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I'm trying to find the sensible balance, I still like going fast but I'm skipping the big drops and skinnies and crap like that. I don't want to spend half a season off the bike healing if I can help it. It takes too damn long to get back in pedalling condition with any time off these days.
 

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I'm still new at mtb so I'm pretty fearless/stupid. Really more stupid, I know I shouldn't hit the brakes at the top of a rock feature but I do occasionally and I pay for it. Last week I was riding with a very fit biker friend on his first mtb ride in a decade. He saw me go over the handlebars and he later told me he was timid after watching that. I do feel bad that my stupidity got inside his head.

My girlfriend got me some armor for Christmas so I'm hoping to get less dings. Or maybe it'll have the opposite effect and make me feel invincible...we'll see.
 

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I've really noticed purposely slowing down the past few years. With major back and shoulder injuries, then broken ribs in 19, 2020 was a lot more laid back. I realize my mortality now that I'm in my 50's and time off the bike sucks since I need the mental reprieve riding gives me
 

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I'm not fearless, far from it and never have been. People who don't MTB and know that I do, somehow think I am though. I'm more fearful of injury than ever at 55 but still kind of ride the edge of my speed and technical ability because it is fun! Sometimes it bites me.
 

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roots, rocks, rhythm
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I am not as fearless as I used to be but I am not fearful of getting injured because if I am worried of getting injured I should not be mountain biking.
I think that makes sense...........
One has to remember that : Mountain bike is inherently a dangerous sport.

I am at a point of my life that I am comfortable with myself that if I am not confident with what is in front of me, then I stop and walk it........or I go back a bit and get a better run at it.
The one thing I do is avoid is gap jumps.......it is one of those aspects that I never practiced a lot. I started riding in the late 80's and the North Shore was more techy, rough single track, which you either loved or hated. On little to no suspension.......
Most of my problems start when the rubber left the ground. LOL
Also I am still recovering from surgery and love the fact I have no aching pain in my shoulder.
Cheers,
K
1911798
 

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Personally, I've always maintained a little fear, but have always ridden the big stuff. Been riding since 1989 and am only 51, but took a ten year hiatus after just getting burned out on the sport. I picked up a new bike in June 2019 and am now three deep, loving the sport again.

I had two big crashes within three weeks of each other this year, which made me (and my wife) realize I just shouldn't be riding like I did fifteen years ago. So, these days, I'm definitely not as fearless as I used to be. I try to keep my riding at 85% or so, but regularly forget that number until my bike kindly reminds me with a near-miss crash. Even at 85%, you can still really get after it. Such a blast!
 

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I went riding 2 days ago for my first off road since I crashed 3 weeks ago. It was I place I have ridden many times and it was a weekday so I wasn't feeling pressure to speed up.

It was the best afternoon I've had in a while, great weather and the trail was in perfect condition. I was careful, at first, to the point my caution was going to get me hurt so I picked it up after the first four miles and everything felt much better. This is an area where I have always done every bridge (all fairly easy stuff) but I am walking them right now. It has taken me many days of PT to get my shoulder moving a bit better and I would hate to undo all that .

It helps that I am still in pain on my left side, it keeps me reminded of what can happen. Most all of my recreation time centers around bicycling, road and off road and I don't think I'm giving it up anytime soon.

Where I was: Moses Creek Photos (singletracks.com)
 

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I ride solo most of the time and I tend to seek out more remote wilderness areas to ride. Cell reception is usually not great. I have never really injured myself to the point I needed help but think about it occasionally. I hear about the very rare instances where some dude was just riding along and fell just the right way and... sometimes that **** gets in my head but not for long. I don't do big gap jumps where I ride but the trails are pretty technical and some of the descents reach speeds of 25+ on tight single track. I have talked to friends who say that their wife would never let them ride where I go alone. I just keep quite and nod my head. But inside I am like WTF?
 

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Had a hip replaced in early 2020 was back on the mtb bike in about 3 months, road bike in about 3 weeks. Was very cautious on mtb and noticed I was falling over in some uphill technical stuff. If you think about being cautious while riding I feel its dangerous and you might as well walk that section. Best not to think to much.
 

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I ride solo most of the time and I tend to seek out more remote wilderness areas to ride. Cell reception is usually not great. I have never really injured myself to the point I needed help but think about it occasionally. I hear about the very rare instances where some dude was just riding along and fell just the right way and... sometimes that **** gets in my head but not for long. I don't do big gap jumps where I ride but the trails are pretty technical and some of the descents reach speeds of 25+ on tight single track. I have talked to friends who say that their wife would never let them ride where I go alone. I just keep quite and nod my head. But inside I am like WTF?
I have really good life and health insurance, really that’s all you can do to protect your family.

I struggle with the idea that getting old equates to being safer, as if wisdom makes me less interested in taking chances.

If anything, better bike tech and lots of ride time make me safer than I ever was in my youth.

The reality is that I ride bikes for the adrenaline and the fitness, minus the adrenaline and it’s just exercise.

I ride faster downhill than any of my buddies, all of whom are good riders, even my son in law struggles to keep up.

I ride Guerilla Gravity bikes, their mantra is: “I like goin fast”

No truer words ever applied 😊
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I was never that fast anyway--never could keep up that well with people in better shape/better skilled than me. I was typically very good at navigating the technical stuff though, more so or at least as well as the people I rode with most of the time. I'm 58, and don't have any desire to spend an afternoon in the ER, and dealing with months of PT. That's not to say I can't have fun mtb'ing, I do. But I definitely don't take the risks I used to. I get an adrenaline rush just being out in the outdoors, taking in the sunshine with Pikes Peak overlooking me, and dirt underneath me. I don't have to go flying off cliffs for adrenaline.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
What I’m most afraid of is being injured and dependent on others. Not fair to them and selfish on my part.
Oh, fear of injury is pretty much 100% of why I won't do things now that I used to do. I really don't want to be slung up in a cast, having to go through phys therapy, etc. I'm not really fearful of the crash--I'm fearful of the impact to me after the crash.
 

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Probably not as fearful as I should be , when I ride with younger riders I'm always surprised how many can't do drops or tech downhills with out crashing .
 

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Just broke the glenoid in my r shoulder. CT scan today, surgery next week... Luckily, it's fairly painless and there doesn't seem to be much tissue damage. I also had bursitis that was looking like it was going to require surgery anyways.

My injuries have been the result of a lack of judgement, not exceeding my abilities. Last two have been r shoulder injuries from obstacles in the apex of a corner. One, a rock that suddenly pivoted and gave way as soon as my tire hit it, sending the wheel sideways very quickly. Most recently a root I thought I'd go right over but it turns out I did not go over at all, it turned my wheel 90 degrees and ejected me down the hill. These were both on easier trails, relatively...

I think it's good to be cautious, but man... sometimes $hit just happens. IMO it's important not to take it as a personal failure. NOBODY manages to reach a high level mt biking without injury and even top level riders make mistakes, crash and sustain injuries. If you ride a bike you need to make peace with it, otherwise it can get to be a massive mental block due to trauma.
 

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57 love getting air and hit the features often. Freak mishap on gravel bike and broke 5 bones im just now healing from and started riding again. All the mnt bike fun never hurt me, damned paved trail and speed and I get wiped out when a buddy side swiped me
 

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I used to have pretty close to zero fear about getting injured, and would do pretty large drops and such. I'm much more careful now, though every now and then I'll attempt something that I could possibly end up regretting afterwards haha.
Knowing I don't heal as fast as I used to, I typically ride remote areas where it's going to be a while before any help arrives, and it's most likely going to be a very expensive helicopter ride out, both wheels stay on the ground. Major wipeouts aren't an option. Period. Being hospitalized with all the COVID craziness still going on makes me think twice about the "stunts" I pull on the trail as well.
 

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i started cycling seriously late in life with the goal of getting healthy. I take some calculated risks, but a serious injury would mean little or no exercise for an extended period of time. This would actually be counterproductive to one of my goals for mountain biking. Crashes can still happen though
 

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The nice part of having ridden mountain bikes for 34 years is that I've learned some skills along the way so that even riding at 90% most of the time still keeps me entertained. Also, since newer bikes such as my Ibis HD4 are FAR more capable than my mid-90s Kona Explosif hardtail, riding at 90% is actually quite a bit faster than I used to ride.
 
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