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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In response to your reply to the "hitting on boys" thread, this is for you verslowrdr. It happened yesterday, not today...and I don't have any landscape shots, but I'll do my best to make the story exciting! :)

Was tackling the front half of the set of trails that I'll be tackling in my first (and perhaps last) ever race. I've been doing the back half for months so feel pretty comfortable with it. Over the last two weeks I've been averaging about 3-5 falls per ride while learning this section. So I was prepared for a fall or two. To my amazement, I made it throught he entire front section without falling. Sure I dabbed a time or two, but I'd taken a couple of rooty downhills that normally freak me out and had finally nailed a weird drop with roots followed by a hair pin curve into a rooty slightly off camber climb. I was feeling really positive, smiling and laughing and telling myself I rocked while I rode.

So I finished the front without falling and was thrilled that I'd managed to add an extra mile per hour to my average speed. I went into the second half feeling really good, but I don't think I was being cocky. Narrowly averted disaster on one blind curve where another rider and and I managed not to play an unannounced game of chicken.

Then...it happened. Murphy's law...karma, whatever. I took a curve a little fast, not scarily or cockily fast, just a little swift. My back tired fishtailed in some loose dirt (I thought it was all hard packed as per usual) and the bike went left while I went OTB and to the right. Managed to nail the inside of my knee on some part of the bike as I went over and the outside of the same knee as well as my forearm and elbow when I landed in the hard packed earth generously populated with big, gnarly Georgia pine roots. Ouch. :eek:

Got up and started brushing myself off when I realized my elbow really hurt. 30 seconds post crash I had a huge goose egg already in evidence and I'd hit my elbow so hard on a root the skin had split. The last mile might be pretty touchy. I picked up the bike and the handlebars were totally tweaked. My brake levers were pointing at the ground. I grabbed my allen wrench tool, but twisting it caused twinges in my elbow. I realized I was walking out. Sigh.

Did I mention there are two last steep climbs on the way out. Short, but not fun when pushing your bike up with a marginally functioning arm. Luckily two very nice guys helped me load the bike in the back of my ride, or else I'd have been sitting there for a while.

Tried to take pics of the knees, but the lighting wasn't cooperative. So here's the elbows. It's nothing major. I managed easy 6 mile ride this morning. I know armor would have helped, but I can't stand wearing it in 99+ degree weather with Georgia style humidity.

verslowrdr...this is for you!!!
 

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Dang!

You get full credit for a crash you'll think of every time you lean your elbow on a table. Dabbing is one thing but crashing is quite another. "3-5 falls per ride," by my standards, is pretty tough on the body. There are people on this site, though, who take that in stride.

I was crashing more frquently with a new bike, new terrain, new techniques. I was over involved in trying hard, pushing myself, and getting past stuff. Dings, bruises, scabs, and ibuprophen. Rolling over in my sleep onto owies woke me all night. Certain muscles in my legs were constantly sore. My hands hurt. I ws pressing the pedals hard but not getting speed or power.

I decided it was time to back off and took a break for a week. I rode last night in a kind of mosey. I climbed out of the canyon and up into the clouds coming off the Pacific. My downhill was "smart" as I knew I wasn't sharp and everything was loose. There was SOME speed in the best places but I pulled it back, generally. I felt fatigue when I got back but no soreness. I know I'll be back up to speed in a few rides but with a better sense of what I am doing.

I think crashing tells everyone something diifferent. What is it telling you?
 

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several years ago i crashed and sprained my shoulder. everytime i moved it i had sharp pain. i had to ride back using only my left arm. thankfully i was only about a mile from the trailhead and it was pretty flat. a couple guys at the trailhead put my bike in the truck for me and i headed home. hubby unloaded the bike for me and we proceeded to urgent care. no major damage but i missed work for a few days.

what i learned from that crash? concentrate on the trail at all times even when it is dead flat, and also, do not ride overly pissed off at friends that cancel a ride at the very last minute. anger has a way of coming back rather quickly once it is put out there.

hope you heal fast. :)

Rita
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hey all...

formica - you're right, armor would have helped...but it's so hot and humid. I'm drenched after just pulling the bike out of the car. It's no excuse, but riding with armor just adds to the debilitating humidity. But I'm not complaining about the bruises. They are more like badges of honor. We went to a pool party today and I got to show them off. Plus they're a source of humor. I tell people my husband took a bat to me.

Mike - haven't talked to you in a while. How's things? You're right...wrecks do tell you things. This one told me I should have been just as "in tune" with my bike on the known second half of the trail as I was on the "unknown" new portion. These latest wrecks are also telling me that I still don't have the new section dialed. But I'll get there. I'd enjoyed a relatively wreck free month or so before this, so I figure I'm due.

Rita - thanks for wishing me a speedy recovery. And I'll know to never ride mad!

In conclusion...the bruises are weirdly alluring to my husband. He likes having a rough and tumble wife!!!

Wishing the three of you a fantastic Sunday ride. We're going for a long, easy pace ride. Monday is an off bike day!

Ciao
 

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I started wearing pads when i was having some "technique issues" ( ahem). It was like groundhog day, doing the same crash over and over. Losing skin was one thing, and then losing the scab that's trying to grow back was another.

100 around here, I can relate to wearing the minimum. ;-)

formica
 

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Hey, Mallie, by any chance, do you think your bike might be too big for you? The reason I ask is b/c a couple of summers ago, I was riding a bike that was just a leeeeetle too big and I was constantly crashing. When I moved to a smaller bike with a lower center of gravity, my crashes have practically ceased (other than stupid upside-down turtle maneuvers :) ) That and switching to flats really helped, too, but the bike sizing made the biggest difference.
 

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I have a funny thing that happens

. This one told me I should have been just as "in tune" with my bike on the known second half of the trail as I was on the "unknown" new portion.

I may make it past a pqculiar techinical challenge and surprise myself so much that the next move just fails and I dab. I made teh firt move and succeeded for SOME reason but I never felt hooked up to it and felt the same for the next move which I might ordinarily have made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hey kpicha

kpicha...how are you? Haven't chattered with you in a while. Thanks for asking about the bike size. I'm riding the same bike I was riding a month ago (and for the five months prior to that), which was almost a wreck free month. My bruise to unmarred flesh ratio was at an all time low. Plus, we worked really hard to ensure the bike is the right size because of my proportions. I'm in the minority of women in that my height is almost all torso and arms, short legs. I'm 5' 7", with the same length inseam as my 5' 2" mother, riding a 15 inch bike. Sounds weird, but it really works for me, we paid very specific attention to seat height, bar placement, etc.

I'm thinking the following add up to my battered beauty right now, :rolleyes: , at least I'm proud of the bruises:

1. New section of trail, maybe I'm being a little too gung-ho. I'm definitely still a newbie, and maybe I'm just due some newbie crashes.

2. I have a self-competitive nature. Pushing myself to beat myself, do better than my last ride, etc. So today I'm going on a fun ride. Long, but no technical to deal with. Lots of dips and woodsy climbs with minimal pine roots.

3. I was in my premenstrual sketchy stage during the early part of this week. Based on the replies I got to that post, I think I was definitely off my game.

4. Formica's right. I should wear elbow armor all the time. Not just today when I'm protecting the elbows post-injury. My excuse is it's too hot. So I have to love with the ouchies that arise. And knee armor too. I wanted to post a pic of the knee bruises, but couldn't get good light trying to take a self portrait.

Or maybe I'm just going through a klutz stage!!!

I learn from my wrecks, my bruises and the posts in this forum. I'm hooked. So I'll live with the blues, greens, reds, purples, yellows and browns that make up my new technicolor MTB life!!!
 

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some people poo-poo pads as only for either DH riders or poseurs, but I find they are a good item to have. Sure sometimes I ride around all day with them strapped to my pack, but they do come in handy for those days when I feel ultra dorky, or tentative; want to go and tackle something rocky and nasty until I get it right. They can be nice to hand off to less skilled riders too. I don't take them on all rides, just some. Right now I wear it all the time when I know I'm going to try and tackle rocky off camber nasty switchbacks as I have a tendency to bail on those. I've broken things, so I like to keep my skin and bones intact if there's an option.

formica
 

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Ha, ha! Yep, I can relate to each point :) Whew, I'm glad then the bike fits well. That's one thing that's tough to change.

Definitely go for the padding! I bought some Rockgardn AirFrame elbow pads and love them! I haven't had to use them yet this year but definitely put a lot of good use to them last year. They're nice and light and ventilate well-for pads anyway. They feel hot right when I start out b/c I'm not used to wearing them but once I get going I forget they're there-until I fall and they save me ;). I probably wouldn't use them if my riding was straight out in the blistering sun but since I'm going through woods, they're GGGRRRrrrrreat!! :D
 

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Go Grrrl!

Good job, Mallie!
Its good to hear that you were not hurt any worse. You should be proud of yourself. Your elbows are proof that you are trying and are not afraid to venture outside your comfort level.

Just remember the old saying, "No falls, no balls".
Hey, I know this is the Womens Lounge, but overies dosent rhyme with "falls".
 

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I had my first real wreck yesterday

I have taken a few falls before but yesterday I actually got a concussion. I was wearing a helmet (of course) but I think my head was the first thing that hit when I went over the handle bars. My shoulder is pretty banged and scraped but I am otherwise fine today! Luckily I was riding with my husband. It was much more traumatic for him I believe. I don't remember about a six hour block of time including the wreck or most of my hospital visit so it doesn't bother me :D I
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Head bonk beats out elbow bonk...

Brownie...your injury certainly puts mine to the back of the class. I hope you're feeling better today. Never had a biking related concussion. Had several when I played soccer back in the day. You're one tough cookie!

My husband also took one of my bad wrecks much worse than me. It was one of those OTB smackdowns. No warning, just SMACK. And I think I kind of squeaked when I hit. I didn't cry, just sort of sat there stunned. But Jeff turned green. I think he was worried that I'd hit my limit and he'd ruined MTB for me. Luckily I'm hooked, hooked, hooked.

kpicha and formica: I wore one of my husbands elbow guards on yesterday's trek because I knew even a branch touching my elbow was going to ruin my day. I'm currenly looking into some of my own (my arms are nowhere near as big as his so I had to deal with some slippage). I'll probably be like you formica, bring them all the time, but pick and choose when I actually wear them. I'll be wearing Jeff's again tomorrow when I return to the nemesis parts of the trail I'm planning to race at the end of August.

Berryman...you're right. Nothing "tough" rhymes with ovaries! Thanks for the remarks about my cajones!

For all of you who've offered advice over the lat few days, you may be glad to hear that I rode 19.5 miles of trail yesterday without one single fall. Guess it was one of my better days yesterday!

L8R
 

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I don't remember the wreck

so I don't think I'll have any fear of falling again or anything. I am really just a klutz sometimes. I can be with a group that will all walk over a rock or small hole but I somehow will mange to twist my ankle in it. I bought a new helmet today and plan on hopefully being out there this weekend again! Now I just need to find some riding partners.....
 

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Bixby's Rule of the Trail #1

Rule #1. Never travel faster than a speed that you are willing to crash at. Other than the fact that it ends with a preposition, it is a very good rule.

Rule #2. Ice for pain and heat for stiffness.

Cheers!
 

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A story, a crash and a pic

I second the nomination of the Rock Garden armor as the best. I've tried others, but the shin/knee guards I periodically wear (when I'm tired of all the black/blue adornments to my knee/shin area) on technical terrain are by far the most comfortable, breathable, non-slippage design.

The days I choose to wear them I find myself biking more aggressively - that said, I've had my share of chain ring tattoos, scrapes and goose eggs on my legs... had to see an orthopedic surgeon a few weeks ago (developed Iliotibial Band Syndrome) and his expression seeing my legs was priceless! And this coming from a girl whose mother never wanted her to play in mud!

My biggest problem is congratulating myself on getting thru a technical before I complete it and losing focus! You'd think I'd learn! LOL!
 

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surfkayakers said:
The days I choose to wear them I find myself biking more aggressively - that said, I've had my share of chain ring tattoos, scrapes and goose eggs on my legs... had to see an orthopedic surgeon a few weeks ago (developed Iliotibial Band Syndrome) and his expression seeing my legs was priceless! And this coming from a girl whose mother never wanted her to play in mud!
!
Comment on IT band problems.... I has a lot of problems that were originally misdiagnosed as knee cap trouble but when I went to see an athletic gait/lower body specialist ( a specialty podiatrist) he correctly diagnosed me with an overtight IT band (Illiotibial Band Syndrome, like you) . He gave me this prescription for stretches here: IT band prescription stretches This is an actual medical journal article that addresses ITBS in medical terms.
He had me do the program every day for six weeks, and I had significant improvement and the pain was gone, and still is. After 4 years of knee pain, as long as I maintain the program I rarely have trouble any more. I'd be very cautious about an orthopedic surgeon... IT band snipping is very extreme. You may want to talk to a sports medicine specialist. Personally I see surgery as a last resort, there are non-invasive options out there.

formica
 

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zkampyman said:
Rule #1. Never travel faster than a speed that you are willing to crash at. Other than the fact that it ends with a preposition, it is a very good rule.
I really prefer not to crash at all so, I might as well just stand there with my bike. :( But then again, I've have my share of "standing falls" so I better just hang my bike on the rack and sit and look at it. ;)
 
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