Can't stop crashing, what's going on?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Can't stop crashing, what's going on?

    As of this June I'm entering my 4th year of MTB and I've crashed a ton this year. Before this calendar year, I had only crashed once (hands/body hitting the ground before my feet... had TONS of nasty dismounts, dabs, etc, but only one actual crash).

    So far this year:

    -didn't see a fallen tree branch, clipped with my handlebar, sent me OTB
    -went over a jump, forgot to use my dropper beforehand, thought I had, saddle bucked me OTB
    -swerved away from a poison oak branch, washout
    -went off line, thought it was just grass, big rock there, sent me OTB
    -washout in mud
    -washout, fork hit a rock or something, OTB

    This latest one (yesterday) was a bad one. Tons of scratches, cuts, bruises, and a dislocated shoulder. It was the first time I've had an injury that is keeping me off the bike for more than a day and it looks like it might be weeks.

    How do you all cope with this? I know it's a calculated risk to be in this sport but it's really disruptive to daily life to be incapacitated. The funny thing is that I'm riding slower than I did last year because I started to find myself having a lot of "almost" crashes so I dialed it back a notch to not get messed up. I'm riding more conservatively, with more experience, and I'm crashing more than I ever have by a lot.

  2. #2
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    Well, yesterday I had my first big crash as well, nothing broken (luckily), was threading the needle between 2 small trees doing about 20mph and just barely clipped the one on the left, sent the bike into a nice dance then ejected me sideways off the trail into a small 4" tree and then about 10-15ft further along the edge of the trail through smaller trees and debris. Lucky for me I think my hydration pack took the brunt of the hit, but still basically have whiplash and very sore ribs and a few other places.

    This is the hardest I've ever fallen on an MTB, ever in my 12 years. I knew I was pushing the speed going through the trees and thought I'd managed to clear them and then in a split second it went very bad and I envisioned the ER and no trip to Colorado in September, it has reminded me why I always try and ride withinmy limits and play it safe rather than sorry in parts like that at high sped, as the consequences can be very dire.

    Reading your falls/accidents, it honestly seems you may need to pay more attention while riding, that simple
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  3. #3
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    I can recall... 3 crashes by your definition. One years ago, washed out on terrible tires on a sharp fireroad turn, no biggie. Two, in a "race" earlier this year, had to dismount on a rocky section with a drop to the right side, I always unclip on the right out of habit... fell a little ways but no damage. Three, couple days ago, SSing up a rocky section and hit something with either the front wheel or the pedal and it really knocked my off balance and I went down, again no damage to me or the bike.

    So, for me, I don't go down often, but I am probably more cautious than you are. I HATE fast downhills, ride SS (so no high gears for speed) so flats aren't fast, and honestly just prefer climbing. The rest of the ride I am thinking about what happens if I do something stupid that injures me and means no climbing for a while!

  4. #4
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    If you're not crashing, you're being too careful. And this is exactly what I suggest you do for a while. Slow down so that you have more time to make your choice when approaching a feature. Be careful. Your crashes do not sound like they are balance related, just bad luck. It happens.

  5. #5
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    slow learner. your supposed to do most of your crashing early on, maybe your just getting caught up.

    seriously, stop running into things! lack of focus?

    crashing is just part of it for me. it's not all bad, it means your testing/pushing your limits which means your still learning skills, technique, etc. I hope i never stop learning.

    sometimes all it takes to shake your confidence of one crash, especially if your not used to crashing all the time. after that you question yourself and your equipment which leads to bad thoughts, bad decisions, brake checks, and ultimately more crashes. a good hard crash leaves a physical and mental scar, sometimes it takes time to recover.

    I broke my collar bone last year and missed most of the summer after surgery. i was very fearful of another crash after that. then over the winter i had to have a second surgery because of the same crash, and another recovery. I'm still not 100% but the mental scar takes a long time to fade. it's getting better now as the pain becomes less, but i am very aware of the way i ride. i don't want to repeat and miss out on riding, work, life for another 8 months.

    take it slow and ride within your limits when you get back at it. your probably going to have to rebuild your confidence. and if that doesn't work...

    buy yourself a new Plus bike with big knobby tires. big volume and huge levels of grip create many miles of smiles.
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  6. #6
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    Crashing is often physics going against your better judgement. No need to get all "Mountain Dew" on every section. Better to be slow and safe than injured and off the bike idefinitely...
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  7. #7
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    I find if I'm too careful going into a tech section I crash. It's best to loosen up and be in tune to your body and your bike. Body English is a huge factor in crashing or not. If you are too tense you stiffen up. Which makes feeling the bike and terrain tougher. In other words losen up and flow with the bike and the terrain. This tensing up often happens due to a previous crash. You get nervous and tense up. It's best to block out any previous crashes so you don't tense up.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    sometimes all it takes to shake your confidence of one crash, especially if your not used to crashing all the time. after that you question yourself and your equipment which leads to bad thoughts, bad decisions, brake checks, and ultimately more crashes. a good hard crash leaves a physical and mental scar, sometimes it takes time to recover.
    This is probably the main crash causer for me. If I crash, I do the whole calming down thing for a while, but get back on the bike. There are certain sections of trails that I know pretty well, I know where the tech is, I know how to clear it, and I know I've done it many times. I tackle those areas once or twice to let my brain and body learn to get along again. Fear is a good thing to have, but there are times fear is a bit of an over reaction.

    I'd also make a bet your bike parts are starting to get some wear & tear. Time for new tires? I'd also bet you're riding faster than you did just because you're more confident. I know I can ride faster now than I used to, but I don't because I'm trying to limit my speed and prevent crashes.
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  9. #9
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    Dial back and ride more carefully for awhile, ride in less technical terrain, maybe just ride straight and flat, and perhaps work a little on technique until your focus comes back. Think about it before you ride, and try and determine what you can handle that day before you start.

    Just...chill.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    How do you all cope with this? I know it's a calculated risk to be in this sport but it's really disruptive to daily life to be incapacitated. The funny thing is that I'm riding slower than I did last year because I started to find myself having a lot of "almost" crashes so I dialed it back a notch to not get messed up. I'm riding more conservatively, with more experience, and I'm crashing more than I ever have by a lot.
    I've accepted that regular crashes are a part of mountain biking and learned how to take falls without hurting myself too badly. One of the funny things about mountain biking is that you'll crash just as badly when you're riding not to fall as you will when you're riding with complete disregard for your safety. Once you learn how to fall without getting hurt too seriously your mind & body will accept that crashing isn't a bad thing to be avoided at all costs, and once you accept that you'll crash less unless you're pushing the limits all the time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I find if I'm too careful going into a tech section I crash. It's best to loosen up and be in tune to your body and your bike. Body English is a huge factor in crashing or not. If you are too tense you stiffen up. Which makes feeling the bike and terrain tougher. In other words losen up and flow with the bike and the terrain. This tensing up often happens due to a previous crash. You get nervous and tense up. It's best to block out any previous crashes so you don't tense up.
    Agreed. Often just letting off the brakes and letting the bike do what it wants under you can save your bacon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Reading your falls/accidents, it honestly seems you may need to pay more attention while riding, that simple
    I thought of this too. Maybe I'm just getting too comfortable on my local trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    If you're not crashing, you're being too careful. And this is exactly what I suggest you do for a while. Slow down so that you have more time to make your choice when approaching a feature. Be careful. Your crashes do not sound like they are balance related, just bad luck. It happens.
    The funny thing is that I'm crashing more this year than last. I was starting to get a little too wild last year (for me, always been a conservative person) so I backed off. I'm riding slower than I was last year or even the year before that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    Crashing is often physics going against your better judgement. No need to get all "Mountain Dew" on every section. Better to be slow and safe than injured and off the bike idefinitely...
    That's the thing with yesterday's crash, I was riding conservatively. I've been prepping my old house for sale and moving into a new one so I hadn't been on my mountain bike for 6 weeks for fear of injury and not being able to fix my property up or move to my new one. I've still been riding road and cross bikes (on easy singletrack) so my fitness is maintained. Maybe I just wasn't used to being on a mountain bike, but I was riding conservatively. Not fearful, just not "Mountain Dew".

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Dial back and ride more carefully for awhile, ride in less technical terrain, maybe just ride straight and flat, and perhaps work a little on technique until your focus comes back. Think about it before you ride, and try and determine what you can handle that day before you start.

    Just...chill.
    Yeah, I usually ride mountain on Sunday morning. Road or cyclocross bike during the week or Saturday. Sunday is my most focused and energetic day of the week. One or two of my crashes this year were partially caused by riding after a day of bad sleep. Like when I went off the trail and hit a rock in the grass.

  14. #14
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    can you see? you dont need glasses do you?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    can you see? you dont need glasses do you?
    My left eye is perfect vision, my right eye was injured in 2006 (someone shot a bunch of bottle rockets into a crowd and I got hit in the eye) and it is non-corrective with our advancement in eye medicine at the moment. So my depth perception is a little off but not that bad.

  16. #16
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    People hate talking about it, but the gear does matter. After 10+ years of riding, I think it matters a lot actually.

    I hate washout crashes. I feel like a sticky front is a safety item at this point. I started on 4 inch bikes and moved up to 6 inch bikes over the years. OTB crashes completely stopped once I got on something a little longer, slacker, and with more travel. Im still riding the same trails, maybe a little bit faster now, but crashing is waaay down. At 28lb, its not really holding me back going up either.

    The bike has definitely saved my ass more than a few times, and im good with that!

  17. #17
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    Yeah, maybe I need to go back to a beefier/stickier front tire. My last bike had a 140mm fork, 68 degree HTA, and 2.5" Minion DHF in 3C up front. My current bike has a 130mm fork, 67.4 degree HTA, and 2.3" Minion DHR2 up front in dual compound. So it's not like I went from a DH tire to an XC tire, but a little narrower and less sticky compound.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    can you see? you dont need glasses do you?
    How far ahead does the OP look when riding? Look as far as you can with your eyes up. Don't look just in front of the your front wheel. Stuff happens way to fast for that.
    In almost every instance the crash was due to a last-second or unseen hazard. It's happened to all of us, but not several times in a row.

    Also, stay loose. If you are tight, or always seated, the bike does not respond very quickly.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Just...chill.
    Spend more time enjoying nature. I'm sure it's pretty out where you're riding, so take more deliberate stops. Use up all the water you're bringing. Consciously spend more time stopped, standing in shade, just enjoying what you're doing.
    Then make the rest of the time more about applying technique.

    When I crash a lot, it's when I'm not doing these things. Just focusing on being fast, I don't go much quicker, but I 'interact kinetically with the scenery' way more frequently.

    I'm also amazed at how much tension and exhaustion I can bring with myself onto a ride - half the time I'm faster up and down an hour into wherever I'm going, just because I've finally gotten it all out of my system, and even though I'm drenched in sweat and hitting near muscle exhaustion, I'm actually putting out more power and holding speed through tricky sections better because I've ran out of minor distractions, and I'm just paying attention to the trail, my bike, and how I'm situated on the bike.

  20. #20
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    I wasnt sure what you were on. That sounds like a solid, stable setup though.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    How do you all cope with this?
    Crash less?

    One thing you could try is missing the ground. As your bike waves you a cheery goodbye as you head off though the air try to think of something else. If you manage to become completely distracted at just the right second you may forget all about crashing and miss the ground entirely. I've been using this technique for a few years now. As yet it has never worked but you might have more luck.

    Failing that, take up knitting?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    As of this June I'm entering my 4th year of MTB and I've crashed a ton this year. Before this calendar year, I had only crashed once (hands/body hitting the ground before my feet... had TONS of nasty dismounts, dabs, etc, but only one actual crash).

    So far this year:

    -didn't see a fallen tree branch, clipped with my handlebar, sent me OTB
    -went over a jump, forgot to use my dropper beforehand, thought I had, saddle bucked me OTB
    -swerved away from a poison oak branch, washout
    -went off line, thought it was just grass, big rock there, sent me OTB
    -washout in mud
    -washout, fork hit a rock or something, OTB

    This latest one (yesterday) was a bad one. Tons of scratches, cuts, bruises, and a dislocated shoulder. It was the first time I've had an injury that is keeping me off the bike for more than a day and it looks like it might be weeks.

    How do you all cope with this? I know it's a calculated risk to be in this sport but it's really disruptive to daily life to be incapacitated. The funny thing is that I'm riding slower than I did last year because I started to find myself having a lot of "almost" crashes so I dialed it back a notch to not get messed up. I'm riding more conservatively, with more experience, and I'm crashing more than I ever have by a lot.
    Maybe it is because slower or maybe you are starting to loose focus or getting tired and looking at the ground directly a head of you. Should always look further a head to anticipate whats coming.

    failing that maybe buy a bubble wrap suit to wear.
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  23. #23
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    You say your depth perception is affected by your injury, but "not that bad". When you're moving at speed through obstacles, timing is absolutely key, and that will depend greatly on accurate depth perception. Has it been evaluated? Do you know how "off" it is? I agree with the "slow down" advice, but perhaps you should pursue finding out more about possible limitations due to your injury.
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  24. #24
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    Have you been riding the same trials for 4 years? Ifeed so you are probably faster, but the brain may be wondering, so you get caught off guard.

    Just the other day, I was on a trial that I knew that if I get up to a good speed. I can take a turn with sharp right up a steep incline. Right out of sight,a fallen tree was laying just past the apex. The crash wasn't pretty. And it's my fault for going balls out because "I know the trail".

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    You say your depth perception is affected by your injury, but "not that bad". When you're moving at speed through obstacles, timing is absolutely key, and that will depend greatly on accurate depth perception. Has it been evaluated? Do you know how "off" it is? I agree with the "slow down" advice, but perhaps you should pursue finding out more about possible limitations due to your injury.
    I'm not sure how badly it affects my depth perception, since crashes are really only happening this year. It never posed itself as a problem previously, even when I was going faster. 2015 was my peak. Fast, no crashes, but as I started having some "almost" crashes, I slowed down and now I'm actually crashing. Could be coincidence but it seems odd to go from 1 crash in 3 years to 6 crashes in 6 months.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Have you been riding the same trials for 4 years? Ifeed so you are probably faster, but the brain may be wondering, so you get caught off guard.

    Just the other day, I was on a trial that I knew that if I get up to a good speed. I can take a turn with sharp right up a steep incline. Right out of sight,a fallen tree was laying just past the apex. The crash wasn't pretty. And it's my fault for going balls out because "I know the trail".
    Yes, mostly the same trails.

    There's multiple trail systems I rotate between but it's mostly the same core group. My personal life has been getting busy so I haven't had as much time to venture out. Maybe I'm just not focusing as much as I should because "I know the trail"?

  27. #27
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    I would just make sure you're not riding with too much weight on your hands, or your weight too forward.

    BUT.... crashes happen to the best of us... unless you just want to piddle your way through the woods... and even then....

    Tuck and roll is a skill too.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yes, mostly the same trails.

    There's multiple trail systems I rotate between but it's mostly the same core group. My personal life has been getting busy so I haven't had as much time to venture out. Maybe I'm just not focusing as much as I should because "I know the trail"?

    It may be a little of everything. If your mind is wandering about other things since you're comfortable on the trails you know. On a new trial I rarely crash. Because I notice everything. But the ones I know I'm faster and crash more.

    But you should get an idea about how much you depth perception is off.

  29. #29
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    I think it's interesting how varied the answers (i.e. be more careful vs loosen up and be less careful, lol).

    But in the end, I think that actually is the answer. A lot of things can cause a wreck. A lot of things can effect the outcome of a wreck. So ride confident and loose, but not overly so to the point that you are being reckless.

  30. #30
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    Less road biking. Be the wheel. Seems some lack of focus and concentration. Try some in the woods yoga at sunrise. On a stump. Yes, that's the ticket. And gravity is a harsh mistress.

  31. #31
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    If all else fails, try some light body armor.

    Can't stop crashing, what's going on?-fallout-4-power-armor-figurine-01.jpg
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  32. #32
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    Only time I have wiped out reminded me of one of those youtube videos of a guy watching a certain patch of ice and showing people biff it over and over.

    I was the leader going down this section of trail. There was a hidden stump. It was very small and honestly looked like a little rock and chunk of mud. Well, since it was at the bottom of a little hill leading into a sharp uphill, you pedal. Pedal strike and it kicked my bike sideways in a millisecond. I was on my side with a "what the hell?" expression as I really had no idea what just happened.

    I kid you not, of the 10 people in our group, 8....thats right...EIGHT of them did the exact same thing. It was hilarious. Second guy and I watched the third guy biff it. Then the three of us watched the four guy go down. All of us sit there saying, "here comes John...wait for it..wait.....OHHHHHHHH down he goes!"

    To be honest, I think a lot of wipeouts are due to a lack of paying attention to minor details. Nobody is above it either, I just like to think that some people pay a little closer attention than others.

    Having a tire washout for instance, shouldn't really happen. It either means you were carrying way too much speed into a turn without cornering properly, or that you hit your front brake while turning, or you didn't pay attention to what the surface material was in the turn, or more than likely a combination of all of the above. Last second adjustments also shouldn't happen very often. I won't say they don't happen, because they do, but they should be rare. If they are happening frequently, it is more likely something you are doing or not seeing.

    The faster I am moving, the further away my vision is focused. Unless its a technical feature, generally by the time I am on top of it, I am already looking 10-15ft past it and my peripheral vision is reminding me of what it was while I am riding over it.

    So your focus is generally out at the point where your reflexes could help you. Too far out and you likely aren't paying attention anymore to what you are actually hitting. Too close and you have those last second adjustments and wipe out. So it is that happy medium where your near peripheral vision is remembering what you just saw, and your far peripheral vision is helping you for upcoming turns, and large objects.

  33. #33
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    I've hit the ground a few times lately with the front wheel washing out and finally figured out that the front tire was leaking air and was low on pressure. I was having to put air in at the beginning of the ride and didn't really think about the connection. I figured that I was losing air between rides, not during.

    I put a new tire on the front and wow, what a difference. I was losing confidence in the corners but I feel like I can trust the front end again.

  34. #34
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    I'm gonna buy some soft knee pads. I've had knee surgery in the past. Hitting the scar tissue with anything hurts like a mofo. Even a harmless bump will hurt.

    I crash occasionally.


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    OP, if it helps, I'm in almost the exact same place. Found I was too aggro, made a conscious decision to slow down, and dislocated my shoulder the very next ride.

    In my case, I was JRA but also (halfheartedly) chasing a PR on a trail I never ride down.

    Three months following the dislocation (still not 100%), I managed to go OTB getting stopped on a drop I usually roll right through. Maybe it was going too slow - as mentioned above, you gotta stay loose and confident - but whatever.

    My wife chewed me the hell out for that one. The dislocation was a combo "poor baby" and "it was a matter of time". But the most recent lecture has helped me stay focused since then.

    "Sheesh woman, I was just riding along, coulda happened to anyone!"
    "It happened to you. Stop crashing."

    If your equipment is well maintained (tire/pressure/fork/brakes) it's time to slow down more and stay focused.
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  36. #36
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    Maybe lay off the hooch before you ride.
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  37. #37
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    Vision doesn't get better as you age.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Vision doesn't get better as you age.
    But, the older you get the more visions you have.
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    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yeah, maybe I need to go back to a beefier/stickier front tire. My last bike had a 140mm fork, 68 degree HTA, and 2.5" Minion DHF in 3C up front. My current bike has a 130mm fork, 67.4 degree HTA, and 2.3" Minion DHR2 up front in dual compound. So it's not like I went from a DH tire to an XC tire, but a little narrower and less sticky compound.
    New setup is FSR? Old setup Felt? comparing current specs, Speci is running shorter Top tubes, might be slacker head angle but if the frame is "smaller" you could be more over the front wheel than before.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    But, the older you get the more visions you have.
    Are visions the reason my shorts are always wet?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I've accepted that regular crashes are a part of mountain biking and learned how to take falls without hurting myself too badly.
    Not acceptable at my age (54). I've been riding harder than ever later but really focusing, so far so good.


    Quote Originally Posted by TSpice View Post
    Having a tire washout for instance, shouldn't really happen.
    Shouldn't but they do, even pros suffer front wheel washouts sometimes. If I'm pushing it I'm usually drifting both tires a bit in corners, and unpredictable surfaces can make that venture dicey.

  42. #42
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    I have "almost" crashes almost every ride in some way or another. But actual crashes resulting in injury are super rare. Major injuries are unacceptable for me, and even smaller ones are undesirable enough that I keep my speeds pretty reasonable. I do jump and hit rock gardens and whatnot, but I am keenly aware of where my limits are and so far, I'm pretty good at preventing nasty crashes.

    I get the impression that focus is a huge component here. Alias, the types of crashes you're having seem to be when you're making an adjustment too fast, too late, and you're going down. Not that you're riding too fast, but your mental process isn't fast enough and sudden adjustments are getting you.

    Look farther ahead, identify those potential issues sooner, and spend more time planning your adjustments. Maybe you're focusing too intently on what's too close to your front wheel. Maybe you're not focusing on your riding enough. Maybe your vision injury is affecting your ability to look further ahead and plan out your line farther in advance.

  43. #43
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    I crash more when I dial it back....

    Ride fast, take chances. Friend of mines saying. Lol

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    Spending only one day a week on the mountain bike, while riding road for the rest, pretty much guarantees that your fitness out strides your skills. That may be the core of your problems.

    How can one expect to control their risk , when they are not in tune with their bike? And how can one gain that familiarity, when spending 90% of their time on a bike with geometry that does not correlate? Your muscle memory is biased toward your road bike.

    There does exist a state of being of bike as an extension of self, but one day a week won't get you there. I wouldn't expect proficiency at anything I practiced with such infrequency. Road biking is a separate sport.

  45. #45
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    it depends...just from what you have described on washouts, examine your technique. assuming this is when cronering, is your outside elbow up and driving the fork some, is your weight a bit more forward to be centered or are you too far back, are you pressing that outside pedal down?

    overall, to me it sounds like looking down the trail and being relaxed and centered on the bike. the bike rides the trail and you ride the bike. it doesn't sound like you are going crazy fast, but only you can tell, but from what you have written I think only slowing down won't help much.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    -didn't see a fallen tree branch
    Pay more attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    forgot to use my dropper
    Lack of attention to detail. Pay more attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    -swerved away from a poison oak branch, washout
    That sounds like a technique issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    -went off line, thought it was just grass, big rock there
    Tough one. Why did you go off line? Was the rock seeable? Trying to figure out if this one goes in the "pay more attention" category. But just in case it does...pay more attention!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    -washout in mud
    Traction is your friend, and there is no traction in mud...avoid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    fork hit a rock or something, OTB
    "or something"? Sounds like you didn't see an object that was big enough to wreck you...pay more attention.

    It could be that you're becoming complacent. The first few years may have really had your attention because you were fairly new to it, but now that you're a baller you just expect to rail it every time...and gravity has other plans.

    Trails change too. Stuff grows and gets bigger, other stuff dies and falls where you didn't expect it.

    In the words of the great Mr. Miagi...'focus Danielsan".

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  47. #47
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    are you riding with one of those external boombox contraptions?

  48. #48
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    washing out the front can happen most easily because you don't have enough weight on the front wheel. which is usually body position / posture. if you're on the saddle it takes specific intent to weight the front. if you're in the attack position, you can still ride tentatively with your weight rearward, if you've gone OTB recently and are shy about that.

    paying attention and not trying to ride too fast are keys, as is regular practice.

    regarding the one reply about clipping a tree with a pedal.. btdt, fortunately haven't gotten seriously hurt. zooming through trees is fun and challenging, but mistakes have really severe consequences. I honestly don't ride narrow tree sections at anywhere near 9/10ths because of it. just not worth the risk/reward.

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    Not paying attention to the trail, looking ahead and going too fast are closely related. It takes a certain amount of time to see something, decide what to do about it, and act. Going slower and looking further ahead give you more time. However, doing something about an obstacle often requires momentum, which comes from having speed. So, you don't want to be going too slow. Likewise, if you look too far ahead, you may be thinking about an obstacle beyond the one you are about to face.

    The thing that distinguishes the top riders from the rest of us is that they have the experience to know how fast they can go at a given moment and how far ahead they must be looking.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post

    How do you all cope with this?
    I try really hard not to crash. That is not to say I ride slowly or not aggressively though. I have maybe one a year that I'd really count as a crash and every year it hurts more. Luckily I got my find my limits/frequent crashing years over in my teens.

  51. #51
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    What about messed up tire pressure?


    Sent via Jedi mind trick.
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    I'm a newbie but I've found that I crash more after I've already had a crash.

    I'm narrowing it down and I think it's for a few reasons:
    1. I'm going slower. Makes it harder for me to roll over things. I also will sometimes oversteer if I'm not going as fast as usual around a familiar turn.
    2. In one case, it's because my tire pressure dropped drastically after a minor crash and I didn't notice and washed out
    3. I get paranoid and stiffen up.

    If your outcome has changed, you should evaluate what inputs have changed.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    As of this June I'm entering my 4th year of MTB and I've crashed a ton this year. Before this calendar year, I had only crashed once (hands/body hitting the ground before my feet... had TONS of nasty dismounts, dabs, etc, but only one actual crash).

    So far this year:

    -didn't see a fallen tree branch, clipped with my handlebar, sent me OTB
    -went over a jump, forgot to use my dropper beforehand, thought I had, saddle bucked me OTB
    -swerved away from a poison oak branch, washout
    -went off line, thought it was just grass, big rock there, sent me OTB
    -washout in mud
    -washout, fork hit a rock or something, OTB

    This latest one (yesterday) was a bad one. Tons of scratches, cuts, bruises, and a dislocated shoulder. It was the first time I've had an injury that is keeping me off the bike for more than a day and it looks like it might be weeks.

    How do you all cope with this? I know it's a calculated risk to be in this sport but it's really disruptive to daily life to be incapacitated. The funny thing is that I'm riding slower than I did last year because I started to find myself having a lot of "almost" crashes so I dialed it back a notch to not get messed up. I'm riding more conservatively, with more experience, and I'm crashing more than I ever have by a lot.
    This is my 2nd consistent year riding. I can relate to what you wrote. In my case I am risk averse and though I love mountain biking, I am not as much of an adrenaline junkie as a lot of the guys I see on the trails. I take it at a decent speed, and still have had several crashes, endos and slipping off. This season I've had 4 or 5 "incidents" but no endos, last season a few dozen crashes and 2 or 3 endos. I've seen plenty of experienced mountain bikers crash. It happens. If it's not your skill level, then it's probably just bad luck. Perhaps you started riding different terrain?

    It does seem like some terrain needs to be taken at a particular speed to clear it without crashing (for me it seems to be rock gardens; if I go to slow, I will fall). Perhaps slowing down was the cause. But, it is better to go slower and crash than to go faster and risk an even worse crash. How did you dislocate your shoulder? The few people I know that did that said they were going really fast. It seems like an avoidable injury and probably the only thing worth changing *shrug*. It definitely sucks, but it does seem like a risk that we take.

    I got myself knee pads, elbow pads, gloves and a full face helmet (I don't do any downhill or jumps but wanted extra face protection). The stuff is amazing, no injuries. It boosted my confidence because I didn't need to worry about falling or crashing because I knew I wouldn't get horribly scraped up and risk further injury the next day.

    Mammoth Dreaming
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    My next bike? Looking at Santa Cruz or Trek

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yes, mostly the same trails.

    There's multiple trail systems I rotate between but it's mostly the same core group. My personal life has been getting busy so I haven't had as much time to venture out. Maybe I'm just not focusing as much as I should because "I know the trail"?
    How about this? It May prevent Injuries which in turn is worth more than any amount of money (well to me)

    1. Get a 29er hard tail, a good one. It won't make you want to go over nasty limbs or rocks biogger than baby heads because the rear is brutal.
    2. If you think you'll die soon from another accident, then replace the front fork with a rigid. That will really stop you from riding ligtening fast
    3. Thats it. Get rid of a 26er or 27.5 if you own them and get a 29er hard tail.

    I bought a rigid 29er and I don't even try to do stuff that I can do with a full suspension bike. I ride the rigid more now and I havent crashed ever on it. My 29er f/s has 7" of travel so I actually havent crashed on that either BUT I have crashed on the 27.5 and 26er I own. If bikes didn't devalue so much I'd sell them. Good luck and pay attention.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Can't stop crashing, what's going on?-img_20160612_184706.jpg  

    Cheap people buy things twice

  55. #55
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    I have a CX bike with 40mm tires on it (big for CX, tiny for MTB) and ride it on easier singletrack. Only one washout crash in mud on that bike so there's gotta be some truth to what you said. Anything nasty gets avoided or done really slowly.

  56. #56
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    It's not the equipment it's you. Stop thinking of outside problems in your life and focus on the task at hand. That's what riding is all about for most of us, it's an escape from reality of our every day lives.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  57. #57
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    Since I started riding mountain or cross country, I've had 2 bad crashes, one due to failing to turn on a trail, and the other on pavement when a car pulled out in front of me, which was the worst.

    The 1st I really blame on the stock Bontrager tires that came on my entry level Trek hard tail. I was going in between 2 trees and there was a curve at this location, and the front tire washed out and my arm hit the tree. Wasn't a big crash, but I had to pedal back to the pickup bleeding. Now I think I go through that curve with no real problem.

    The second was mainly because the driver didn't see me, and I wasn't used to stopping with my new bike with hydraulic disc brakes, and put myself on the pavement. This really showed me the value of a helmet!

    I was riding yesterday, and going down what you guys would call a jeep road, which is a fairly rough down hill, and parts of that which used to give me pause don't bother me much now. I think, don't be too ambitious, learn to jog before you start to fly.

  58. #58
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    IMO, one thing is for sure: it's not your bike/equipment. Many of us have ridden for years on bikes from the 90's forward without crack ups like what you describe.

    Making sure the equipment you have is in sound working order is going to help, though.

    The things I've done that have helped me avoid major accidents are:

    1) Spend plenty of time working on your balance at zero to near-zero speeds. Trials like stuff. Learn how to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.

    2) (this one is really hard for me...lots of fear management) Learn to recognize the correct speed for a section, turn, or feature/obstacle. When I raced motorcycles I would ask KFG's how to go thru such and such turn faster with all the bumps...invariably the answer was 'by going faster you are not upsetting the motorcycle as much since it kinda floats over the bumps rather than getting pummeled by them'. Same for MTB. Too little speed and I get thrown off balance, too much speed and I can't react fast enough to what's happening. You have to find the right speed/momentum for your skill set.

    3) Look further ahead. Look where you want to go. DO NOT TARGET FIXATE. This one is also really hard for me: TF is sooooo easy to succumb to because it's often fear triggered.
    Cheers!
    Mike
    Oakland, CA
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    Tell me about it! Was riding in the rain the other day, had to run a quick errand. Didn't see the speed bump and lost my balance as I rushed over it. Wasn't even wearing a helmet so busted myself up pretty good. Third time I crashed in two weeks. Getting sloppy, I guess.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I find if I'm too careful going into a tech section I crash. It's best to loosen up and be in tune to your body and your bike. Body English is a huge factor in crashing or not. If you are too tense you stiffen up. Which makes feeling the bike and terrain tougher. In other words losen up and flow with the bike and the terrain. This tensing up often happens due to a previous crash. You get nervous and tense up. It's best to block out any previous crashes so you don't tense up.
    This is great advice, I totally agree.

    I've had a rash of crashes lately, and honestly it hasn't been much fun. Thankfully other than a hand injury that will take some time to heal none of the injuries have been serious, but they easily could have been. The first one could have been saved by being more relaxed in the situation, but it was really hairy, and hindsight is 20/20.
    Another was caused by distraction: I was having bad numbness in my hands and was literally thinking 'this is starting to be dangerous' when I clipped a pedal on a rock and got thrown hard otb. That one pissed me off. After all that I did another pedal clip otb on a sketchy technical section on a local trail that has taken everyone out at one time or another. I was like 'I never have a problem with this section....'. Granted, that spot has gotten really washed out this year, and the rock I clipped was hidden under a plant. That one didn't hurt anything but my confidence/pride.

    I'm riding cautiously at the moment. I don't like feeling gunshy, and absolutely want to stay relaxed and focused, but wrecking can bring up little fear gremlins in my mind while i'm riding, which isn't much fun. I agree with all the advice to take it easy and chill. It's working for me. Even though i'm all about progression, I don't want to miss out on time on my bike, or with my job, family, ect... There seems to be a good rhythm with all of that, and sometimes we need to dial it back a bit and regroup for a few rides (or weeks, or months...).

    Good luck out there, you'll find yourself back in form again!!

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Stop thinking of outside problems in your life and focus on the task at hand. That's what riding is all about
    definitely but sometimes it's not that simple. i was chugging up singletrack yesterday and around the corner walks this attractive girl, no sooner than 10 seconds after she passed by i somehow let the front wheel go wide avoiding a branch and the world dropped out as i tumbled off the trail down the slope. She walked back to see if i was ok and i was climbing out like nothing happened. One bad judgement and boom, should have stopped for the obstacle but distracted. My nice carbon front hoop spinning strange now

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by natrat View Post
    definitely but sometimes it's not that simple. i was chugging up singletrack yesterday and around the corner walks this attractive girl, no sooner than 10 seconds after she passed by i somehow let the front wheel go wide avoiding a branch and the world dropped out as i tumbled off the trail down the slope. She walked back to see if i was ok and i was climbing out like nothing happened. One bad judgement and boom, should have stopped for the obstacle but distracted. My nice carbon front hoop spinning strange now
    Nice way to meet a pretty girl. Good work. You're balance was probably thrown off by redistribution of blood supply.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  63. #63
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    When I saw the title of this thread, I was sure it was my neighbor/riding buddy. He'll be glad to know he's not the only one.....
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by natrat View Post
    definitely but sometimes it's not that simple. i was chugging up singletrack yesterday and around the corner walks this attractive girl, no sooner than 10 seconds after she passed by i somehow let the front wheel go wide avoiding a branch and the world dropped out as i tumbled off the trail down the slope. She walked back to see if i was ok and i was climbing out like nothing happened. One bad judgement and boom, should have stopped for the obstacle but distracted. My nice carbon front hoop spinning strange now
    did you at least get her number?
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
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    I don't know if this relates to your situation, OP, but I realize that my own string of wrecks were all directly or indirectly related to my level of stress, exhaustion and state of being consumed with my life, particularly my workload. I did recognize this during these rides but need to remember to be extra aware when being fatigued and tense or distracted.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    did you at least get her number?
    Beat me to it. I've been known to purposely crash for a number.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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