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Old 10-04-07, 04:58 PM   #1
snhrider
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Safe mountain biking ?

This winter, I plan to do some mountain biking to retain some level of my fitness. I have been a roadie for over 10 years but I have not ridden a mountain bike before. I am aware of the hazards of road cycling. This year especially, has not been a good year for me. Early in the season I broke my clavicle and then 3 months later I severely separated my other shoulder.

The kind of riding I plan to do is mainly XC, riding trails and pretty much avoiding the 'dangerous' stuff like downhills, free rides etc. This may sound silly to most of you, but can I make that kind of riding less hazardous than road cycling? I know anything can happen but I'd like to be injury-free this winter as much as I can. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:04 PM   #2
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I made that transition recently myself. You WILL crash. Especially if you're a roadie and like to go fast. However, crashing on a mountain bike doing XC on a dirt trail doesn't hurt nowhere near as bad as hitting the pavement. I crashed all the time when I first started. It was usually because I rode through a spider web and saw the spider crawling on me<shivers>. Me and spiders don't agree at all.

EDIT: I've crashed many more times on the mountain bike. However, I have not had to make a trip to the hospital. Road biking, not so much.
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Old 10-04-07, 05:29 PM   #3
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I think you'll encounter more hazards on the road than on the trail.Start slow and build your skill. If you get worked on the dirt at least you wont get run over by a truck.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:28 PM   #4
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1. relax, stay loose.
2. scan the trail ahead, look where you want to go and don't stare at obstacles
3. don't remain seated or static, learn to shift your weight all over your bike for optimum balance
4. learn to fall - try to avoid extending your arms to break a fall
5. ride within your limits
6. if you're feeling squeamish, wear some armour
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Old 10-04-07, 08:06 PM   #5
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4. learn to fall - try to avoid extending your arms to break a fall
Depends on the situation. Better to break your wrist than your neck.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Funkychicken View Post
1. relax, stay loose.
2. scan the trail ahead, look where you want to go and don't stare at obstacles
3. don't remain seated or static, learn to shift your weight all over your bike for optimum balance
4. learn to fall - try to avoid extending your arms to break a fall
5. ride within your limits
6. if you're feeling squeamish, wear some armour
You know from riding your road bike.......you go where you look.
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Old 10-04-07, 09:20 PM   #7
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That's awesome!
thanks

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Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
Depends on the situation. Better to break your wrist than your neck.
true

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Originally Posted by pdq 5oh View Post
You know from riding your road bike.......you go where you look.
ok

Last edited by Funkychicken; 10-04-07 at 09:22 PM. Reason: no reason
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Old 10-04-07, 09:37 PM   #8
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/edit: the phrase is meant to convey the idea of not being permanently planted to your seat in all off-road situations, not that prolonged saddle time is "doing it wrong". didnt realise you'd read it so poorly, but if you're taking it that way so be it.

otherwise, a quick word and clarification would do fine, don't be such a prick about it.

Last edited by Funkychicken; 10-04-07 at 11:26 PM. Reason: gathered my thoughts
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Old 10-04-07, 11:13 PM   #9
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no need to be a prick. a quick word and qualification would do fine, i welcome it.
Funky-

Now, no need for name calling. The RESPECTFUL way is to say that he is ACTING like a prick, a dickhead, or a pompous a-hole.

Example: "Pete, I do believe that your behavior is that of a vile, vomitous mass".

or- "Pete, you are acting as if you were a sick, manipulative, abusive, opportunistic, internet troll."
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Last edited by kenhill3; 10-04-07 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 10-04-07, 11:29 PM   #10
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noted.

thanks also for the snip of original post #10, in case the original intent of my edit is misinterpreted.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:07 AM   #11
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If you stay on smoother trails, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by snhrider View Post
The kind of riding I plan to do is mainly XC, riding trails and pretty much avoiding the 'dangerous' stuff like downhills, free rides etc. This may sound silly to most of you, but can I make that kind of riding less hazardous than road cycling? I know anything can happen but I'd like to be injury-free this winter as much as I can. Thanks in advance.
It really depends on WHERE you ride, and if you are lucky. If you've never mountain biked, and you start on some technical single track, you're gonna crash - there is NO question about it. It's not like you can just go slow and avoid the stuff. Going slow through most of this stuff will actually put you on the ground very quickly. It's all about confidence and momentum when it comes to technical riding. Of course, the only way to get confidence is with plently of practice.

So, my advice would be to start with the most tame off-road experience you can find. Then, when you are up to it, make your way up the ladder. Don't hesitate - don't think too much - and keep those wheels rolling!

Good luck. Hey, you may just find that you love to mtb!

... Brad
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Old 10-05-07, 07:12 AM   #13
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I cant beleive nobody has mentioned this: Dont be afraid to walk things that are above your skill level! Its good to try new things, but if you encounter a 10 foot drop and have never done one before, its best to get off and walk around it.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:07 AM   #14
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One thing you have on your side is the fact that falling on trails hurts a lot less than falling on asphalt, so don't be scared and go for it.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:23 AM   #15
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I think we all figured out what he meant Pete. I'm pretty sure the OP isn't that stupid.

anyway, all good advice so far. Start slow, find your comfort zone, then push it every once in a while. That's how you'll get better.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:28 AM   #16
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I think you'll encounter more hazards on the road than on the trail.Start slow and build your skill. If you get worked on the dirt at least you wont get run over by a truck.
True, but then the bear might eat you.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:24 AM   #17
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There is no such thing as safe when I ride.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:15 AM   #18
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I am sure one of your roadie freinds rides MTB. Ask one of them to go out with you and help get started.
I was asked that very same thing by an outstanding road rider {much better than me** because he knew I raced motorcycles and bikes off road.
He was having trouble with his front tire washing out on a turn. Turned out he had way to much air preasure in the front tire and also needed to move his weight forward onto the bars.
We worked together on many other skills and he became a very good off road rider
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Old 10-05-07, 11:54 AM   #19
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Another way to look at it is......to be a safer roadie, you need to have MTB skills.
When I ride road with a group, they will yell out and then slow way down for gravel, water, small pot holes etc. And the MTB'ers in the group will say ...Yeah and so? Or a roadie will accidentally ride off the road surface and then panic and fall.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:35 PM   #20
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Another way to look at it is......to be a safer roadie, you need to have MTB skills.
When I ride road with a group, they will yell out and then slow way down for gravel, water, small pot holes etc. And the MTB'ers in the group will say ...Yeah and so? Or a roadie will accidentally ride off the road surface and then panic and fall.
+1 Sure has helped ME on the road.
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Old 10-06-07, 07:37 AM   #21
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That's cool.

When were you appointed spokesperson for everyone? Was there a test or something?
I don't think anyone was "appointed" anything..........other than you've appointed yourself the mountain bike forum prick. You easily passed the test. The post by funky was easily understood..........other than yourself. Thanks for pointing it out to those others with personal problems similar to yours.

BTW, funky, my post was in agreement with yours. Fixate on something, and you may well ride into it. Be it on any bike. Road, mountain or other.
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Old 10-06-07, 09:52 AM   #22
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I cant beleive nobody has mentioned this: Dont be afraid to walk things that are above your skill level! Its good to try new things, but if you encounter a 10 foot drop and have never done one before, its best to get off and walk around it.
I believe thats when the darwin affect kicks in anyways. I would hope.
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Old 10-06-07, 09:58 AM   #23
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Early in the season I broke my clavicle and then 3 months later I severely separated my other shoulder.
were these solo crashes? or did they involve another cyclist? automobile? i hope you're doing better now.
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