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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well My wife is going to kill herself!

    Howdy,

    My wife just recently had ANOTHER bad MTB accident in a race. 15 stitches to the forehead and possibly a broken nose, with some scratches and cuts in various places. She had a previous accident in a race about 2 months before that with stitches just below the left eye with more cuts and scratches.

    My question is this...Do I encourage her to keep racing or hold her back (if I can!) and gain more riding experience. She does not seem to be afraid to race again, just experiencing some diminished confidence. When she is not crashing, she is winning...very stong woman rider! Any psych experts or sports therapists that can help me with this? I'm kinda stressed...it is tough to come around a corner and see your wife being loaded on a backboard by paramedics. Oh, also she had a bad road accident a year ago in a fast local club ride..

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Austin, Texas
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    My husband doesn't hold me back. I would be pissed if he did. I've had countless injuries with trips to the ER and surgeries. I love the sport. My husband knows its in my blood. Sounds to me like the same goes for your wife. Now if she kept getting hit by cars I might encourage her to find a different route. But no, don't tell her to quit.

  3. #3
    56-year-old teenager
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    I predict self-preservation will kick in and she will learn how to crash less often. This may not happen until she breaks a leg or collarbone, but it will happen eventually.

    Don't hold her back... you might offer to pay for a MTB handling clinic though.

  4. #4
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    buy her a full face helmet?

  5. #5
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    What type of bike is she riding. You may want to put her on a full rigid to try and slow her down a little. Helps you learn to choose good lines.

  6. #6
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    If she really loves the sport (which it seems she does) then you won't be able to stop her....

  7. #7
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    Hmmmm....

    Hmmm, interesting. A few things come to mind. The first is that yes, get her to a high-level mountain bike clinic, oriented to mountain bike racing. Something with Blair Lombardi would be cool or even thinking carefully about her techniques would be useful:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~inbalance/
    http://www.inspiredink.com/article.asp?ID=43

    I guess the larger point is if she doesn't get the technique part of the act together at the speeds she is going, she could end up with an injury that will put a permanent end to cycling -- concussion, neck injury, etc.

    Some folks just have a very high fear threshold; speed that would terrify some of us might not kick in much adrenaline for her so the skills need to be in place.

    If the issue is usually an over the handle bars face plant, she might want to start with a very basic bike fit and make sure her position isn't too aggressive or otherwise out of balance in a way that promotes getting her weight too far forward, ergo endo.

  8. #8
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    If she really loves the sport she might want to visualize never riding again following her next accident.Sounds like the skills class would help,but that could help her increase her speed to the point of a serious injury. Maybe she needs to tone down the competitive drive with some thought to the future.

  9. #9
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    My wife has had two open heart surgeries, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Yet she still rides and about 6 months ago she crashed and ended up with a spinal compression fracture. Took about three months to recover. Yet she still rides. She could be like some wives and stay at home eating chips and watching soap opera's while you are out riding. Surely you don't want that. Let her ride. Eventually she will reach the point where skill and technique meet speed and determination and the injuries will lessen. Note that I did not say that she wouldn't hurt herself again because even the most experienced riders still crash now and then. For the time being just be glad that you have a wife that loves this sport of ours.

  10. #10
    Team Chilidog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungePoodle
    My husband doesn't hold me back. I would be pissed if he did. I've had countless injuries with trips to the ER and surgeries. I love the sport. My husband knows its in my blood. Sounds to me like the same goes for your wife. Now if she kept getting hit by cars I might encourage her to find a different route. But no, don't tell her to quit.
    Same here. My worst injuries are fatigue-related, including my latest broken wrist and cracked ribs. My husband would be asking for trouble if he tried to convince me not to ride; fortunately, he's been the opposite

    Accidents happen, but sounds like she's compensating skills with speed.

    Encourage her to work on her handling skills, maybe take a class with her. I can highly recommend Gene Hamilton's better ride, no matter how long you've been riding.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  11. #11
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    Suggestions

    A couple of suggestions that may help your wife.

    1. A present from you to her could be a Mtn bike class to improve her riding/handling skills. Something similar to http://www.alisondunlap.com

    2. This may sound strange... Have her practice doing some freeride type riding at a freeride park. Do this with full pads and a full face helmet. Her skills will improve quickly.

    Rush Carter
    CS West Bikes

  12. #12
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    hmm...injuries to the face? Full face helmet is a definite.

    I wouldn't hold her back or dissuade her from riding. I support her and double check her gear/bike for mechanicals leading to those crashes. If you think she's riding over her head, find ways to assist in improving her skills and participate with her in that training. Some good clinics have already been mentioned.

    My wife has filleted her right elbow to the bone, gotten blood poisoning, seriously effed her right knee, herniated a disc in her back, and received a floating collar bone complete with ti plate and 8 screws--all from riding. Hind sight's 20/20, but with a full face helmet and elbow/knee armor, half that stuff would've been avoidable.

    Always remember: your wife rawks!

  13. #13
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    its a hard call. I ride motocross alot. And the ONLY time I crash is when I am racing or training for a race. I can ride for years with out even a dab or anything but the minute i am racing or training for a race is when I fall. And the reason is when I am in racing mode I push myself to do things i wouldn't normally do. When I am out just riding i am riding for fun and well with in my limits. But in racing mode the 75 ft jump i wouldn't normally do I just go and do it becuase I know if I am hitting that my chances of winning are alot better than if i am not.

    I am wondering if she is going through something simliar to this. Its kinda like a switch gets flicked on and you want to do the best you can and the only way is to do stuff that is pushing the edge. Last year I shattered my femar, broke it into 4 pieces. A week in the hospital, ti rod still in my leg and it took 3 months to learn how to walk again. I still do everything I did before but I just cut out the racing for now. I might get back into it but I will try and do it slowly until i know i can do everything ok.

    I know this isn't much of a solution but maybe giving you some perspective is she is anything like me. And its not always because your skill level isn't high that causes the falling in a race, atleast not in my case. It would be becuase i am extra tired and normally i would start to slow down becuase i was tired but in a race I just keep pushing and being that tired mistakes start to happen.

    But getting her more protective gear like some people have mentioned doesn't sound like a bad idea if she continues to race. It will give her alittle more confidence and give you alittle more piece of mind. Since we now know that she has a history of crashes it would probalby be a good measure to get her some stuff incase history repeats itself.

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