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  1. #1
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    Enjoy Urban/Park without long-term injuries?

    Hi,
    I am a new to riding a dirt-jumper, mostly riding in the streets and a local park.
    As I am on a forced break (got my knee hurt from the pedal while landing from a bench - 100% my fault for not wearing any pads) I started wondering about general heath of the joints while practicing tricks.

    I assume that a correct technique will help in most cases, but I am not sure about how should I practice in order to make sure I dont get any long-term injuries and abuse of joints.

    Will you please share your thoughts about practicing ?
    Do you think mastering any tricks/abilities in particular can be beneficial to getting the important part of technique that will help avoiding abuse of the body?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm new to the DJ/Urban game as well, but I've been riding bikes and doing crazy stuff for years. From riding DH, I've found that you just have to commit to most things. When you second guess is when you hesitate and when you get injured. Pads will definitely help out, as will correct technique, but to me, the biggest aspect of getting away unscathed is commitment to whatever you're doing, be it a jump, a trick, or whatever.

    Another big thing is patience and riding within your ability. Most times I've suffered injury I've been riding with guys that were at a higher level than me and I tried to step up my game several levels higher than I should have. If I had been more patient and riding more within my capabilities, I probably would have been fine. Be patient and progress naturally. Sure you have to get out of your comfort zone to learn new things, but you shouldn't be trying to walk before you can crawl. Be patient and take your time-there's no rush. Hope that helps a bit and heal up quick!

  3. #3
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    Thanks man.
    You really got me thinking in the right direction.
    I did not think it's worth mentioning, but actually the day I got hurt was the same day my wife and baby girl went for a few days vacation at grand-mom's.
    I went out to hit the streets thinking "I'm gonna ride until my eyes pop-out today"

    Guess I should have been a bit more moderated.

    I've done some Downhill with bicycles, but mostly with Inline-Skates in the past.
    Unfortunately, thinking back on the good and bad (injuries) times, your advise could have been helpful a while ago

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply!

    I will 'force' myself to take the time to get a proper warm-up and cool-down before and after riding, hope it will hold

  4. #4
    DIY all the way
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    Like Pike says, focus, and stay within your limit.

    Make sure you know exactly what you're about to do, so you don't have to make it up as you go along.

    If something does not go according to the plan, bail, and think the plan over once more before trying again.

    The times when I've been getting injuries, has mostly been when trying to save an error, instead of bailing safely.

    Another good trick to staying reasonably free of injuries, is having the basics explained by somebody experienced. In lack of such a person, there are some good explanations on Youtube.
    While Danny Macaskill is way over my level, he seems to be real good at explaining things.
    I have learned a lot from watching his explanations.


    Magura

  5. #5
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    Thanks Magura !
    I do need to start working on tricks one-at-a-time and not just rumble about, atleast when I'm out of my comfort zone and trying to learn..

    I've been watching some of Danny's videos on Youtube, never found any that he explains stuff in. Mostly amazing tricks. I do however like the Thinkbikes.com videos on Youtube. They are very basic and if I understand correctly, are ordered by skill level required, starting with the basics and going up to more advanced stuff.

    Thanks again,
    Shay

  6. #6
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    An explanation about a couple of things in the second half of this:

    Danny MacAskill's stunt biking for beginners - YouTube

    There are others. I recall an explanation of a 360 as well.

    A quick Youtube search will reveal them.

    Magura

  7. #7
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    You know what- you are right .. I now remember I skipped this video because of the interviews :O

    I have some time now to re-view all of this guys videos. I'll probably pick up some stuff I missed from most of them

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    #1 and most important thing to learn! Learn how to CRASH.

    I know it sounds funny, but if you are doing urban and dirt jumping, you will crash........it is unavoidable. So the key is to know how to bail and minimize injury.

    - Never land with a stiff arm or leg. This is both on and off the bike. Always be loose and don't brace hard for a crash. Flow with it by allowing your joints to absorb the crash or landing rather than being stiff and having a knee or elbow locked.

    - Tuck and roll. Yeah, learn how to tuck your head and go into a roll. Do it off the bike to learn. Start small with a somersault, then run at slow speed, in grass of course, and jump forward into a roll. This will mimic what it's like bailing off of a bike.

    - Learn the basics and start small to build up to bigger stuff. I too often see newer riders go for the big stuff.......not a good idea at all. Ride table tops or the smaller ramps in the park before you go for the big stuff.

    - Make sure you are comfortable on the bike when doing stuff. If you are nervous and not committed, that is when you will do something stupid. Like come up to a gap at high speed, then grab the brake only to not have enough speed and crash hard. Commitment is a big thing and if you are not comfortable doing the trick, you will likely have a harder time commiting to it.

    I teach skills classes and have been riding Street (on a BMX bike) for many years....since about 1980 or so. Even as a 45 year old, I can handle most stuff. The reason.....because I am confident and know that if I get into trouble I know how to safely get out of trouble.

    Learning how to bail and crash is just as important as learning how to ride the bike and do tricks.

  9. #9
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    Hi Manual,

    Thanks for the advise, I will try using some crash skills I've learned doing Tai Chi and figure out if I can use it when bailing out.
    So far I've only been trying pretty small jumps (mostly Manual, Trackstand, Bunnyhops, Endo, etc) but I think you are right saying this should be practiced before I move over to bigger stuff.

    About stiffing / loosening the joints that's really hard !!
    Even though I've been practicing that for years on Tai Chi, Inline DH, some Motor Extreme sports for some reason I find it extremely tricky with bikes.
    I find my neck gets stiff every now and then. And sometimes when I land with emphasize on loosing my knees/elbows I find that my weight is being thrown forward ..

    Any advise ?

    Thanks again !!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayco View Post
    Hi Manual,

    Thanks for the advise, I will try using some crash skills I've learned doing Tai Chi and figure out if I can use it when bailing out.
    So far I've only been trying pretty small jumps (mostly Manual, Trackstand, Bunnyhops, Endo, etc) but I think you are right saying this should be practiced before I move over to bigger stuff.

    About stiffing / loosening the joints that's really hard !!
    Even though I've been practicing that for years on Tai Chi, Inline DH, some Motor Extreme sports for some reason I find it extremely tricky with bikes.
    I find my neck gets stiff every now and then. And sometimes when I land with emphasize on loosing my knees/elbows I find that my weight is being thrown forward ..

    Any advise ?

    Thanks again !!
    Yes. Start out small. Do a bunny hop and make sure you land on the rear wheel and compress your knees and elbows on the landing.

    How to Bunnyhop - f-bom wiki

    Dirt Jumping Explained - f-bom wiki

    Those two how-tos should help.

    It's all about being comfortable. If you are stiff on a bike, but not the other things, it's likely because you haven't ridden and practiced enough to be relaxed on a bike. Work on it, it will come to you. Just practice being relaxed and loose on EVERYTHING you try. Even the small stuff.

    Rock on!!
    Last edited by manual63; 10-17-2012 at 08:29 AM.

  11. #11
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    Slam your seat post, lower your pins on your pedals, and wear a helmet. I keep a back brake on too, even for street. I practice tricks in the backyard of my house, grass is more forgiving then concrete, I have survived several nasty tailbone fractures from skateboards and blades, looping out is no longer an option for me. I constantly watch videos to take notes on foot placement and general technique before I try it on the street or dirt. Sometimes I just watch other riders at the park and see if what works for them works for me. Crashing sucks, but is often necessary in order to progress.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by manual63 View Post
    Yes. Start out small. Do a bunny hop and make sure you land on the rear wheel and compress your knees and elbows on the landing.

    How to Bunnyhop - f-bom wiki

    Dirt Jumping Explained - f-bom wiki

    Those two how-tos should help.

    It's all about being comfortable. If you are stiff on a bike, but not the other things, it's likely because you haven't ridden and practiced enough to be relaxed on a bike. Work on it, it will come to you. Just practice being relaxed and loose on EVERYTHING you try. Even the small stuff.

    Rock on!!
    Thanks man, seems like a VERY well prepared Wiki. I like the detailed explanations
    Hopefully I'll be able to hit the streets this weekend (my Knee feels OK now and seems like we're gonna have a few hours off as grand-mom/grand-dad are going to babysit for a while )

    I'll report back!

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chain_slap View Post
    .. lower your pins on your pedals, ..
    How come ?

  14. #14
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    ive been riding bmx, urban, and mtb for 5-6 years now. i can say the best thing you can do its learn how to fall. judging how you are going to crash the split second it goes wrong is key. ive been lucky and been restricted to a minor fracture in my ankle (unsaveable crash) and just bruises. i can take a fall from 10 feet up while going at full speed and walk away from it like i fell off a curb.

    as others have said, tuck and roll is a big thing to learn, and the other thing that helps is separation from your bike. learn how to use your bike to your advantage while you still hold it mid crash. if you are nose diving, push down on the bars and hop over them. it will get your body vertical enough to not faceplant, and then you can tuck and roll out. always stay loose. never try to straighten any limbs out completely. just enough to have enough room for compression.

    getting your bike away from you is huge. its hard enough falling without it, and add a flying piece of metal and rubber, and it becomes much more difficult. your feet can catch on something, it can hit you afterwards, etc. those all lead to more serious and long term injuries. i always "over do it" when getting away from my bike, but it hasnt backfired yet. parts are replaceable. your body isnt!

  15. #15
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    @gbosbiker: Hopefully by the time I'll start practicing big drops or high tricks I'll be able to eject myself from the bike fast enough in case of a mis-hap.
    Do you think this kind of thing can be practiced (over some grass / dirt ) ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayco View Post
    @gbosbiker: Hopefully by the time I'll start practicing big drops or high tricks I'll be able to eject myself from the bike fast enough in case of a mis-hap.
    Do you think this kind of thing can be practiced (over some grass / dirt ) ?
    to an extent, yes. for nose dive crashes, practice throwing your weight forward and getting into an endo, and practice hopping over the bars when you reach that tipping point. push down on the bars, spread your legs around the bars, and hope for the best. im not sure how you can practice falling for the other kinds of crashes though. i kind of learned on the fly. i have also been incredibly fortunate with walking away perfectly fine from almost every crash ive been in.

    watch a bunch of bmx crash videos. especially professionals. you may learn a few things. and another thing, if you watch carefully in some videos, the riders that wear helmets tend to hit their heads a lot more than the ones that dont. im not saying dont wear a helmet, but it shows that the riders that choose not to wear them learn to fall in ways that they dont hit their heads.

    my only real advice is to take the tips we have all given you, and keep them in the back of your head, and when you crash, try to remember what went wrong, and how you couldve done something different after the point of no return. good luck and safe crashing!

  17. #17
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    Thanks ! I'll try to digest all the info that was given here ..

    BTW, Liked your Hardtail bike

  18. #18
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    How come ?
    To keep your pedals from digging deep into your calves or shins, or just wear shin pads, or keep the pins lowered and your shin pads will last longer. All of this is assuming your can adjust your pins. I switched to plastic pedals for street for now. More than anything keep your seat post low, easier bail and keeps from popping yourself in the nuts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chain_slap View Post
    I switched to plastic pedals for street for now..
    I think I'll do that as well..

    Thanks again for all the info!

    Shay

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