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  1. #1
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Are you risking your spine Mountain biking?

    Seems so.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65352D20100604

    High speeds, extreme terrain and long vertical drops might be making the increasingly popular sport of mountain biking as risky as football, diving and cheerleading, suggests a new study.
    ...
    The majority of riders, he explained, were injured as a result of either being propelled over the handlebars (going "endo") or falling from great heights ("hucking"). In both scenarios, the result was often a severe impact to the head that triggered trauma down the neck and spine. "The higher the jump or fall," added Dvorak, "the higher the risk."

  2. #2
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Of course you are. You're risking c-spine injuries daily doing any number of things, including driving a car.

    For the record, more and more gravity riders and racers are wearing braces (Leatt, EVS, A-Stars, etc.) - - even the young 'invincible' kids who don't wear any other stitch of armor. I know that some dispute the effectiveness of HANS-type devices but to me it's still heartening to see. I got my Leatt this year now will not race downhill without one.
    Last edited by dminor; 06-08-10 at 09:30 AM.

  3. #3
    RatedZ
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    I guess since we can get hurt, we should all just live our lives in bubbles.

    That's what's wrong with kids today; why they're so fat, out of shape, have no social skills, and a sense of entitlement that they don't have to work for anything. It's because little Johnny sits in front of the tube all day playing XBox because outside he might get a boo-boo or might fall while running the bases in a baseball game. Maybe he'll get in a little "tiff" with a neighborhood bully and suffer a skinned knee when he gets pushed down.

    There is a risk with everything you do. You can break your neck stepping off the first step on your porch. Hell, look what happened to Gary Coleman. All he did was take a spill down a few stairs, and then the repercussions lead to his death. You could slip while getting out of the shower, hit your head on the toilet, and invent the Flux Capacitor, or you could wind up breaking your neck.

    If it's in the cards today that I'm going to break my spine, I'm going to break it whether I'm walking around my house or out riding a bike. Remember the wrestler, Lex Luger? Not long ago he was on a plane, turned his head a certain direction, and his spine disconnected or something. He was totally crippled until about a year ago, and now he's in a rehab program. It happens.

  4. #4
    part time rockstar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    Of course you are. You're risking c-spine injuries daily doing any number of things, including driving a car.

    For the record, more and more gravity riders and racers are wearing braces (Leatt, EVS, A-Stars, etc.) - - even the young 'invincible' kids who don't wear any other stitch of armor. I know that some dispute the effectiveness of HANS-type devices but to me it's still heartening to see. I got my Leatt this year now will not race downhill without one.
    For the really hectic stuff it is worth wearing some protection definately..

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    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    The point of the article is the increased risk of spinal injury above the daily things you do like walking and driving. Spinal injuries don't usually randomly happen offroad either, most of the horror stories i've heard involved stunts, excessive speed and pushing the envelope(Bender anybody?). Hucking and endo type scenarios where you're not riding with a reserve come to mind. Particularly I think it's worth mentioning the downsides since MTB nowadays seems to going towards bigger and badder trails and stunts. It's always sad to see somebodies kid or parent paralyzed. At the hospital in Whistler they even have a specific trauma unit for the spinal injuries coming off the mountain so there is definitely a type of riding which raises your risk above that of the normal person. You don't really hear about it because everybody is there for a good time but, there is a downside often not talked about.

  6. #6
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    A lot of it is Darwinism. Who is that guy who continually rides off cliffs?

  7. #7
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599 View Post
    A lot of it is Darwinism. Who is that guy who continually rides off cliffs?
    Josh Bender?

  8. #8
    Senior Member thegooddoctor's Avatar
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    In certain circles of mtb riders the trend seems to be going the way of Evil Knievel. What I mean here is it involves a glory seeker going for a big air stunt while a bunch of others stand around waiting for said glory seeker to prepare and then....execute the glorious stunt while some photographer catches it for all of us to see. I read BIKE and love most of the pictures but when I see guys way up in the air with no gear on themselves or the bike (ya know, water, pump etc) I just think poser. That's right....I said it...poser. With these jumping posers, the likelihood of ending up in the hospital seems higher than I am confortable with. I'm 50 now and have raced/ridden xcountry mtb since the early 80's and outside of light stitches, still haven't ever landed in the hospital. Long rides in remote places stir my soul and the souls of like minded folks. Preparing for the rides involves a couple of rides during the week, not a broken neck in the hospital or pushing my bike up a hill and then waiting for the camera guys to get the shot right. You shouldn't live in a bubble but for he!!'s sake, don't live in a wheelchair. Assessing risks and reacting accordingly is skill. Skilled people tend to live long and prosper with a big ol smile.
    Lean analysis results: Root cause, no training - corrective action, start firing personnel.

  9. #9
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    bender is weak

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0SDQcm0VcU
    Jamie pierre

  10. #10
    RatedZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooddoctor View Post
    In certain circles of mtb riders the trend seems to be going the way of Evil Knievel. What I mean here is it involves a glory seeker going for a big air stunt while a bunch of others stand around waiting for said glory seeker to prepare and then....execute the glorious stunt while some photographer catches it for all of us to see. I read BIKE and love most of the pictures but when I see guys way up in the air with no gear on themselves or the bike (ya know, water, pump etc) I just think poser. That's right....I said it...poser. With these jumping posers, the likelihood of ending up in the hospital seems higher than I am confortable with. I'm 50 now and have raced/ridden xcountry mtb since the early 80's and outside of light stitches, still haven't ever landed in the hospital. Long rides in remote places stir my soul and the souls of like minded folks. Preparing for the rides involves a couple of rides during the week, not a broken neck in the hospital or pushing my bike up a hill and then waiting for the camera guys to get the shot right. You shouldn't live in a bubble but for he!!'s sake, don't live in a wheelchair. Assessing risks and reacting accordingly is skill. Skilled people tend to live long and prosper with a big ol smile.
    Couldn't agree more on this one.

    I can remember when "big air" consisted of the GT or Haro teams launching off half pipes that were 20 feet high, and that was extreme. These days, it's all about pushing the boundaries and risking your life even further, all in the efforts to impress a few people. You ain't so impressive when you're lying on the ground with a cracked skull and 6 discs fused together.

  11. #11
    RatedZ
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    Pierre ain't got nothin' on this moron...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uHkyMh9FW4&NR=1

  12. #12
    WNCrider BurnNotice's Avatar
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    I agree with RatedZ! I remember growing up and when getting home from school you did homework, then went outside to play with the kids in the neighborhood. We ran; played ball; rode bikes; if you were lucky a motorbike! We also made ramps and jumped them with our store bought Huffy's! Man those were the days! Did we get hurt, hell yes! We gashed knee's wide open; a few poor bastards broke things; got bloody noses; scraped entire palms of hands in the gravel from a freakish bike accident that was self inflicted if you want the truth! Bottom line.............we survived and have the scars to show off to this day!

    Oh don't get me wrong, we had video games! An Atari 2600 so I am dating myself as you can see! Yes I grew up in the 70's into the 80's! But we had much rather went outside and played and gotten hurt than to have gotten finger cramps from a game controller! We were not overweight like the poor kid bastards of today sitting in front of a tv eating a box of Little Debbies or Twinkies! We would grab a cookie on the run to the outside; jump on a bike and pedal like it was the last 100 yards to the TDF finish line. Before we made it that hundred yards we had burned off that damn Chips Ahoy cookie five times over!

    Kids now days are heart attacks around the corner. Sedentary life styles and most important lazy ass good for nothing parents that won't take time to take a kid bike riding or exercising or even playing ball whether on a school team or rec. league! I hate the bastard parents more for not incorperating a since of exercise in a kid's daily life. Sorry panty waste of parents in my book.

    So yes, you can get hurt riding a bike. You can break your penis during sex but I bet you don't stop having sex because that is a possibility. I could break a tooth bringing a beer up to my lips; trip in the john and hit my head on the porcelain bowl and die! But if that happens..............God wanted me to die that way!
    Ego ago per Murphy's Lex
    http://ncmountaingunner.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    Pierre ain't got nothin' on this moron...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uHkyMh9FW4&NR=1
    Amateurs... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesna_Vulovi%C4%87

  14. #14
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZ View Post
    These days, it's all about pushing the boundaries and risking your life even further, all in the efforts to impress a few people.
    I disagree with this. Yes, there are people who push the envelope of what's possible in any sport but not everyone does it for glory or a photo spread. Some of us just like to continue to progress in the discipline we've chosen - - to do something a little better, a little bigger, with a little more flair and control than the time before.

    I'm 55 now and am hitting gaps, step-ups, step-downs etc. that would have either scared the crap out of me to attempt or would have splattered me just five years ago. I choose to do this, not because I think I'm going to impress some of the groms on the hill or get some props from a pic on PinkBike but just because I couldn't do it before and now I can. Do I take risks? Yes! But are they calculated and do I work up to the in bite-size chunks? Yes again. Have I hurt myself trying? Yes; and now I do a little bit better at listening to that tiny voice in the back of my head that tells me sometimes to cool it and save it for another day.

    That's what learning and progression are all about.

  15. #15
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    I disagree with this. Yes, there are people who push the envelope of what's possible in any sport but not everyone does it for glory or a photo spread. Some of us just like to continue to progress in the discipline we've chosen - - to do something a little better, a little bigger, with a little more flair and control than the time before.

    I'm 55 now and am hitting gaps, step-ups, step-downs etc. that would have either scared the crap out of me to attempt or would have splattered me just five years ago. I choose to do this, not because I think I'm going to impress some of the groms on the hill or get some props from a pic on PinkBike but just because I couldn't do it before and now I can. Do I take risks? Yes! But are they calculated and do I work up to the in bite-size chunks? Yes again. Have I hurt myself trying? Yes; and now I do a little bit better at listening to that tiny voice in the back of my head that tells me sometimes to cool it and save it for another day.

    That's what learning and progression are all about.
    I agree with this, at some point you've got to risk that first little drop-off to get that experience so you can improve. Saying that, a lot of people bite off more than they can chew(guilty). I do think there's a slippery slope of risk taking under the guise of improving skill, the difference between a 4-foot drop an an 8-foot drop is just airtime, adrenaline, ego and broken bones. Does one need to endlessly progress their skill until they reach the limit and the inevitable consequence of that? I think people really need to think about their motivations in doing such things. Personally I think there is some sort of line you'll cross and that you won't realize you went over it until something happens. Hindsight is 20/20 and can be a real *****.

  16. #16
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    I broke my leg while riding so you're risking your leg too.
    cleanspokes

    29 inches to freedom.

  17. #17
    Senior Member thegooddoctor's Avatar
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    This is a good discussion. The opening question, "Are you risking your spine Mountain Biking" is so generic. I guess the short answer is yes, but knowing your personal limits can help reduce the risk to personally acceptable levels. Are others still going to bellyache that you are living dangerously and not considering others (family etc.)? Yup!
    To find those limits do you need to go over the invisible line that results in injury? It seems likely. Who do you know that rides a lot and hasn't ever been injured?
    A coworker once told me a wise man learns from his mistakes but a brilliant man learns from the mistakes of others. That was about 15 years ago. He was a well accomplished ex pro roadie who then worked in the bike industry. He now does ironman's in his late 50's. A good egg and a wise man.
    Lean analysis results: Root cause, no training - corrective action, start firing personnel.

  18. #18
    RatedZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    I disagree with this. Yes, there are people who push the envelope of what's possible in any sport but not everyone does it for glory or a photo spread. Some of us just like to continue to progress in the discipline we've chosen - - to do something a little better, a little bigger, with a little more flair and control than the time before.

    I'm 55 now and am hitting gaps, step-ups, step-downs etc. that would have either scared the crap out of me to attempt or would have splattered me just five years ago. I choose to do this, not because I think I'm going to impress some of the groms on the hill or get some props from a pic on PinkBike but just because I couldn't do it before and now I can. Do I take risks? Yes! But are they calculated and do I work up to the in bite-size chunks? Yes again. Have I hurt myself trying? Yes; and now I do a little bit better at listening to that tiny voice in the back of my head that tells me sometimes to cool it and save it for another day.

    That's what learning and progression are all about.
    There's a difference between progressing and doing something stupid like taking a 100-foot free-fall on a bicycle. I'm not talking about basic risks, I'm talking about sheer stupidity.

  19. #19
    RatedZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurnNotice View Post
    I agree with RatedZ! I remember growing up and when getting home from school you did homework, then went outside to play with the kids in the neighborhood. We ran; played ball; rode bikes; if you were lucky a motorbike! We also made ramps and jumped them with our store bought Huffy's! Man those were the days! Did we get hurt, hell yes! We gashed knee's wide open; a few poor bastards broke things; got bloody noses; scraped entire palms of hands in the gravel from a freakish bike accident that was self inflicted if you want the truth! Bottom line.............we survived and have the scars to show off to this day!

    Oh don't get me wrong, we had video games! An Atari 2600 so I am dating myself as you can see! Yes I grew up in the 70's into the 80's! But we had much rather went outside and played and gotten hurt than to have gotten finger cramps from a game controller! We were not overweight like the poor kid bastards of today sitting in front of a tv eating a box of Little Debbies or Twinkies! We would grab a cookie on the run to the outside; jump on a bike and pedal like it was the last 100 yards to the TDF finish line. Before we made it that hundred yards we had burned off that damn Chips Ahoy cookie five times over!

    Kids now days are heart attacks around the corner. Sedentary life styles and most important lazy ass good for nothing parents that won't take time to take a kid bike riding or exercising or even playing ball whether on a school team or rec. league! I hate the bastard parents more for not incorperating a since of exercise in a kid's daily life. Sorry panty waste of parents in my book.

    So yes, you can get hurt riding a bike. You can break your penis during sex but I bet you don't stop having sex because that is a possibility. I could break a tooth bringing a beer up to my lips; trip in the john and hit my head on the porcelain bowl and die! But if that happens..............God wanted me to die that way!
    I'm going to guess that you are very close to my age (36). I was out at 6am (no lie) and at the park jumping "Devil's Pit" on a Team Murray X20-R. I came home for lunch, and went back out, and I didn't show up again until dinner. Then, it was off to the park again until it got dark enough that it I couldn't safely and a jump any longer. If I wasn't riding my bike, I was playing Wiffle Ball, Football, Tag, Kickball, you name it.

    Yeah, I had an Atari 2600, and I had a Nintendo NES, too. I won't lie; as a kid I wanted an Atari 2600 and NES, but they just didn't quite do it for me. I can't recall EVER sitting in front of a TV playing video games for more than about an hour at a time until I was introduced to Sony Playstation 1 and Gran Turismo. Being a car addict, I fell in love, and I played for SIXTEEN hours straight, only breaking for the bathroom, meals, and a few hours of sleep (I never did it again...). There was nothing like it, and it was so realistic at the time that it was just incredible to me. Those days have come and gone. Gran Turismo is no longer "incredible," and neither are video game systems.

    Today, my wife and I own a Nintendo Wii. What can I say, she loves Guitar Hero. I play the guitar, so yeah, I think it's cool, but it's an after-dark or "rainy day" activity, but what's really amazing is that I got this disc from Netflix, and through an internet connection, I can now insert that disc into my Wii and cue up movies on my "Instant Queue" from my account and watch them. We own a 5100 sq ft home, yet we don't even have Cable. Why? Because there are about FOUR shows we'd actually watch. Worth $100+ per month? I don't think so.

    In 40 minutes when my wife gets home from work, we will be strapping on helmets and gloves, and be out on a ride until dark, just like every night it isn't raining.

    I am proud of my scars that I earned down at the park, or playing baseball, football, or whatever. Just last week, I saw a shirt that read, "scars are tattoos with better stories." I couldn't agree more. My entire knee is a scar, my hands are scarred, my elbows are scarred, my head is scarred from where I wound up with 8 stitches, my knuckles are scarred; Hell, ALMOST (I stress almost) every limb on my body is scarred!

    These days, IMO, mountain biking is more dangerous than the BMX riding I EVER did. Am I pushing the boundaries? No, I don't believe so, but I accept the fact that I can get hurt. I accept the fact that I could wind up in pain. I accept the fact that I could add a few more scars to my body. I also accept the fact that it'll be damned well worth it.

    I see what I'm doing as a rush, but it's a rush within my limits and the boundaries of the human body. What some of these others do in terms of jumping off 100 foot cliffs, it's no longer about challenging yourself, but gambling with your life; "If I don't make this, I could..."

  20. #20
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    From what I've witnessed on this site, I'd say most of you poseaurghs don't have spines to risk.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  21. #21
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
    From what I've witnessed on this site, I'd say most of you poseaurghs don't have spines to risk.
    yep, I want to keep my spine healthy for a number of years so I can continue to enjoy using it doing subdued versions of "extreme" sports.

    surgery, in general, is a quick fix that leads to eventual failure. I would avoid back surgery as much as possible.


  22. #22
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Here is the actual study... also there are now 666 pages in the mtb section! Ahh
    http://ajs.sagepub.com/gca?allch=&su...546510365532v1

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