Thursday, October 20, 2011


In the last two weeks I've had about 7 crashes on the mountain bike.  I NEVER crash.  Maybe a couple dabs here and there, but NEVER anything big.  Once in a blue moon I'll go over the bars, just like everyone, but in the last year plus that I've been pretty exclusively riding in the dirt, I could count on one hand the number of crashes I'd had (and races don't count).

So last Tuesday while riding with a friend, I wiped out hard.  Real Hard.  The type of hard that takes you a minute to get up from.  The type that makes you kind of question exactly what the hell you're doing.  So there, I thought.  I got it all out of the way and it would be another year until I had another big one.  Wrong!

I can't recall all of the crashes, with the exception of the last one today, but damn if I'm not sore, covered in trail rash, and a little sketched out.  This crash today was a real brain-rattler.  I got launched of the bike after hitting a tree stump with my right pedal and landed directly on my head and shoulder.  My poor bike got thrown into a tree, and I bent the ti rails on my favorite saddle.  Otherwise no damage to the bike, but  my body is getting more sore and stiff as I type.

Anyway, it all could have been much much worse, but I think it's time to take a few days off the mountain bike and ride on the road with the crazy drivers where things are SAFE!

I've been thinking of why all these crashes are occurring and the one thing that they all point to is an improvement in skill.  That's right, I said improvement.  Given the fact that I ride quite a lot, my technical skills have gotten to the point where I push the limits A LOT more than I used to.  When I was strictly doing XC riding, I usually kept things pretty mellow-just get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.  Since I've taken my little hiatus from racing, and have been more interested in All Mountain/freeride stuff, I think my balls have grown.  Air is run.  Skinnies are fun.  And power sliding in sharp corners is REAL fun!

All this is to say that I need to be a little more calculated.  I don't mind the occasional crash here and there, but when it starts to become a daily thing, it's time to reconsider how I'm looking at lines.  I'm not 18 anymore for goodness sake!  I think I'll take a couple days off the trails and rediscover my road bike while I heal up.  Let's just hope I don't get hit by a car!

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