking I still had one more switch back before I hit the garden but... I was wrong. Came into the section with way too much speed and tried to bomb it through a bad line but my weight got shifted a bit too far forward near the middle. Luckily I supermaned it off to the side and actually ended up snagging a tree that flipped me over onto my back. Best part was that I landed in the most comfiest god damn moss and log rot on the mountain. I had a couple riders behind me comment that it looked like a gnarly crash but honestly my bike got it 100x worse.

  13. #13
    mischeivous mongrel
    Reputation: Hawg's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    I've only ever had one big crash.

    It was caused by a combo of decomposing granite rocks and precipitation.
    Baby Gorns for sale $3799 each. Inquire within.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2010
    user error. tension cranked way down on new spd's and didn't realize it..slammed into my buddy who was stopped in a turn at a high rate of speed (couldn't get unclipped or stopped in time). bikes were ok , he was ok , i ended up with a broke rib. lesson learned (double check your pedal tension on new pedals before blasting off into the wild blue yonder). 4 weeks before i was riding dirt again.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2012
    One of my very first rides @ Marshall in SoCal (way out of my league then, and probably still..) My buddy bolted down a very rocky descent, idiot me decided to follow at high speed, maybe 30 seconds into the descent - over the handle bars, face (nose) 1 inch from the ground (Thank you Helmet!) bike on top of me, I was lucky nothing worse happened. .. So way over my head I would say.

    Bike: back then Motobecane 450HT Way more entry level than today's bike, but it wasn't the bikes fault, it was a lack of skills.
    2013 Cannondale Trail SL 3

    "You will never ride alone"

  16. #16
    Sneaker man
    Reputation: mik_git's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Too much skill... the trail couldn't handle it... the trail crashed, not me...all awesomeness!
    2003 Yeti ARC
    2008 GT Zaskar Reissue
    1996 GT Xizang
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3 Carbon
    2012 Cervelo R3
    2015 Look 675 Light

  17. #17
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Usually a combo of these get me:

    #1 Exhaustion - being lazy in the name of managing energy levels.
    #2 Inattentiveness - lack of focus and awareness.
    #3 Panic - not being prepared/experienced enough to know what to do in such situations.

    Am I allowed to post massive gifs? This is prob the biggest one of mine that I caught on camera.

    For this specific one, I was just going too fast and landed too far, and froze since someone was walking up the route around the next jump and I didn't think I could avoid him (didn't plan for him to move out the way). Got away with a concussion and minor abrasion on my left hip. Just sat there, took off my helmet to relieve the pressure, got my bearings again and took it easy for a while. I think I sprained my left wrist too, but I just wore a brace and never went to see a doc.


    Another crash: Was at the start of a ride, took the lead on a trail that I never rode before, feeling the flow and pushing the pace, up until this part where I went outside of some rocks that were tall enough to clip pedals (main line threaded right over them), just before a right handed corner. On the left of the corner was a massive branch sticking out over the trail, and my eyes missed it (looking at the rocks and the exit). Got whacked by it off my bike and landed palms first. Weird thing is that my glove got ripped off right there and then... skidding on gravel on my palm made a mess of it and I could barely hold onto my grips, but I tried to ride on for the rest of the day to make it worth it. The one glove, and my elbow and knee pads did their job. The mystery of how the other glove got ripped off...

    - I blame whatever mystery caused my glove to get forcibly removed. The velcro wasn't particular sticky, and it was a little on the tight/small side.

    - See, my right glove was secured coming into the section.

    - The lowest branch on the left + shade making me focus my eyes on another area + my line choice = bad news


    - This was actually from a relatively high speed crash (pic taken after shower), but I guess my bones are tough and wearing long sleeved jerseys saves quite a bit a skin, despite using my left arm as a skidplate. Note all the red spots all over my arm from the friction burns (can see a nice broad streak from my tricep, bicep, inside of elbow, to forearm). Think of being dragged along hardpack dirt by a horse/carriage for a short bit to relate. The burn on my wrist (on the radius bone) turned into a nice shiny scar.


    - Sprained my ankle after believing momentum was key getting through this rock garden (going DH), after being bounced around and planting my foot to try and recover. My 100mm XC FS 29er has its limits, despite feeling super capable in general. Walked back up, rode down the other side of the mtn (less steep, more enduro/SuperD-ish) back to the XC trails along the base, to the car, fully exhausted by the time I got there. As usual, I didn't see a doc.


    - Got my shin sliced by a root or rock sticking out on the inside of a corner taking it pretty fast, no crash. Can't find the pic, but this is one of the other corners on the same trail (SART). It looked like such a gruesome cut that my buddies kept asking me if I was alright and could continue on. I rode another dozen or more miles like it never happened. Did some work on it in the bathtub when I got home, but didn't think it needed sewing. Only left a scar as big as half of my pinky.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:05 AM.

  18. #18
    All bike, all the time
    Reputation: BikeIntelligencer's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Slippery root section on Eula in Oakridge with no momentum, like riding on ice. But I knew that. With the drought, hadn't ridden in wet for ages. Not a huge crash but it hurt.
    All bike, all the time

  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    Feb 2006
    I ran out of talent, which is essentially what causes all crashes barring catastrophic mechanical failures.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2007
    I was on a rental bike, on an unfamiliar trail, on the wrong coast. Trail had some water run off trenches and my front wheel found one. OTB.
    "Lock S-Foils in attack position"

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RobLyman's Avatar
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    May 2006
    All of my "Big" crashes (broken wrist, broken leg, dislocated ankle, etc...) were from fatigue, so I voted "Other". None of them happened in a section of trail I hadn't ridden plenty of times before. You might call it inattentiveness, but really it always happens when I am pushing it, trying to knock a few seconds off my elapsed time and I'm tired or near exhausted. I just don't react quickly enough on a benign trail feature or am too tired to realized I am going too fast for the conditions. Loose leaves are my downfall (literally).

  22. #22
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    Jan 2014
    Not really a big crash, but my worst injury so far mountain biking happened on the way home from the trail. It was my first time riding clipless and nearly got hit by a car that ran a stop sign. Stopped super quickly and didn't unclip. Broke my wrist and felt like a complete idiot.

  23. #23
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    While still trying to get used to clipless (eggbeaters), I spun out going up hill. My handle bars went straight into my side just below my right rib cage. Man! I layed in the middle of the trail for about 15 mins and I could not get up because I would get too dizzy. I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. 30 mins later and I was back on my bike limping back to the trailhead.

  24. #24
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    Jun 2015
    SC Bullit, too fast on a new trail, OTB into a cactus patch.

  25. #25
    Magically Delicious
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    Aug 2012
    Big Foot grabbed me as I passed, interrupted my groove and the rest is history.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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