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It's Always The Little Crashes That Get You - What's Your Story?

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7/27/2016 4:45 PM

Why does it seem small crashes are some of the worst? One day you'll be casually riding along at a trailhead, on smooth section of singletrack, or a trail you've ridden dozen of times when "WHAM!" You're on the ground without a clue of what just happened.

In addition, it often seems the dumber the crash, the bigger the injury. Why is that? Is it because we're not on high alert? Are our brains resting from the barrage of inputs we face on the trail? Are we caught off-guard when we're doing something routine? Or maybe we're just genuinely stupid in that moment?

My biggest injury to date was the result of wadding it on a small ~8 foot double. This wasn't a big jump, just a wee pond skipper that I'd cleaned dozens of times without so much as a second thought. The same day I was boosting jumps four times as long with calculated precision. This time though, another variable was at play and clearly I wasn't paying enough attention.

As I pulled up I felt the wind catch my wheels and push me into the dreaded unintentional tabletop. Panicked, I froze midair, dead sailor style, and hit my brakes. Stupid move. A split second before cartwheeling down the landing I stuck my hand out to catch myself. I stood up immediately, grabbed my bike, and pulled it to the side of the race course. Then the pain came.

Goodbye wrist.


One severe dislocation, one major surgery, three pins, 16 staples, and seventh months later I got back on my bike. The biggest bummer? I've never been the same rider since.

That's my little crash tale. What's your's?


7/27/2016 5:26 PM

I was showing my motocross friend the way down one of my local enduro trails and washed the front end in a left-hand turn. It happened so abruptly I barely knew what happened. I must have stuck the handlebar in my ribs, because I had bruised, painful ribs and back for three weeks. I was cut up all over and the powdery dust stuck to everything - most of all the sweat & blood that was everywhere. Too much injury for a little crash.


7/27/2016 5:36 PM

I have a local trail that I ride weekly and the trail has a 5 foot gap jump with a nice down slope landing. I had jump the gap many times without no incident and then one day out on a easy ride, I decided to go and hit the gap, as I clear it coming down I don't know why but I hit the front brakes and went OTB into the rocky dirt. I had broke my collar bone and fracture my ribs due to handlebar hitting me. One surgery, nine screws and two months later, I'm glad to be on a bike.




7/27/2016 6:04 PM

I have a lot of crashes, too much maybe, riding motocross y broke 2 times my right hand and 2 right knee surgery for ACL reconstruction. Then, I broke for for third time my hand and 2 ribs in a mtb crash and this year I dislocated my left shoulder in january, broke my right elbow in march and broke my left leg and ankle in may... so I believe that next year will be better for my (I hope so)


7/27/2016 8:09 PM

I was in Mammoth a few weeks before National Champs in 2015, did a couple days of riding and was doing a cruiser run down Kamikaze to end the weekend. I don't exactly recall what happened, however video review shows that I just got bucked pretty bad. High-sided and knocked the wind out of myself and figured that was about it. Stood up and tried to walk and immediately my knee had zero stability, felt as if there was nothing holding it together. Since there really wasn't any pain I assumed it was an ACL or something "soft-tissue" related. Rode back to the car, packed up my stuff and drove a couple hours to In-N-Out and even walked in to get a burger.

Swelling got really bad that night and ended up going to the ER the next day. I was sort of right, did tear my ACL, but that wasn't the main issue...



The video


7/27/2016 9:27 PM

Was out on the first ride of the season in mid March 3 years ago. This trail is so stupid easy it's usually too boring to even bother with except it's the first to dry out after winter. Went over the bars in the only thing that might qualify as a rock garden. Compound (that's the kind where your bone comes out of your skin) fractured my left radius and ulna. Saw the pink bone marrow in both of them. 1 year and 3 surgeries later I was back to riding. I've worked really hard to overcome that trauma and would even say I'm faster now than I was then but I'd still say it changed me. Not as fearless as I used to be



7/28/2016 3:38 AM

i have 3 to tell, the only ones who actually did involved real injury instead of soreness or not ridiing for only like 2 to 3 weeks

the first one was 3 years ago, was doing laps on a bikepark training for the enduro race there the week after and something freack happaned, i can only gess that a rock flew from the front tire and blocked my shox, because it was in descend mode instead of climb when i saw it after, i felt the rear firm up on the take of of a smal jump and i got bucked and did a " front flip" putting my hand on the ground, ended up riding with it straped for 5 more weeks and 4 more races(DH and enduro) until on the last race climbing to the shutle van put my wrist the wrong way and felt it oppen and the pain was much bigger, turns ou the fracture was not that bad but with that bad move it hoppaned, and had fracture a litle bone with takes the slack of a ligement, 3 months after started riding, but had pain for like 6 more months

the next one was 5 mont's after starting to ride after the one above, was doing laps on my enduro bike with a friend, had done 1 slow lap, 3 race type runs flat out and was enjoying the last one only floying until on a litle take off that i rode probably more than 50 times, ended up loosing traction on the lip of both tires (at 35 k/h)and was projecket 15 meters landing on my left shoulder, got up couldn't ride the bike because i had no stength, 4 months later and 2 months off fisio and my fractured shoulder blade was good to ride, but it still isn't 100% one year later

to end, the last one was this march, was riding at the same hill with the same friend as the previous injury, we where on the first lap of the morning and he stoped to see something on the trail, and stoped on the main trail, i stoped next to him on a rock, he then rode away and as i put my googles thoght to me to get off the bike and start on the trail instead of the droping from the rock(wish was easy but something told me not to) i said fuck it and droped in, as soon as i drop i don't know what happaned but i had an OTB and landed on my knee at a 90ª angle ,was wearing the fox enduro knee pads. it hurted a bit but rode to the bottom, when i took the knee pad off i say literally the kneecap as the impact made a clean curt true my flesh, i started getting black, puted ice and headed to the hospitall, only swalled but nothing broken, did a magnetic resonance and turns out i had parcialy ruptured my PCL, and started fisio as soon as i could, but ridden with pain for some time

the stupid thing, is that i started racing DH in 2009 , and at the biggining i crashed a lot, not that i consider myself a good rider as last year was top 5 on my country enduro series , i have this stupid crashes that have this litle crashes on things that shouldn't happen


7/28/2016 6:11 AM

I was at Dirtfest 2014 here in central PA at the Allegripis Trail system along Raystown Lake. These trails are fast and flowing machine made trails in spots. That's not very common in PA. I was riding my XC hard tail on a trail called Osprey that I'd ridden only once before earlier that day.

The section I went down on had a number of fairly large rollers and I was going about 20mph over these. I remember falling off to the left and then waking up staring at the ceiling of an ambulance. I left by helo that day. Witnesses told me I wrecked and bounced all over the trail. They thought I was dead! They said I was out for 10 minutes while the EMTs were working on me. They flew me to Altoona hospital about an hour west by car as trauma 1. Turns out I got very lucky. I had a nasty concussion, a gash along my left eyebrow and numerous cuts, scrapes and bruises but that was it.
My helmet took the brunt of the hit and saved my life. I am sure that if I'd been lidless that I'd be dead or severely handicapped. Instead I walked out of the hospital a few hours later with a headache, 5 stitches and a very freaked out wife.

The bike was fine except for a few scratches on the handle bars. Not sure what happened. I guess I misjudged a gap or maybe locked up my front brake? I'm now on an old school cannondale prophet and I'd love to go back and conquer that trail!


7/28/2016 11:54 AM

Years ago we started building a new spot not too far from my house. We built a road-gap, probably 15ft down and maybe 25ft out and a small warm-up jump which the lip was only 8 or so feet from the landing, and the landing was a good 30ft long so you could go pretty much as big or little off it you wanted.

The day I was finally gonna hit the road-gap, I was warming up on the little jump and going further and further each time. For the road-gap, there wasn't too great of a run-in so I knew I'd be pedaling into it until a couple bike lengths before the lip. So that's what I was doing on the warm-up jump. Coming in as fast as I could, my chain snapped on the last pedal stroke sending me into my bars as I hit the lip. Instant eject OTB as the landing passed beneath me. I ended up going shoulder first to flat and separating my shoulder pretty bad. Took me over 6 months to get back on the bike, and my right shoulder is still weaker than my left and I ALWAYS crash on my right side. Only a matter of time...


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

7/28/2016 2:45 PM

Your contest took me out Vital...,31207/sspomer,2

2:34 in the vid. Gap out of a rut into a loose off camber right hander.

Filming for my entry, first clip of the day punched the tree as seen in the video and broke my hand. Carried on to finish the video, and then endured a few weeks of running and no bikes.


7/28/2016 5:07 PM

I had a silly little spin out on a snow pile early this season. I felt my lumbar go into spasm. I did the whole ride on pride alone. Wait back up...I'm 45 years old...just did a 6 hour drive...then straight to full on DH with no warm up...don't do it kids. Now I have near, constant muscle spasms in my lumbar spine and told by my doctor to sell the bikes and skis. 28 years of mountain biking down the tubes.


7/28/2016 5:19 PM

Prophet26 wrote:

I was at Dirtfest 2014 here in central PA at the Allegripis Trail system along Raystown Lake. These trails are fast and ...more

Concussions are weird, aren't they? I had one in '99 at a motorcycle race. Full-unconscious for a few minutes and regained consciousness while walking back to the truck. They tell me I was answering questions about how old I was, who the president was, where the race was, etc., but I don't remember any of that. In fact, I don't remember hitting the ground, just the panic rev as I was going over the bars...


7/28/2016 7:56 PM

The one little crash I remember was at Sugar Mt in NC. I was in the first 1/3 of the course just after the staircase - I think. It was the really hard 180 near the top in the first tree section. Anyway, after that corner there is a section that you gas it and about half way through there was a log jump. I went high and lost the front wheel. I think I hit a rock - maybe - it was a hard hit and I knocked myself out. Thing is your aren't really going that fast, your are building speed.
I tried to get up and found myself crawling like a drunken stupor.
The effects didn't last very long, only a few seconds, but it was one of the crashes that I really remember.


9/7/2016 12:26 PM

bturman wrote:

Why does it seem small crashes are some of the worst? One day you'll be casually riding along at a trailhead, on smooth ...more

@bturman. Just curious, you say you've never been the same rider since. Is that physically you haven't recovered to get to the same level or mentally it's changed your riding?


9/7/2016 3:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/7/2016 4:52 PM

Allen_Gleckner wrote:

@bturman. Just curious, you say you've never been the same rider since. Is that physically you haven't recovered to get to the ...more

The physical side certainly took a while to overcome, but I no longer feel physically hindered by the injury.

The mental side hasn't ever really clicked the same for me since, however. There was once a time when stuff like this wasn't a huge deal for me. Now... yeah right!


The reality is that the years leading up to it were my glory days and my focus has changed. Now I'm crushing miles on the trail bike and arguably faster down the hill.