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With over 35 years of riding experience, I've seen a few interesting things along the way.

A couple of decades ago, I was riding with some friends up at the famous Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, WA. This was back when freeriding was starting to get going and one of my friends was an exceptional rider with an Intense Uzzi. There was a large step-down jump next to the trail that we were riding and my friend nailed it a couple of times with perfection.

A short time passed and another group of riders came up and we all started talking a bit. My friend showed them the jump and one of the guys decided to give it a go. He was on a very large Trek xc hardtail (very common back then) and without a helmet... All of us, his group and mine, were very adamant that he should not try the jump and that he'd likely hurt himself badly.

He completely disregarded our advice and went for it anyway. He got up the hill for a good start and hit it at full speed, went flying into the air, and landed well up into a small fir tree. All the fir branches cradled his impact and we were able to get him down out of the tree unhurt. It was one of the dumbest things I've seen. I was really expecting a Medivac situation.

We continued our ride and I was quite amazed at the features that my friend was riding with so much skill and ability. Up to that point, all I knew was technical XC riding.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I have a surprisingly similar story.

I was in grad school in TX. The university where I was studying had a plot of land where people had built bandit trails for years. When I started there, I rode the trails and learned that they actually weren't even good bandit trails. There were also some really sketchy wooden structures built on a pipeline right-of-way.

I got sick, and was off the bike for over a year. In that time, the university got rid of the bandit trails, but better yet, they brought in a pro builder to come in and do things right. They even built some legit wooden structures.

After I was back on the bike, I had made friends with a guy who also had a rowdier bike than I did (I was still on my xc FS bike). We were out riding together one day and were on the main trail with the wooden structures. One of the structures was a small road gap. The road was just a two-track, so not super wide. The wooden bridge that lead to the gap wasn't super high. I wasn't ready at that point to attempt doing the full gap, so I just treated it like a drop to flat. I landed it fine, but I didn't like how hard of a landing it was, so I called it a day for my own attempts. My friend wanted to session the gap, though.

I decided to stand on the road gap and take pics and video of him doing it. We were having a good time, and he was making the gap look way too easy, when some noobs rolled up. One of them was actually a student in the mapping class I was teaching at the time. They were on your typical campus bikes. One was on a hybrid. Another was on a box store full suspension bike. The kid in my class was on an entry level Trek with a rear rack and 3 bottle cages (with large, full bottles). When I saw them roll up, I hid the cameras. I could tell they had no business on that trail with those features and I didn't want the cameras to fuel a testosterone-induced ER trip. I was very clear with them, too, that this feature wasn't a joke.

Guy on the hybrid had the most sense and he went right on by. Guy on the box store bike went for it, and landed it well. He had a respectable level of skill. Guy in my class had neither. He rode up to the lip and slowed WAY down as though he was trying to just roll it o_O and attempted just that. The lip was probably a good 3' drop or more, and so his bike just pivoted on the rear wheel. The front wheel went underneath the wooden bridge, he went face first into the roadbed, and his heavy-ass bike pounded his face into the compacted soil. Classic scorpion.

His nose was crushed into a pulp and I broke out the first aid kit and started handing him piles of gauze to staunch the bleeding. He had no idea what was going on. He was obviously dealing with a head injury on top of it. My buddy hauled back to the trailhead, got his truck, and backed it up down the dirt road so we could load the guy in, and he drove the guy to the ER. I walked his bike out with his friends, who took his stuff back to the dorms. I saw him pretty regularly the rest of the semester, and I could tell that the head injury did a number on him.
 

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I was riding with a buddy at some local trails and we were scoping out a new decent size drop that had been built recently. I had hit it a couple times and my buddy was trying to decide if he wanted to hit it. He'd rolled up to it a few times and came back, still working up his nerves. He's about to take off for his 4th attempt and a guy rolls up wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sandals. The guy says hi, asks what we are looking at, to which we respond "this new drop". He responds "oh cool"... backs up, and hucks this big drop IN SANDALS. It was the most awkward drop I have ever seen someone do, the guy seriously looked like a baby deer flailing in the air. No scoping it out, no asking how big it was. Dude just hammers it. He landed super nose heavy, almost ate it and then just rode off into the sunset.

I turned to my buddy and said "the dude with sandals just did it, where you at?"... He got pissed and we left without him hitting the drop.

We still tell the tale of Enduro Sandals to this day.
 

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Murica Man
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[...]When I saw them roll up, I hid the cameras. I could tell they had no business on that trail with those features and I didn't want the cameras to fuel a testosterone-induced ER trip.[...]
too bad you didn't get video, you might've got front page on friday fails.
 

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Out spokin'
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Wait... tails or tales?

Sorry. This situation just seems reminiscent of the raging peddle / pedal debate. :) In any case, good stories!
=sParty
 

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This situation brings up a trail etiquette scenario that I'm not sure how to answer. If you see a mountain biker riding without a helmet, do you advise them to wear one or say nothing at all?
 

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This situation brings up a trail etiquette scenario that I'm not sure how to answer. If you see a mountain biker riding without a helmet, do you advise them to wear one or say nothing at all?
Personally I typically leave them alone. I assume everyone is either smart enough to know what their head is worth or stupid enough to warrant a Darwin Award. In any case as a general rule I despise receiving unsolicited advise and therefore resist dispensing it.
=sParty
 

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We had a last minute substitute rider for a 24hour xc event. He was a guy that repaired a friend's friend's washing machine or something like that. They said he was a great rider. No one really knew that much about him. Great guy though and Fast! So he needed to do two laps and that was it. He showed up went to the transition tent and our rider came in he went out. As he left the tent he was wearing cut off jean shorts and a t-shirt without a helmet. I dont know how anyone stopped him from going out without a helmet but he rode one of the fastest laps that year for our group. Did his two laps and left.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wait... tails or tales?

Sorry. This situation just seems reminiscent of the raging peddle / pedal debate. :) In any case, good stories!
=sParty
Oh snot, what was I thinking? I'm usually pretty good about spelling and punctuation. I haven't even hit the sauce yet today.:whistle:
 

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Wait... tails or tales?

Sorry. This situation just seems reminiscent of the raging peddle / pedal debate. :) In any case, good stories!
=sParty
I thought it might be other tails you see on the trails
 

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since 4/10/2009
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This situation brings up a trail etiquette scenario that I'm not sure how to answer. If you see a mountain biker riding without a helmet, do you advise them to wear one or say nothing at all?
Very situational.
 

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This situation brings up a trail etiquette scenario that I'm not sure how to answer. If you see a mountain biker riding without a helmet, do you advise them to wear one or say nothing at all?
At this point pretty much everyone knows the value of safe living be it seatbelts, helmets, cigarettes, so yeah, not our business what others do with their lives.

It's good to maintain boundaries, you can't really influence others to change, so poking the bear is only going to get a negative response.

Not to mention, it makes for good stories :)
 

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Out spokin'
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The situation I see all too often that really causes me to roll my eyes is when the kids have their helmets on and the parent(s) don't.

Sorry to take this thread further off topic so I'll tell a tale of my own. Happened maybe a dozen years ago at an event called Mountain Bike Oregon (MBO). Several strong riders were "descending"* the Bunchgrass Trail east of Oakridge. There are some hectic switchbacks on this trail (known locally as Derrick's Deadly Switchbacks) where one can look down a near vertical wall as sections of singletrack between tight switchbacks criss-cross the wicked slope below. Anyway one of our riders managed to endo (or something) and flew down this nearly vertical slope, flying over the trail crossing directly below him and landing on and sliding down a log between the section of trail directly below him and the next section that crossed the slope below that one. Once he left his bike, he was in the air, freefalling. He landed on the log, slid down it on his back and came to rest on the 3rd trail crossing below the one he'd left.

As the lead MBO guide for this adventure, as I watched this guy's stunning airborne antics unfold, I was mentally preparing to find out if I had cell service in order to call for LifeFlights when the rider in question popped up onto his feet and threw his arms straight into the air over his head in typical "touchdown!" fashion. Lucky for him, the log he'd landed on / slid down was free of staubs so he slid down it as if it were a slide. He'd landed on his Camelbak and slid like a toboggan down it, literally landing on his feet. As I shook my head in disbelief, I felt grateful that he hadn't been killed or broken his back. His Camelbak had saved him.

Jaws agape and wide-eyed, every other rider took note. The remainder of the ride was uneventful.
=sParty

*I put the word descending in quotes because there's over 3000' of gain on the Bunchgrass Trail between its TH (5700' elevation) on a high ridge near Waldo Lake down to the town of Oakridge (1200'). In addition to traversing stunning terrain, this trail is rather a test of endurance.
 

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The situation I see all too often that really causes me to roll my eyes is when the kids have their helmets on and the parent(s) don't.

Sorry to take this thread further off topic so I'll tell a tale of my own. Happened maybe a dozen years ago at an event called Mountain Bike Oregon (MBO). Several strong riders were "descending"* the Bunchgrass Trail east of Oakridge. There are some hectic switchbacks on this trail (known locally as Derrick's Deadly Switchbacks) where one can look down a near vertical wall as sections of singletrack between tight switchbacks criss-cross the wicked slope below. Anyway one of our riders managed to endo (or something) and flew down this nearly vertical slope, flying over the trail crossing directly below him and landing on and sliding down a log between the section of trail directly below him and the next section that crossed the slope below that one. Once he left his bike, he was in the air, freefalling. He landed on the log, slid down it on his back and came to rest on the 3rd trail crossing below the one he'd left.

As the lead MBO guide for this adventure, as I watched this guy's stunning airborne antics unfold, I was mentally preparing to find out if I had cell service in order to call for LifeFlights when the rider in question popped up onto his feet and threw his arms straight into the air over his head in typical "touchdown!" fashion. Lucky for him, the log he'd landed on / slid down was free of staubs so he slid down it as if it were a slide. He'd landed on his Camelbak and slid like a toboggan down it, literally landing on his feet. As I shook my head in disbelief, I felt grateful that he hadn't been killed or broken his back. His Camelbak had saved him.

Jaws agape and wide-eyed, every other rider took note. The remainder of the ride was uneventful.
=sParty

*I put the word descending in quotes because there's over 3000' of gain on the Bunchgrass Trail between its TH (5700' elevation) on a high ridge near Waldo Lake down to the town of Oakridge (1200'). In addition to traversing stunning terrain, this trail is rather a test of endurance.
Holey smokes, lucky bloke!

The piece of forest following those switchbacks is truly special. My story is I got eaten alive right in there by mosquitoes. The end.

Sent from my moto g(6) forge using Tapatalk
 

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Out spokin'
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Holey smokes, lucky bloke!

The piece of forest following those switchbacks is truly special.
Special indeed. That area below the Deadlies is locally known as The Valley Of Dinosaurs. It has sort of a Jurassic Park feel about it, doesn’t it.
=sParty
 
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