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  1. #1
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    Things keep trying to tell me that I am too old for this %[email protected]&

    About 7 years ago, I received a compression fracture in my spine while trying to ride a wheelie in my front yard. I was about 46 then. I had just installed a new fork as well as flats with studs, and I was trying them out. While coming back too far, I was unable to release my feet from the pedals to catch myself. Later, I asked the nurse in the ER if I should start acting my age. She smirked and said "yeah".

    Yesterday evening, I went over my handlebars, and the first thing to hit the ground was my face. A fair amount of blood ensued, the taste of dirt was in my mouth, and my entire body hurt like hell. But the one and only cool part of that incident was that my bike landed perfectly upright but inverted, resting on the seat and handlebars, wheels still spinning. My leg was on the ground between them, though. It was a stupid crash. I wasn't doing anything epic, and I don't know exactly what happened or what caused it.

    I was going to ride again this morning, but I am in too much pain. Plus, I need to check my bike over and look for damage. I'm not feeling motivated enough to do that yet, though.

    I gave up offroad motorcycles about 8 years ago, because a crash very nearly killed me (1.5 months in the hospital and $300k in medical costs). I took up MTB's more seriously after that, instead, because it is "safer", but even that keeps hurting me fairly frequently.

    Crashes really, really suck for us old geezers. We don't bounce back like we used to.

    I refuse to give up and give in completely, though. Once I can't do stuff like this anymore, then I don't want be alive anymore. Bingo, shuffleboard and tv is not "living" to me, and don't cut it.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  2. #2
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    At 53 you are still too young to say what you won't do when you really are old and I still don't know what really old is but I keep saying old age starts at death and its too late to worry then.

    Just chalk your adventures up to "sh!t happens." You'd be surprised at how fast we still can bounce back when we want. Its amazing what a breakfast of coffee and aspirin can get you though.

  3. #3
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    Only you can tell when you're done. Until then, assess your situations and do what you can to reduce the risk of debilitating injury.

    At 57, I find myself consciously deciding to stay within my limits, but some days the limits feel different than others. Some days are great, others are just very good. I'll go with that for now.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  4. #4
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    When it takes a long time to recover from getting injured playing bingo or shuffleboard, then you know you're getting old.
    Do the math.

  5. #5
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    I think that for older folks who still feel the need to compete in sporting type events, badminton is great.
    The Chinese get wild over it, and they really don't get hurt very much, either......

  6. #6
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    I'm 50 ... I have arthritis basically everywhere...

    my discussion with my dr... "can I still mountain bike?" answer from doctor: "sure just don't crash"


    great....

    so I ride.. "occasionally" I get all YOLO F*ck it .. mostly I ride cautiously and tell any buddies of mine who want me to do stuff I can't really pull off .. NOPE...

    I don't know... nobody is getting out of this alive.. so I want to ride and do fun stuff as long as I can.


    What does bum me out.... I really want to skate .. my wife REEEEEAAALLY doesn't want me to skate (I'm pretty certain my Dr. would agree w/ the wife) anymore.. I did until I was ~35 and then occasionally till about 40.. but I just don't think I could take the falls at this point.

    any of you old b*stards hit the half pipes /pools ... etc??

  7. #7
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    I still ski trees and bumps at 70. Does that count?

    I'm too old to have gotten involved with the second wave of skating and my skate board was wood with metal roller skate wheels. Hardly made for tricks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    ... What does bum me out.... I really want to skate .. my wife REEEEEAAALLY doesn't want me to skate (I'm pretty certain my Dr. would agree w/ the wife) anymore.. I did until I was ~35 and then occasionally till about 40.. but I just don't think I could take the falls at this point.

    any of you old b*stards hit the half pipes /pools ... etc??
    Get yourself a longboard.

    I'm 52, and used to skate half pipes and pools back in the late 70's/early 80's. I don't get vert anymore but I did pick up a sweet longboard about 3yrs ago. So much fun carving turns!
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  9. #9
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    I just got back from Moab 2 days ago, rode the whole Enchilada + Jimmy Keen for 33.5 miles of pretty solid downhilling - for a 67 year old, anyway - with my 28 year old son. Set a personal record of 4:13 on it. I'm not saying that's fast, only that at my age it's the fastest that I have done it. So, I'm not getting slower. It'll catch up to me, unquestionably! But it won't be because I'm going to stand still and let it! And the incentive to hang with my son is worth a rib here and there. I get hurt all the time. It's the price we pay.

  10. #10
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    Listen to your body, as it were. Know when to hammer and when to throttle back.

    I'm working on it myself and have learned to enjoy a few days off the bike knowing that I'll feel fantastic when I get back on that sheeit.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  11. #11
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    55, and been at it for 5 years. My times and skills improve everytime I ride. I just think more before trying something risky and choose my combats !
    High on dopamine

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE any of you old b*stards hit the half pipes /pools ... etc??[/QUOTE]

    I'm 50 and I was told three years ago I need a hip replacement, which I am putting off until I am done with snowboarding (which I don't ever see happening). I can't skate like I used to but still hop on the longboard on occasion. I broke my clavicle downhilling a few years back, and that was my official "I'm getting too old for this shit" moment. So I mostly cruise on the longboard, mostly stay on the groomers unless its a kick ass powder day, and try not to do anything too dumb on the bike while still working on my skills and getting air where the risk doesn't exceed the reward.

  13. #13
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    When I show up in the office with significant scabs/bruises/limps/what have you, I get the "you know, you're not the young anymore". This from people that are obese and stare at a computer screen all day. They seem to be genuinely indignant that I keep myself fit and am still excited for life.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  14. #14
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    The older I get, the less I care what other people think about what I wear on the bike, and every time I read about someone falling on their face, I inch a little closer to putting the (removable) chin guard on my Bell Super DH for everyday use. I already use the Super DH without the chin guard on all of my rides, and I love it, I have yet to use the chin guard on XC type rides, but why not? Dental work and facial reconstruction surgery suck, I'm sure.

    Yesterday I rode a bunch of awesome trails at Rabbit Valley, CO that are shared with motorcycles, and every single motorcycle rider had a full face helmet. I was going as fast or faster down some of the gnarly sections. Why not use a lightweight full face for that? I have no answer.

  15. #15
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    Face it, you're not normal...just like the rest of us. I'll be 60 in 3 weeks and still ride 3X/week. 10 years ago my 'posse' was 6-8 guys who were hardcore but now I do lots of solo rides because all but 2 of them have hung it up.

    The key really is DON'T FALL OFF! At our age sh*t hurts enough just from a good hard ride. I still push myself hard and love challenging terrain but an occasional 'go around' on sections with bigger consequences is not a bad idea.
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  16. #16
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    It's never too late to start exercising, new study shows

    In summary: The study shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start. A long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles...019.01084/full

    I first learned to mtb at 48. At 50 I starting to dh. I started doing crossfit at 55 to stay strong on the bike. I participate annually in the crossfit open. My cardio began to improve when I first started to run at 57. This summer I competed in my first marathon and for shitz and giggles I took surfing lessons while on vacation on the Pacific Coast. My point is it's never too late to learn a new activity or build muscle or improve cardio. Avoiding pain and injury are smart; avoiding risk is less smart. The big advantage of getting older is that you should have the wisdom and experience to know what's right for you.
    F*ck Cancer

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  17. #17
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    Cyclelicious sums it up nicely. Its fun to have goals (bucket list?) and try new things. Regular visits to the gym have vastly improved my riding and just plain riding has greatly improved my riding. Like she said, we "should have the wisdom and experience to know what's right" for us and most of us do by now.

    We may be a bit closer to death then someone 30 years younger but we're not there yet if we are taking part in this discussion. Tomorrow I'm taking a guy I got into riding this year on single track for the first time. He's 65, I believe, but isn't afraid to try new stuff. I've prepared him all summer and he loves our rides on tame rail trails but looks forward to having to walk parts of the ride but, in the end, still ride most of what I'm taking him on.

    I say, "when I stop moving, I'll stop moving."

  18. #18
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    57 years old here, and knock wood, nothing is telling me to stop riding. I am banging out rides as best I can, and get off the bike on sketchy drops or anything above my skill set.

    When will I stop? The moment an E bike seems appealing.

    So, count me in for another decade or two!



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  19. #19
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    I know people younger than me that have debilitating injuries they live with. Very much limits their ability to live the life they would prefer.

    I want to live the life I want to live for as long as possible, and if that means I dial it back just a little bit in terms of speed in order to gain a fairly large reduction in risk, I'll take that trade every day on every ride.

    But we all get to make our own choices.

    I like to be out in the woods and see my riding friends and enjoy the singletrack. I have never been an adrenaline junky - that's not a high for me.

    I will say the broken humerus way up high near the shoulder a couple years ago with the soft tissue damage that I am still living with changed my attitude a little bit.

    I still have nothing but fun on my bike, though.

    Ride on!

  20. #20
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    ^Yep... the longer I live the less I care about what others think or do.

    You are the one who will suffer, not me.

    I ride with the best dogs.




  21. #21
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    Okay, so everyone gets old or dies trying.

    What I don't get is why it's important to advertise your age and what you "won't do".

    I'm constantly amazed at what people are still doing when they're old, but at 53 years of age, old you are not.

    So yeah, these public statements about limit setting are pretty silly and completely hedonistic, though I am at loss as to see how someone can find pleasure in admitting their weakness in a public forum.

    Just go ride and stop talking about it.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    I'm 50 ... I have arthritis basically everywhere...

    my discussion with my dr... "can I still mountain bike?" answer from doctor: "sure just don't crash"


    great....

    so I ride.. "occasionally" I get all YOLO F*ck it .. mostly I ride cautiously and tell any buddies of mine who want me to do stuff I can't really pull off .. NOPE...

    I don't know... nobody is getting out of this alive.. so I want to ride and do fun stuff as long as I can.


    What does bum me out.... I really want to skate .. my wife REEEEEAAALLY doesn't want me to skate (I'm pretty certain my Dr. would agree w/ the wife) anymore.. I did until I was ~35 and then occasionally till about 40.. but I just don't think I could take the falls at this point.

    any of you old b*stards hit the half pipes /pools ... etc??
    I still skate on occasion mainly pools and stick to mainly lip tricks as it does hurt more these days when I fall.

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  23. #23
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    And the latest installment of the “too old for this” department:

    I managed to impale my calf muscle with my brake lever in a freak accident last night. Didn’t feel it go in but it was buried to the handlebar and took considerable pressure to pull out. At the ER til 1:00 this morning, missing work today (well I wouldn’t say I’m missing it) in a walking boot for a couple weeks, and off the bike for maybe a month. Still, beats a break or concussion!

  24. #24
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    What really sucks is that I either separated or broke a rib or two or three. And upper ribs, at that. I've broken at least 10 middle or lower ribs before. Not sure if upper ribs are more or less painful, but it is different. Sleeping is very difficult (as with lower ribs), and laughing, coughing sneezing and even breathing hard at all is very painful. It isn't getting a little better each day yet - holding steady and even increasing at times. I imagine I will have to forego riding for the next 2 or 3 weeks. It normally takes about a month for the pain from broken ribs to subside.

    If only I had been wearing my full face helmet, then at least I wouldn't have screwed up my nose. The big scab at the bottom looks like a huge booger coming out of my nose.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outrider66 View Post
    What really sucks is that I either separated or broke a rib or two or three. And upper ribs, at that. I've broken at least 10 middle or lower ribs before. Not sure if upper ribs are more or less painful, but it is different. Sleeping is very difficult (as with lower ribs), and laughing, coughing sneezing and even breathing hard at all is very painful. It isn't getting a little better each day yet - holding steady and even increasing at times. I imagine I will have to forego riding for the next 2 or 3 weeks. It normally takes about a month for the pain from broken ribs to subside.

    If only I had been wearing my full face helmet, then at least I wouldn't have screwed up my nose. The big scab at the bottom looks like a huge booger coming out of my nose.
    Healing vibes Outrider. I broke some ribs and a few other bones following a big crash in 2015. Yup it sucks. The treatment for broken ribs is basically: don't do anything cool for a long time and have fun getting in and out of bed.
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  26. #26
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    I broke 2 upper ribs about ten years ago. DON'T laugh or sneeze for about 6-8 weeks. Then broke two lower ribs a couple of years ago. Pretty tame in comparison. if you're going break ribs, break the lower ones for sure.

  27. #27
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    Definitely broken rib(s). It still hurts like hell when I sneeze, cough or get in/out of bed. I can feel it just below my collarbone, as well as straight back, behind that, in my back.

    I should probably wait several more weeks before I ride again. What sucks is that the absurdly hot weather in Georgia finally broke, and the temperature is now reasonable, and getting better by the day. I hate being reduced to only hiking, when I could be riding too.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  28. #28
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    Its amazing how broken ribs can hurt in so many places. I had forgotten about getting out of bed. Thanks for reminding me.

  29. #29
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    I couldn't take the waiting any longer. I went against my best judgement (something I often do), and rode today. For those familiar with Allatoona Creek Park in metro Atlanta, I stuck to the easiest trail - Rusty Bucket. Very little elevation change and no rocks, but very tight & twisty, with lots of trees. If you can ride it fast, then your cornering and bike handling skills are real good. I've never gone down on that trail, but my shoulder has bruised lots of trees there. It's short, so I rode 3 laps, getting faster each time. I didn't want to push my luck and ride Driftwood there (where I crashed), and will wait a few more weeks before tackling any trails like that.

    But it was good to get back in the saddle again. Fortunately, I felt no pain while riding today.

    Despite not being too serious of an injury, broken ribs are one of the most irritating things to me. Because the only thing that can fix them is time. This makes at least 11 ribs I have broken.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  30. #30
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    Being 62 and having a couple major things happen to me lately, I've come to realize that "Life happens after you've made other plans".
    Ride today while you can since there's no guarantees that you'll be able tomorrow. Enjoy your life today, do the things you wanted to do.
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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  31. #31
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    I rarely stop riding after an injury, even after a broken rib last summer. Sure it hurts, but I just take it easy and let the discomfort be my guide.

    Wrapping an injury can help the discomfort by applying pressure to control movement and minimize swelling.

    Broken fingers are the easiest, just tape them to a non broken finger for added stability.

    Winter is coming, time to get out the layers!

    Just remember, snow softens the fall 😊
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  32. #32
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    Outrider66, your thread made me think about what crosses my mind from time to time, although admittedly not very often. When should I stop riding like I do? I don't spend a lot of time pondering that, and my answer is always never.

    I'm 58 and have been riding dirt carelessly since the 1970's. They way I see it, my crashes and injuries are no more or less worse now than in the past. The difference, though, I tend to the wounds better as I got older and wiser. Bandages have replaced duct tape, and a little PT replaced just dealing with pain. The cool thing is, recovery at my older age is actually faster than it was when I was younger.

    Sooo... When should I stop riding like I do? Knowing me, it'll be when I just can't do it physically, or when injury prevents it. In other words, it won't be voluntary.

    Do I back off now and spend the next 25 years wishing I was doing otherwise, or do I just keep going for another 15+ doing what I like? The way I see it, I'll be doing what I like for more years than if I voluntarily stop now. I know, crazy logic, but that's what you get when you look into my head.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I'm 58 and have been riding dirt carelessly since the 1970's. They way I see it, my crashes and injuries are no more or less worse now than in the past.


    For me the crashes are the same but the outcome isn't, bones break easier and don't knit together as fast. Downtime and recovery consume a larger percentage of my remaining time on earth. I still like pushing the limits but don't ride with quite the reckless abandon that I did in my younger days. I hate crashing.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  34. #34
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    Main thing I've noticed getting older is it takes me longer to get up and ascertain if "I'm OK".

    If somebody asks if I'm OK, I tell them to give a few minutes and I'll let them know.
    Do the math.

  35. #35
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    "Just remember, snow softens the fall 😊"

    But ice does the opposite! And it happens SO FAST.

  36. #36
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    After 50 both wheels on the ground at all times.....

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkFathom View Post
    After 50 both wheels on the ground at all times.....
    That's kind of boring, sorta like using a walker to get around

    I just got back from Moab, rode with a buddy who's about to turn sixty, he's not in poor health, but he is now "officially" retired and I kinda wonder if that explains his recent change in motivation.

    We were riding Mag 7 with plans to ride out to Portal, it's a big day, the trails leading into Portal are not easy, so as the day progressed he walked more lines, struggled more with the act of riding, started getting frustrated, so by the end he was really mad (at himself and/or me).

    I kinda decided that riding with him is not gonna be something I do when I want a big ride on hard trails, he's my trail buddy for the mellow stuff from here on out, kinda sad, but he has apparently decided to back off.

    Most of my riding buddies are younger than me by a decade or two, those guys are still ready to rock and roll, so I can count on them to go with me on tech rides, but even then the majority of my hard rides are done solo cuz it's hard to coordinate rides with folks who have kids and family stuff going on.

    I bought one of those SPOT things, I keep it in my pack.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkFathom View Post
    After 50 both wheels on the ground at all times.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    That's kind of boring, sorta like using a walker to get around

    Yeah I sort of agree, mountain biking has to be fun and for me part of the fun is enjoying those brief moments of silence when the wheels leave the ground. To each his own of course, I'd never judge another rider by the chances they do or don't take.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  39. #39
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    "A stupid man will die a stupid death"- I-Ching.
    I've already amassed a number of stupid-related near death experiences in my life, going into my late 60's, than I need for an entire lifetime. Stupid, because I always knew better, but went ahead anyway.
    These days I'm trying to avoid those stupid kinds of acts. While I have loved the mtb and trail riding for the last 30 years or so, I'm still enjoying the trails, just not the ones with the huge boulder drops and other obvious dangers. I see the bike and the trails as a means to an end including both mental /spiritual enrichment, and strength/cardio fitness.

    So, I see myself as living a more intelligent life now. I don't go into buildings where I know trouble is waiting. I try to avoid violent conflict, even though I'm extremely good at it. If you can find a way to sense trouble coming up around the corner, cross the street.
    "Where there is no fight, there is no blame"- another I-Ching quote. That's what I try to do, just like my teacher, who is well over 90, and still improving his skills, even as his body fails him.
    I consider myself very fortunate to have such a role model in my life at this stage.
    Overall, I've had a very fortunate life, and I try to remain grateful for that as much as possible. And help others, rather than judge them. Plenty of challenges there.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkFathom View Post
    After 50 both wheels on the ground at all times.....
    You can realistically push that up to at least 60. Between 65 and 70 is when possible reward vs. possible cost starts to matter more, not only because the odds perceptibly start to change, but also the brilliance of the possible rewards fades. Other things seem more brilliant as our awareness expands.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  41. #41
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    “That's kind of boring, sorta like using a walker to get around”

    Still beats a bed or a wheelchair......

  42. #42
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    Nope, no judgement, it’s your life, it just sounds kinda boring. I really enjoy jumping off stuff, always have, bikes, skis, even my feet. The feeling of weightlessness combined with forward momentum, keeping the two balanced and landing with finesse. Like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yeah I sort of agree, mountain biking has to be fun and for me part of the fun is enjoying those brief moments of silence when the wheels leave the ground. To each his own of course, I'd never judge another rider by the chances they do or don't take.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkFathom View Post
    After 50 both wheels on the ground at all times.....
    I'm 67. This summer I cleaned sections of Mag7 and Ahab that I'd never cleaned before and a lot of it was by taking the direct route through the air. In reality, I probably wouldn't have but I was trying to keep up with my 28 year old son......unsuccessfully, but not for lack of trying!
    Keeping both wheels on the ground is fine, but I really don't think it's an absolute requirement.

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