Falling trees and branches & close calls- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Falling trees and branches & close calls

    I have about 12 miles of eastern woodland single track that I maintain. I'm always amazed by the amount of branches and trees that fall onto the trail. Sometimes when I'm doing trail maintenance I'll hear stuff falling nearby. Usually it's just small stuff though. The other day while I was walking by this large dead tree next to my trail I wondered out loud to my wife if any rider had ever been hit or injured by a falling object in the course of riding.

    A couple of days later after posing that question, while riding in the rain, I had a smallish but thick piece of a limb fall about 20 feet from me directly in my path. The tree it fell from was about 60 feet high and the fallen branch might have weighed 3 or 4 pounds. No leaves or twigs, just solid wood. Had it hit me just right I suppose I could have been moderately injured or maybe seriously. Who knows?

    I figure stuff falling on you is the price you gotta pay if you want to ride but I was wondering if any of you woodland riders have ever had a close call or been hit by a falling piece of wood?

  2. #2
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    Nope, the closest...

    I've ever come was about 10 years ago. We were on a ride at a local favorite. Heard a crash and a big thump. About a mile further along a big old beech had fallen across the trail. It was an oldster from the look of it, half hollow inside. The previous night had been pretty windy, gusts to 40+. I figure the winds probably cracked it most of the way through and it looked like branches of other near by trees were pretty much holding it up. It took quite a few branches from surrounding trees down with it.

    Anyway, it so rare that a tree just falls down without any outside influence, high winds or a storm, that I doubt many people have had close ones. Most riders stay home when it storms. But it is possible I guess, under the right circumstances. I've had more close calls with cars on the ride to or from work than I'd guess any 1000 riders have had with falling trees. But that's just a guess.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    So if a tree falls in the forest, and there is a mt biker too hear it, means new trail feature!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by srwings

    I figure stuff falling on you is the price you gotta pay if you want to ride but I was wondering if any of you woodland riders have ever had a close call or been hit by a falling piece of wood?


    Yes..even hit by some.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...6&postcount=19

  5. #5
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    ah w1000w. forest mgmt and hit a few times. that explains everything. forgive me for being impatient with your long explanations. and welcome to the boards. how did u discover mtbr?

  6. #6
    Singletrack Snob
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    never a close call from falling trees, but a couple close calls from deer crossing over the trails. i think that would hurt pretty good to get knocked sideways by a deer.
    "I've got a card in my spokes, I'm practicing my jokes. I'm learning!"

  7. #7
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    Ha, ha. That was going to be my next post. When I ride my trails I feel like I'm herding deer. On hot days they barely move out of your way. I rode down a fawn recently. Cute little critter. There's no hunting in my area so the deer don't have that survival instinct.

  8. #8
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    I made a tree fall once.....

    I had just started riding clipless when I had stopped on the trail and, still clipped in, I leaned up against what I thought was a good sized (18" trunk) solid tree. Well the tree must have been dead and rotted on the inside, as it started to lean over and than it just snapped off and I tumbled over. Left a nice bruise on my thigh landing on the trunk. I pick my trees carefully now.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin G
    never a close call from falling trees, but a couple close calls from deer crossing over the trails. i think that would hurt pretty good to get knocked sideways by a deer.
    A couple of years ago a deer jumped into the pack in our local race series. One guy got clipped and hurt pretty bad - took him out for the rest of the season...

  10. #10
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    I had close calls with palm branches on the sidewalks of san diego, but never on the trail.

  11. #11
    well mannered lout
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    My friend Jon and I got caught in a killer thunderstorm a couple of years ago. When the winds came up a tree,maybe 8 or 10' diameter, fell parallel to the trail right beside me. Missed me by a bike length. Felt very adventurous. This same friend on another occasion stopped trailside, grabbed a tree instead of clipping out, and a pretty big branch came down right on his head hard enough to drop him. Not funny at all.....until he got up and shook it off. Then it was very funny.
    Well my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  12. #12
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    Never been hit but...

    Cleaning up the trails after the August storms I found a 8' long tree branch with 15" of the pointy end buried right in the trail. Come to think of it, I've found numerous branches stuck lance-wise into the ground. Windy days are maybe not the best time to be riding in the woods.

    Walt

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOldDude
    I had just started riding clipless when I had stopped on the trail and, still clipped in, I leaned up against what I thought was a good sized (18" trunk) solid tree. Well the tree must have been dead and rotted on the inside, as it started to lean over and than it just snapped off and I tumbled over. Left a nice bruise on my thigh landing on the trunk. I pick my trees carefully now.
    i had almost the same thing happen to me this past weekend. i pulled to the side of the trail to wait for my gf and didn't want to step down from the bike so i just leaned up against what i thought was a sturdy tree. as soon as i put a little bit of weight on it i started to hear creeking noises and thought the tree had moved a little bit. i took my hand off, put my foot down and looked up. slowly but surely from just that brief moment of pressure i put on the tree it came down. it definitely surprised me. luckily i didn't put a lot of weight on it or else i would have gone over with it like you

  14. #14

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    Not necessarily bike-related, but a few years back here in Hamilton we had a number of school kids injured, and one killed, when they were on a class trip to a local trail network. I guess they had a bunch of dead trees they neglected to clear out that were close to the trails, and in a stiff wind one blew over.

    Honestly tho, if you're gonna go, you're gonna go. You can get smoked just as easy on the way to the trailhead...I don't worry about it much. B'sides, I hit enough low-hanging trees as it is, so another branch or trunk to the head won't be a big issue

    Tim

  15. #15
    Ride Instigator
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    Yeah, always concerns me to be riding in the woods on really windy days....never stops me though.

    Actually I had a limb about 15' long and about 4" dia at the thickest point fall about 50' from me a few weeks back. Gotta' ride real fast, moving targets are harder to hit!

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