I know…it sounds funny, but who better to tell you how to wreck a mountain bike other than 198? If you have clicked the “About MTB by198” link above, you already know that I am very qualified to explain how to wreck, but more importantly, how NOT TO WRECK.
Just for fun, download this video, put it on loop and laugh it up with your riding friends. I can’t tell you how many hysterical phone calls I received from my friends watching this video. If there is one thing that is absolutely true in life, it is this…don’t give out if you can’t take it. I laughed just as hard at myself as everyone else was at me. It was great to have this kind of evidence.
A wreck in mountain biking is not an “if” it’s a when. We are involved in a sport that we know the risks going into the action. How far we decide to push ourselves past their limits is up to us, but even under the most conservative circumstances, wrecks still happen. There are certain tips that can keep the injuries at a minimum when you start to go down.
Do not put your hands straight out in front of you to brace the fall. This is a sure way to break both wrists.
Kick the mountain bike away from you whenever possible. The last thing you want tangled up with you while you are going down is a huge hunk of metal. The quicker you get the bike away from you…the better.
Roll with the fall as much as possible away from your mountain bike. The more you roll, the less blunt force you have against your body. Less hard hits = less injury.
Wear protective gear while mountain biking in extreme conditions. I go a little overboard in this area because of previous incidents. I have numerous scars and torn ligaments, and I have seen more open wounds than I can count. Wearing knee pads on a cross country ride has become my normal mode of operation. It just isn’t worth using a weeks vacation from work anymore to nurse an injury. Also, make sure that all of your protective gear fits correctly.
Do not start riding again until you are sure that you are not seriously injured. A lot of times your body gets such a rush over the fall that you can become numb to the pain. Give yourself a second before you get back on the bike to make sure that you don’t cause further injury.
Carry basic first aid supplies in your hydration pack. Carry any lightweight supplies that you can get away with. Band-aids, gauze, Neosporin, etc. These can help you when you go down, but more importantly, they can help fellow riders on the trail.
Like I said before, wrecking is part of mountain biking. In most cases, I actually end up learning more from my wrecks than my accomplishments. Success is nothing but a bunch of failures strung together, so next time you wreck…take a really close look at why and how to do it differently next time. After each bad wreck, I always return to the scene of the crime. Get rid of those demons as fast as possible and enjoy the feeling of clearing the section that gave you such as issue.
I founded Bike198 back in 2007 and started riding bikes seriously in 1994. A lot has changed since that time and one of the greatest releases is still getting out on the bike and shredding trail or tearing up the road.