Importance of gear selection - and my 1st major "fall/crash"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Importance of gear selection - and my 1st major "fall/crash"

    I went for a group ride today and we came across some pretty technical ascents - all of which were about 30 to 40 feet of rocky crags. The first two I did fine on and even "summited" then 2nd one. On the 3rd one, however, I failed miserably.....before the climb, I checked to make sure I was in the highest gear on my cassette but, for some weird reason, did not pay attention to the chainring selection. Bad move.

    As I sped up to the hill climb and was making my way to the top....I didn't' realize I was in the big chainring (on my triple it's bigger than on a double). As I got to the top I lost my ability to spin and then over-torqued the rear wheel into losing grip. As this occurred I tilted slowly to the side with my right hand outstretched to cushion my impending fall. However when the rear wheel gave way, the sudden jerk twisted my bars into a "T" position and I fell, with my full body weight, onto (and into) the side of the left grip. Basically impaling my sternum into the bar grip itself. It was, needless to say, one of the most excruciating pains I have ever felt in my life. I was screaming for at least 3 min non-stop. Luckily for me I was with experienced riders and they calmed me down till the pain subsided and rode me back to the car. I went to urgent care right after and THaNK GOD I got away with a "bone bruise" and no fracture or internal bleeding - but it still hurts when I inhale and sit or lie in certain positions. Hiccups are excruciating still.....I truly do not wish this kind of pain on anyone.

    Moral of the story: Accidents like this can happen even when going REALLY slow. In this case due to my idiocy for not checking what gear I was in. Make that selection before the climb starts.

  2. #2
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    I know a lot of veterans have probably forgotten that they probably all did that once upon a time. That's pretty much a typical MTB learning technique: use pain to reinforce the lesson so you don't forget it. And believe it or not, your bike did that to you on purpose. It's for your own good. The bike will tolerate a lot of shenanigans, but it doesn't like to be abused that way and will let you know in less-than-subtle ways. So be nice to your bike!

    When I did it - at 0 mph - I missed my bones - I thought for sure I ruptured a major organ, but I was OK.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  3. #3
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    I have a scar across my sternum to this day. Turns out the plastic caps on the ends of the bars are more than cosmetic...

  4. #4
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    Re: Importance of gear selection - and my 1st major "fall/crash"

    Everyone has taken a bar to the gut/chest at some point. Heal fast and get back out there!

    I was riding around my driveway practicing idling (balancing without rolling). Hopped to get my balance, and dropped the chain somehow. Went to pedal forward hard with the wheel turned, basically just pedaled to dead bottom center, and the bike flew out from under me as I went otb from a standstill on a flat driveway...

    Bar end to the crotch. Handbrake to the thigh. 6 inch long bleeding bruise next to my important bits was a nice reminder that the dumb stuff is just as dangerous as the extreme stuff sometimes.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the awesome stories and advice I guess there many ways to take a bad fall - but heck....I'm taking it as a lesson, like a man and healing the f*%$ up!

  6. #6
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    One of my friends had a freak accident at his home recently where tripped in his bedroom and fell chest first into the corner of a low table. It punched a hole in his sternum. He's working in pain every day now as his wound slowly, slowly, slowly closes up inside. He also broke two ribs in the fall.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    One of my friends had a freak accident at his home recently where tripped in his bedroom and fell chest first into the corner of a low table. It punched a hole in his sternum. He's working in pain every day now as his wound slowly, slowly, slowly closes up inside. He also broke two ribs in the fall.
    I got really freaked out once where I fell going over a downed pine tree. It had all the broken off pungees sticking out of it and I fell right toward one. Fortunately it was a couple inches shorter than my arm and I avoided getting impaled. But it was sooo close.
    I can see where if you're falling and you have nowhere to put your hands, you're gonna take a full hit/stab. *yow*

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  8. #8
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    Got too far to the left on this stunt:



    Jumped the bike off, and as I came down, the front wheel came down right before the support on the right side of the picture, and the ground, and kind of wedged itself in there. The wheel partially tacoed, and everything came crumpling down, including my chest right into the handlebar that was turned. When I got up off the ground and finally realized that I had not been impaled, I managed to limp it back to the car. Ripped jersey, bleeding chest, and some major wheel wobble.

    That crash has taken me right out of mountain biking, probably for good. I was in pain for weeks, and was off the bike for almost 2 months. It was a dumb move on my part, as I had ridden the stunt a few times with no issue. That picture was taken before the crash on a separate outing. It looks like I am too far to the left in the picture, but I wasn't.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  9. #9
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    Well as luck would have it I just got back from my 2nd doctor consult and did an x-ray to dispel any guesswork - no fractures or internal bleeding! Doc said that I just need to rest and heal my sternum cartilage and mayofacial tissue. I'm stoked!!!! :-) this means less time off the bike Ordered some carbon bars and new grips so really looking forward to getting them installed and hopefully next week I can ride again!

  10. #10
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    My last wreck was going slowly over a log pile(wet logs) and as my front wheel came over the top and down the other side, it slipped, I went down hard and the damn big chain ring landed directly on my shin bone. Then there was that pause before my brain picked up the signal, that....... THIS EFFING HURTS!!!!! AAAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHHHH OOOOUUUCCCHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAM IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bike crashes......they are the best and how did I know it was the big chain ring? Couple of the teeth sliced into my skin and the rest left a nice imprint that went from red to skin tone, lol. Luckily I keep a nifty first aid kit with me and I was alone.... Out came the gauze and duct tape along with some anticeptic I keep in a small, plastic vile.

    Then after walking around a bit, shrugging off the pain to a slight burn sensation...I looked over the bike then rode out slowly back to the car.

    Yepp it's part of MT biking....it WILL happen again.

  11. #11
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    Oh yeah....been on a group ride once and saw a guy get a chunk of skin ripped off his head, because he swiped a tree in a fall with his head....didn't have a helmet on. the skin and hair were hanging....about a 2 inch piece and the blood was horrid. They they slapped it back up, poored some anticeptic, padded it up and got him out of there to the hospital.

    ALWAYS wear your helmet!!!!

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