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  1. #1
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    Worst fears or experience riding?

    There is a long thread on another forum here that has been going on for over 5 years somewhat similar to this subject and I'm curious what your biggest MTB fears or unusual bad experiences you've had while out riding.

    As for myself, I have to say that among my worst fears is managing to get lost while out riding, particularly given the area that I ride here in Virginia (rural, mountainous, very dense forest) which is conducive for getting lost quite easily. When I first started getting into mtb 6-7 years back, I'd ride along with a friend who showed me the ropes a bit, along with a few local trails. Well, after riding with him on several occasions I started heading out on my own, and one particular day I was doing a particular route and managed to get confused/lost after passing through several intersections.

    Long story short, I managed to eventually find my way back after a bit of trial and error on several trails, but those 30-45 minutes doing so (without phone, water, etc.) were among the longest of my life. I found out later that one intersecting trail in particular took you many miles away into the remote wilderness (it was used mostly for hiking), which was the same trail I almost took before fortunately taking another. Because of that, these days I'm ultra prepared when I ride and when I ride any new trails/areas, I always bring a map with me and study the heck out of it before my ride. And when I ride trails that aren't well marked with many offshoots, I admit I get a bit edgy, especially when I ride alone and often turn back before going terribly far. There are several stories a year here regarding hikers in the mountains of VA/WV that disappear and are never seen again, though I don't recall any missing mountain bikers that weren't found, fortunately. Either way, that, combined with my prior experiences is always in the back of my mind when I'm on new or unfamiliar trails.

    Other than that, I haven't had any unusual bad experiences other than a few crashes, which ironically all have happened on easier trails (lack of concentration I guess). The only other fear I can think of is coming across a bear, though my only other encounter with a bear several years ago ended up being no big deal (he took off running as soon as he spotted me).

  2. #2
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    The end of the ride.

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    Running over a rattlesnake and having it pop up to me catching it out of reaction.

    Having a stroke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Running over a rattlesnake and having it pop up to me catching it out of reaction.

    Having a stroke.
    Yep, have to throw snakes into the mix too, as we have a lot of timber rattlers and especially copperheads around these parts. Obviously rattlesnakes are of far greater concern than copperheads, but I wouldn't want screw around with either.

  5. #5
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    Getting shredded by a barbed wire fence, goin superman on steep downhill (tumble, tumble, tumble... then bike spears me in the back) , a deer pulling a krazy Ivan and running into me instead of away and maybe having a significant mechanical when the temp is ~0 deg F or colder deep in the woods somewhere.

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    Biggest fear, I suppose, is crashing and being knocked unconscious or severly injured, particularly since I usually ride alone. But most of our northern Utah trails are so crowded, someone would come across my unconscious body shortly. I don't think about this one too much.

    Second biggest worry (one that I actually worry about) is a not terribly severe but persistent injury that takes me off the bike for a month or so. That is what often keeps me from trying certain stunts or difficult obstacles that I'm not sure I can clean -- I dont really worry about being seriously hurt, but I a sprained wrist or broken collarbone will really screw up my plans! I had this happen once (2nd ride of the summer) and it really sucked not being able to ride all summer long.
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  7. #7
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    Exposure is one of my nervous moments in riding. I have ridden some exposed trails but have been nervous about trails that have huge amounts of it. If there is some terra firma between me and the cliff, I am not so bad about it but trails where you are right smack dab on it....giggity!
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  8. #8
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    Not being able to ride again the following day.

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    Worst fear: Death via accident

    Worst experience: NONE, I've survived all my rides so far

  10. #10
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    My worst fear is flying down the side of a steep hill on a narrow singletrack.
    My worst experience has been sliding out/flying off my bike on a steep downhill of loose gravel and ruts and cutting up my elbow pretty badly

  11. #11
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    Hitting a tree at speed.. er wait.. Did that.. Or.. Blowing out my front tire on a 45 mph descent.. er.. did that too.. Coming up short on a 20' gap.. Still have the fake teeth from that one.. Ok here's one.. Ducking for a tree, then having the stem/bar come back at my face break more teeth and crack my jaw thus leaving me with a cross bite?Dammit! This is not working out..

    Ok here's one. BIG FEAR.. HUGE FEAR! Another guy on the trail sans helmet, eats it and it's my problem when there is nobody else around to help him but my ugly mug!?

    Yeah. A cliff.. Or something. Or a car.. Idiot drivers scare me.

    Dang! I'm all beat up.

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    i live on an island, so it's really hard to get lost for longer than a few hours at best. i always bring extra water with me when i'm going out though, because some of these trails get confusing. i think one of my biggest fears is dragging somebody out to a technical trail, and them getting hurt really badly. i'm always looking over my shoulder to make sure that people are clearing what i went over just in case.

    my worst experience? i haven't had any terrible ones. i broke a chain, hit my nuts, and went off the side of a single trail and landed on a tree. i was laughing though, it was so ridiculous.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Ok here's one. BIG FEAR.. HUGE FEAR! Another guy on the trail sans helmet, eats it and it's my problem when there is nobody else around to help him but my ugly mug!?
    Yeah, I don't want to be the guy who watches another rider die. I understand basic first aid (I need a refresher, though), but if something really traumatic happens to another guy out there, I don't wanna be there watching him die.

    A friend of mine was "that guy" when he was out paddling once. Came upon a dude who had a heart attack on the river. He died before EMT's arrived. It stuck with him for a long time, and not in a good way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider
    Not being able to ride again the following day.
    That was a real fear for me at one point. Thank goodness that didn't pan out. But it's still a lingering fear.

    Worst experience? Any time I'm on my bike is a good experience. Even when I crash. However, I'd probably say the worst was back when I was a noob and I was riding Tsali in the early 2000's. I crashed (it was spectacular, but there were no significant injuries), but I didn't have any tools or even a spare tube to get my bike back on the trail. That sucked. I had to walk 6mi back to the TH.

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    rabies. I had a rabies scare earlier this year. Lived in a house at college and found out a raccoon also lived there and had been in my room. Then I had a serious sinus infection with a fever of 105 and all of the "symptoms" of rabies. Bats, skunks, dogs, and of course raccoons can always be encountered when out riding

  15. #15
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    worst experience was breaking my hand and having to ride 2 hours out.



    got some new Ti hardware though:
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

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    lol i broke my foot and had to ride a few miles back out... that sucked.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Running over a rattlesnake and having it pop up to me catching it out of reaction.
    That nearly happened to me with my very first interaction with a rattler. It was right around dusk, and I was heading up a short hill, on my way back to my dorm. There was a weird stick lying across the trail, and I was wondering why it seemed so straight, and why there was a stick at all, since there are no trees/significant vegetation out there.

    I recognized it at the very last second and swerved as well as I could on the rocky, uphill singletrack, barely clipping its end with my front tire -- I had managed to pick the tail end of this particular baby rattler, so suddenly its head reared up and around in my direction as the rest of me rode by.

    Luckily, I think I managed to startle it as much as it startled me, so by the time it had reared up, I was already a few feet away and still moving away, so I didn't appear to be a threat.

    That was probably the fastest I've ever ridden that segment of trail.

    My personal worst fear is having something happen to me, where I'm unable to communicate to anyone what's happened, and unable to get help for myself.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  18. #18
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    alligators, crocodiles, and heart attacks

  19. #19
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    losing health insurance soon has me pretty scared.

  20. #20
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    Things I hate when riding...

    Encounter these all way too ofter riding in FL... Hate them. Would rather be injured than deal with critters...

    Worst fears or experience riding?-7253787050_43d264a928_z.jpg

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    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  21. #21
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    I don't like going over skinny log bridges. Or wet diagonal roots. Besides that I'm fine!

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    2 leg animals in the woods

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    Exposure. Makes me freak. Not enough experience with it.

  24. #24
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    Techy ridgeline trails give me the heeby jeebies.

  25. #25
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    Dying on the trail doesn't other me, becoming a vegetable or extremely mentally effed from a crash or stroke frightens me.

    I've met many who have had catastrophic crashes from bicycles and motorcycles, and they are completely messed up. Slow talking, slow walking, needs assistance for activities of daily living, etc. But, that's part of riding, right?

  26. #26
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    The worst experience I had was riding a fast downhill with the
    wife. We were coming to a corner and she was going way to fast,
    so I yelled for her to take it easy which she didn't think meant slow
    down and crashed hard. Tore her arm and elbow up pretty bad. I
    still have bad dreams about that over a year and a half latter.

  27. #27
    spec4life???..smh...
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    I worry about getting lost on new trails...there is one trail in particular I rode once with a local guy and then tried to ride it alone and felt like I was lost the entire time, but somehow manged to get back. Sometimes in more urban trails I keep my eye out for potential bike thieves...Other than that I try to take it easy on the really tech stuff when im alone and bring all the tools to make it back...

    Worst experience was probably when I broke my seatpost bolt and had to ride the 10 miles back to the truck standing up...

  28. #28
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    Like in the other thread or at least my other thread...

    Chatty cyclists are my biggest fear.
    I mean if there were jobs then we wouldn't be on the dole then maybe we'd be singing about love and kissing-Joe Strummer

  29. #29
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    Of course I fear getting hurt the most, like most have said.

    What hasn't been mentioned though is the fear that one day I will go out for a ride and not be fired up and excited about it .. Y'know the type of personality I am talking about, I am afraid of becoming that way I Dont wanna loose that loving feeling, ever !

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    worst experience was breaking my hand and having to ride 2 hours out.



    got some new Ti hardware though:


    Broke both bones in my leg at the ankle, plus dislocated the foot back nearly 1".........9 miles into 24 mile ride. Finished the the ride.





    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.:nono:

    Ebikes are not bicycles :nono:

  31. #31
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    Found this in another thread. I might be afraid of this happening!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    I OTB'd on a steep descent that was all dirt...but somehow I found the only sharp edged rock on the entire trail with my arse. I hit right on the tailbone and was sure I broke it, it hurt worse than any wreck I had ever had. I made it down the rest of the trail standing and drove the 1.5 hours home leaning on one check in the drivers seat. I got home, put my bike away, and went to take a shower. As I started to wash my butt crack there was an extreme stinging and I saw A LOT of blood in the shower. I had just moved in with my girlfriend (now Wife of seven years), I asked her if we were at a stage in our relationship where she could look at my ass crack. She did and reported that there was a 1.5" gash and she could see the bone! So off to the ER where the gash was confirmed and an X-Ray confirmed a broken and dislocated tail bone. It was a compression tear...so I tore myself a new a$$hole.

    There was no holes, tears, or blood in my shorts. My butt cheeks held the wound shut until I made it in the shower...amazing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    Encounter these all way too ofter riding in FL... Hate them. Would rather be injured than deal with critters...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But the spider is cute!!
    "Be prepared, not scared"
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    "What is stronger, fear or hope?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post


    Exposure. Makes me freak. Not enough experience with it.
    HOLY %$#*!!!
    Yeah, I wouldn't want to fall down that, either.
    "Be prepared, not scared"
    ~Cody Lundin

    "What is stronger, fear or hope?"
    ~Lance Armstrong

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    When my heart was out of rhythm and I lost a cleat screw with a long tough climb towards the end of the ride. That was tough.
    agmtb

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roanoke4 View Post
    Yep, have to throw snakes into the mix too, as we have a lot of timber rattlers and especially copperheads around these parts. Obviously rattlesnakes are of far greater concern than copperheads, but I wouldn't want screw around with either.
    Actually copperheads may more dangerous. Rattlesnakes usually warn you before they strike giving you a chance to get away. But Mohave rattlers, the most poisonous, have been known to chase!
    agmtb

  36. #36
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    Dying? Nope. Id rather die than hit a tree head on and be Christopher Reeve for the remainder of my days. When I think about it, im always only a second from that happening. I ride hard and fast and trees are just part of the environment.

    Worst spill was last year. Had brand new BB7 brakes and was pulling up to look at a trail sign and used too much front brake. Did an ass over tea kettle and my peddle slammed into my ankle bone. Its been 14 months and it STILL hurts. Of all the ways to injure yourself....
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  37. #37
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    It's the other people that you might find on remote sections of trail that worry me the most. Homeless crazy people, drug users, or just people out to mess with you. Maybe I've watched too many horror movies. But I have run into some weird situations -- you know, you roll up and surprise a group and you get that weird vibe, like they're doing something they don't want you to know about and they're obviously not happy that you're there. No friendly "hello", just a stare.

    I'm also always worried about a loose angry dog when I'm out alone in the more remote areas. What do you do when Cujo is about to kill you and you're miles from home, and there is no owner in sight?

  38. #38
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    My worst fear is that I'll suffer an injury that keeps me from ever riding again. My worst experiences are usually on the road bike. Yesterday I was flying down a twisty hill, when a car cutting the corner came around the corner completely in my lane cutting the corner. I had to use the other lane to go around, we passed each other about 70 mph closing speed, that frickin' idiot.
    Oh, I also worry about getting to unwound on trails on the side of hills, and over cooking a corner and going flying off. I hate flying without a parachute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    It's the other people that you might find on remote sections of trail that worry me the most. Homeless crazy people, drug users, or just people out to mess with you. Maybe I've watched too many horror movies. But I have run into some weird situations -- you know, you roll up and surprise a group and you get that weird vibe, like they're doing something they don't want you to know about and they're obviously not happy that you're there. No friendly "hello", just a stare.

    I'm also always worried about a loose angry dog when I'm out alone in the more remote areas. What do you do when Cujo is about to kill you and you're miles from home, and there is no owner in sight?
    That's why I carry a nice sharp Rambo (well not Rambo, but you get the drift) knife when out in the woods.

  40. #40
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    Mine...Fences.


    I hate fences... tons of them in Texas. I really fear that the next time I go riding I find a new fence. We have some Eco-terror groups here that love to close public parks..with fences.

    And I have hit barbed wire(moto).... not pretty. Thought I was gonig to die.
    Ride Hard or Ride Home Alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motopail View Post
    Mine...Fences.


    I hate fences... tons of them in Texas. I really fear that the next time I go riding I find a new fence. We have some Eco-terror groups here that love to close public parks..with fences.

    And I have hit barbed wire(moto).... not pretty. Thought I was gonig to die.
    One of my high school friends actually did die hitting barbed wire on a four wheeler. Decapitation!

  42. #42
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    I mostly ride alone. And if I die alone in the woods, well, there's worse ways to go than doing something you love, I guess. But it would likely be something much less dramatic, like having to lie there for hours until someone found me. Worst case: being so injured that I become a useless burden to my family. Other big fear - cars while riding to the trail head.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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    Seemingly innocent bystanders throwing tacks onto the trail just before I pass by them.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    . Other big fear - cars while riding to the trail head.
    yea that can mess things up right quick, i have made myself tone it back lately,try to save that energy for once on the trails

  45. #45
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    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain."
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  46. #46
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    My worst nightmare: I'm riding along my favorite trails and it's incredibly busy that day - riders coming and going like crazy. They all look at me funny. 10 miles from the trail head, I realize I some how forgot to finish getting dressed and I'm naked from the waist down!

    I hate when that happens. It's even worse than when I'm riding on a beautiful day and I realize I'm supposed to be in school taking my final exam that I forgot to study for.
    Last edited by Gasp4Air; 08-01-2012 at 12:36 PM.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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    1. angry dogs or any animals with teeth and a bad attitude
    2. crashing isn't so bad, but some have that question mark in your head -- "Am I going to get speared by a sharp edged stump/rock?" it happened last night, low siding down a hill for about 20 feet, but luckily i just ended up smashing/sliding into a fallen tree.

  48. #48
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    my biggest fear is hitting my face. now before you assume i'm being shallow, this just comes from years of surgeries and orthodontic nightmares i've been through. Not to mention, one of my surgeries had a complication where a hard hit to the jaw could cause bone to dissolve and destroy the joint. I also had nose surgery that was so miserable, the the thought of breaking my nose or teeth brings back awful memories. that fear alone is a big reason i keep myself at a reasonable pace.
    fap

  49. #49
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    Nicole, have you thought about riding with a full faced helmet?

  50. #50
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    crossed my mind, but honestly, i'd feel to silly to do that for XC! plus the "hot" factor. i'll just stick to being careful
    fap

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roanoke4 View Post
    Obviously rattlesnakes are of far greater concern than copperheads
    Yeah you better learn more about snakes if that's what you think. Not much difference between them but a rattler rattles so you know it's there.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  52. #52
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    I would say snakes, or a bad crash. I always ride alone.

  53. #53
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    Biggest fear is having a gran mal seizure (or any kind of seizure) out on a trail/road. I've been seizure free for several years thanks to medication but I'll always worry about it.

    After going over the handlebars and landing on the ground wondering if I was still alive, I realized I wasn't scared so much of dying itself but of dying alone without being able to say goodbye.

    Not being able to help someone else out on the trail out of fear or lack of first aid knowledge. Watching someone die because I couldn't help would leave me scarred for life.

  54. #54
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    In the 90's, while riding a mountain bike with a Rock Shox Quadra 21, I hit a pretty serious bump. The fork exploded and shot the compression cap and spring straight up at my neck. Luckily it whizzed by and just glanced my neck - but it was enough to leave a bloody cut. A few millimeters to the right and it would have cut my jugular.

    I would have bled out there on the trail.

    I think about that more often than I'd like.

    ...

    I built up my newest bike myself. It's my first build. I have this terrible fear that I didn't do it right and that it's going to fall apart like the Bluesmobile at the end of the Blues Brothers.

  55. #55
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    Man. Walking a bike out of the trails has to be the worst feeling now that it was brought up.. Knowing you should be riding that cumbersome apparatus rather than pushing is the definition of the word defeat. And yes, Hawk, any ride is a good ride! A-Freakin-men to that!

  56. #56
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    A few years back a local land owner was pissed and fed-up with dirt bikes and MTBR's cutting through a corner of his ranch. He stretched a aircraft cable between two trees that a path cut through right at neck height. A dirt biker ran into the cable and crushed his neck (almost died) he was able to get back on his bike and ride as fast as he could to a road before he collapsed as was rushed to the hospital. He ended up being f*cked-up for life but itís better than getting your head cut off.
    I always worry that someone would be evil enough to run a cable between two trees at a trail, so Iím always looking a good ways up the trail for something that looks funny.
    "Are you a girl? Keep that huge ass and deal with it. Are you a guy? Ride your bike more. You disgust me."

  57. #57
    On wuss patrol
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    I prepare, train and condition the best I can, pick trails/rides within my ability and don't focus on "What If's."

    Never had something I didn't ride or walk out from.

    I ride with a guy who is always commenting about how dangerous the sport is, often while on a ride. I typically move on and let him finish his own conversation.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  58. #58
    High Desert MTBer
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    I fear nothing! No seriously, I do not get preoccupied by stuff that might happen. There are of course things that do happen, but a healthy regard for the risks is always good. All that are mentioned here are valid fears, and I take steps to do whatever I can to ensure these things do not happen to me. Exposure means taking extra care picking lines, but that is all part of the fun. Fear of injury is always there, but I try not to let that worry me as that would spoil the fun! Developing skills helps minimise that risk. Snakes etc. are an occupational hazard, and if you stay away from them they will not harm you. Look where you sit or walk, and from experience I know that the chances of running over them are slim enough, but the chances of them being able to strike after being run over are extremely small. I guess the biggest one for me is heat exposure here in the desert. I just take plenty of water and then some, usually enough to give someone else if they do not have enough. Earlier this year I met a group of hikers who lost one of their number to heat exhaustion an hour after I met them, and I wonder if I had given them some of my water, would they have survived? I will not let that happen again, and now whenever I meet anyone else I make a big point of asking how much water they have and where they plan on going.
    It's all Here. Now.

  59. #59
    J:
    Reputation: Deerhill's Avatar
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    I fear the rich stuck up equestrian who buys their way, no business on a trail where beginners ride

    Needs t o be more regulation or licenses for such an animal

  60. #60
    RDI
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    Unfortumately after 10+ years of riding - all XC - I've begun to worry about crashes and injury. It started last year when I got a new bike and went OTB twice in the same month.

    The first time - my brand new adjustable seat post stuck then lowered right when I was applying the front brake - I reacted by grabbing the lever - bam - whent off the side of the trail at China Camp - luckily it was all soft dirt only suffered a couple of bruises.

    Second time I had just moved my seat forward and it turned out it was too far - especially when i clipped the side of the hill w/my 28.5" handlebars - I'm used to 27". I was going slow up Crossover at Skeggs - but when I was going OTB I gained momentum and SLAM - face first and off the side of the trail. Again very lucky - softest dirt I've ever felt - only bruises.

    But now I'm feeling tentative and its pissn me off - .

  61. #61
    RDI
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    Seriously - many? From MTB

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    crossed my mind, but honestly, i'd feel to silly to do that for XC! plus the "hot" factor. i'll just stick to being careful

    This is what you might like.

    Parachute

    I don't personally have one, but my friends do, and they seem to love them. ITs a XC lid with a good jaw and most of the face protector. I want to say specialized had one also, but it was discontinued.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  63. #63
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
    Reputation: GoGoGordo's Avatar
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    This..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Worst fears or experience riding?-bigfoot-man.jpg  


  64. #64
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    Mine is a fear of crashing on a ride alone. It came true today, I went over the bars and the front rotor cut me big time right above my left knee. Luckily it was right near a bail out and I was able to ride back to the truck and drive myself to the ER. I ended up with 14 external stitches and 5 internal. I will not be riding by myself again for a long time.

  65. #65
    Fat & Single
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    I dont worry about it but the worst would be a snake bite or injury that i couldnt walk out to safety from as phone reception is non existant. I considered getting a "spot messenger" for riding and bush trips but the price of sat-phones is nearly in the ballpark these days.

    Im a shift worker and do a lot of solo rides as everyone else is working normal hours.
    Santa Cruz Hightower LT Evil Following Trek 9.9 Superfly SL IndyFab Deluxe 29 Pivot Vault CX Cervelo R3 Disc

  66. #66
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    I ride near several homeless tent camps. Being Colorado, they know the value of a decent mtn bike, so passing them as they stare me down (as fast as i can) seems to be more thrilling than any drop i may encounter...

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