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I am 48 years old.  I had never broken a bone before I took up cycling 4-5 years ago.  Since then I have broken both elbows (one badly, requiring screws, a plate, and a replacement for the "ball" part of the radius), one shoulder, one wrist, and possibly my tailbone.  The tailbone is the most recent thing...the *very* *day* my shoulder was cleared for riding, I was on my road bike and I hit a little divot in the street and went flying.  I landed in the street HARD on my lower back/upper butt area.  Some nice folks called 911 and the paramedics showed up...by then I had stopped yelling/screaming and was able to stand up, and so I actually got on my bike and rode home.  The bike was 100% OK BTW, not even a ding in the rim.

I ended up not going to the doctor for this because I had painkillers left over from last time or whatever, the pain got noticeably better each day, and I didn't have trouble sitting so much as trouble with things pressing into my lower back.  So I could still work (I do IT).  So now here we are a month later and I can lie flat on my back on the floor with only some mild discomfort, which means to me the swelling is pretty much gone.  I get a little burning in my tailbone sometimes if I sit for too long, but even that's decreased to the point of almost not happening.  I am physically ready to get back on the bike.

But man, I'm scared.  Most of my accidents are speed-related, both on the MTB and on the road bike.  So I need to slow down.  It's that simple, I guess.  But I've known that for the last few accidents and it hasn't kept me safe yet.  Instead, I play this stupid game in my head where I think that if I fall and get hurt on every feature or turn where injury is likely, then eventually I'll exhaust all the possibilities and just not get hurt anymore.  Until I pick a new trail or route I guess.

I've got a big mental block right now WRT getting back on the bike.  It seems like I'm getting hurt more often instead of less often.  At least, this spring/summer it's been that way.  I have thought about giving up riding but it's the only exercise-type thing thing I enjoy enough to stick with.  And I need to lose weight.  I'm 210 and really ought to be more like 165-170.  At most 180.  I guess I know what I need to do (slow down), but knowing what to do and doing it I guess are different things.  I feel hopeless and at the same time I feel stupid for feeling hopeless because the answer seems to be so simple.

Anyway, just venting.

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HTFU

 

 

Just kidding.

The older I get the more risk adverse I become. But the problem is I still fall. It comes with the territory I guess. I know there will be one that finishes me. That's why I insist on enjoying every single minute I'm out there until that time comes.

My last fall I hurt my elbow. So I closed that barn door and now I wear elbow pads. 

Edited by The Tip
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I take a LOT less risks than I used to, but I still fall.

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Hang in there.  

I'm definitely more risk averse now after a couple of bad injuries but I still get hurt.  For me it's not on new features or trails, but rather where I'm comfortable and/or when I'm tired.  It's taken a while to recognize when I'm tired and not attempt a feature, but I still have the falls where I'm over-confident and like you it's usually in fast spots rather than technical ones.  

I recently had a pretty bad fall I'm still feeling a month or so later.  I rode to the trail so I had a full pack and extra air in the tires, so I put some extra air in my shock due to the extra weight.  I've not been riding off-road much so I should have recognized how much less grip this was providing...easy bumpy rocky roll resulted in skittering off the line and into the loose stuff.  I felt like I got shoved into the rocks hard.  I actually thought of you because my elbow is the part that's still painful.  Thankfully I'm fully functional and I kept on road riding and riding on the trainer as needed.

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Crashing sucks especially as I get older. I'm 54, been riding on and off road since I was 5 ish. I Crashed 2x on one ride in Colorado last month after almost 8 years of no crashes other than scrubbing trees. Got a little too amped after a climb and was probably descending too fast. Front wheel washed out in loose rock.  Cussed, straightened my bars and rode on. Exact same thing happened 2 min. later. Fortunately no broken bones, been riding paved trails until things dry out here in TX, then will get back on the trails. Most embarrassing thing is my worst crash prior was due to being unable to get unclipped when I was trying spds.  I went back to the old cage and straps, I leave them a bit loose so I can bail. Oh yeah, maybe time to get some knee and elbow pads. 

Not sure there is any advice in there, other than to regroup, take it slow for a while and enjoy the ride whatever speed it may be. Hope you get back to where you feel good about riding!

Edited by WatersPark
Clarification

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I have my share of bad falls, crashes and it takes longer to heal as I get older (52) and I tell myself to slow down just a bit, but when I'm on the bike I almost always want to take on any challenge.  So now I find myself riding with pads, and body armor on occasion when in the past I would maybe ride with knee pads.

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Ride the tightest, twistiest, most technical stuff you can find. Then you don’t have to worry about speed.  Problem solved...

I feel your pain, literally. Had a bad crash about a year ago that, besides broke bones, spooked me a good bit. I do ride slow tech a fair amount and have yet to get hurt beyond flesh wounds <knocks wood>.  I seem to get hurt on the non-tech stuff where I’m not paying attention or am too tired Mentally or physically.   Speed just ups the damage when you go down.  

oh, and stay off the pavement. When you hit it, that shit doesn’t give at all!

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4 hours ago, dlstyley said:

stay off the pavement. When you hit it, that shit doesn’t give at all!

^^^^ This ^^^^

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I like all my parts and pieces the way the are.  Ive been lucky so far and my wrecks have had more damage to the bike than to me but Im cautious as well.

I got hurt doing so many things in my life that I just dont want to go there again and I know now that Im my age they wont work the same again if hurt.

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11 hours ago, WatersPark said:

Crashing sucks especially as I get older. I'm 54, been riding on and off road since I was 5 ish. I Crashed 2x on one ride in Colorado last month after almost 8 years of no crashes other than scrubbing trees. Got a little too amped after a climb and was probably descending too fast. Front wheel washed out in loose rock.  Cussed, straightened my bars and rode on. Exact same thing happened 2 min. later. Fortunately no broken bones, been riding paved trails until things dry out here in TX, then will get back on the trails. Most embarrassing thing is my worst crash prior was due to being unable to get unclipped when I was trying spds.  I went back to the old cage and straps, I leave them a bit loose so I can bail. Oh yeah, maybe time to get some knee and elbow pads. 

Not sure there is any advice in there, other than to regroup, take it slow for a while and enjoy the ride whatever speed it may be. Hope you get back to where you feel good about riding!

instead of cage and straps just get good flats and good shoes.

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3 minutes ago, crazyt said:

instead of cage and straps just get good flats and good shoes.

Changed my MTB life. Still clipless on the gavel bike. 

 

I know, I know...Some people are amazing with clipless on the trails, and that's awesome. *For me* it's flats and my five tens.

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@MrTheCatLady, What kind of bike are you riding? 

I'm not saying that a new bike will make you ride better. Confidence will make you ride better, and you can gain a lot of confidence from the right bike.

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I started mtb on flat BMX pedals and Etnies, spent some years riding mtb in SPD pedals, then went back to platforms with good mtb sneakers. there are occasions when my foot comes off the flat pedal and I realize that a mishap would have been avoided if I was clipped in, but it is FAR more common that I can put a foot down to keep from crashing and realize that I would have been on the ground if I had been clipped in. so far, I see zero difference in how capable I am on the bike with flats but my confidence has gone way up. I am not racing anyone or chasing KOMs, so i don't care if I was 10% faster clipped in. a lot of people like their clipped in pedals and that's fine. for me, I was riding SPD because that's what "real serious mountain bikers do" and I ended up enjoying the alternative quite a bit more. if you're crashing a lot and clipped in, i suggest trying flats.

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4 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

This is why I lift my bike up onto sidewalks.

Sad!

My wife just started mtbing and the first thing she learned to do is plow over curbs. It's not graceful, but it gets the job done with an 80mm fork and 29x2.1 front tire.

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@ MrthecatLady

If I recall sometime back there was the video of you just getting worked on SpongeBob and it was determined that it was more of a technique related issue when you rolled it and got tore up.

There is always gonna be something looking to throw me down but if my technique and or riding style in that particular moment is correct than my odds of getting wrecked are minimized. 

Also as noted above I have to listen to my body\mind and keep the ego in check. When I am tired or distracted or just out of it , I bail. I dont care anymore. Every time (almost) I've gotten hurt was because I tried to push through 

to accomplish something. My body tells me when to stop if I listen.

 

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2 minutes ago, Cafeend said:

if my technique and or riding style in that particular moment is correct than my odds of getting wrecked are minimized. 

MUCH wisdom!

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1 hour ago, mack_turtle said:

Sad!

My wife just started mtbing and the first thing she learned to do is plow over curbs. It's not graceful, but it gets the job done with an 80mm fork and 29x2.1 front tire.

Didn't take you long to bite.

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53 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

Didn't take you long to bite.

stop being such a snowflake. I called that "sad" because I know you can do better and you'll have more fun not tiptoeing around little curbs on your bike. I have faith in you! stop being a wussypants with curbs and mostertruck that shit!

giphy.gif

Edited by mack_turtle
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2 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

stop being such a snowflake. I called that "sad" because I know you can do better and you'll have more fun not tiptoeing around little curbs on your bike. I have faith in you! stop being a wussypants with curbs and mostertruck that shit!

 


LOL...

A "...snowflake..."...

You're hoot mack_turtle.

And obviously the intention of my comment went right over your head.

Next.

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8 hours ago, TheX said:

Changed my MTB life. Still clipless on the gavel bike. 

 

I know, I know...Some people are amazing with clipless on the trails, and that's awesome. *For me* it's flats and my five tens.

I ride flats on my SS.  I like a the additional control with the cages and straps on my road/gravel bike and on MTB rides.  I have the cage only type on my old specialized (converted to 1x7 beer runner bike/trail work transport).  I realize it is unconventional (now) but it works for me.

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Just. Get. Out. There. And. Ride.

Do it solo to get yourself comfortable. Walk the features that you are unsure of. Session things. Take your time. 

Remember you are not on the couch, you are outside. And there is beer at the end.

I have been off the mountain bike since February. I should be back on trails some time in early October but I will not ride with anyone until I have had several rounds on my own to get back into the groove. That includes walking things that I used to bomb down and maybe even crashing once or twice.

Oh, and did I mention there was beer at the end? There is always beer at the end. 

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