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Old 09-18-04, 11:13 PM   #1
jpm100
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Correct way to fall, err.. land

I was thrown from my bike today. I got away with a few scrapes and bruises, but I don't like how I landed. I was thrown forward and from reflex I put my arms straight forward and land palms first. Because I fell on a downslope, shortly after my palms touched, I landed full body (more or less) on the ground so the palms/wrists never really took the full brunt of my momentum.

Now, landing on my palms is probably better than landing on my head, but I think I'm really going to mess up my wrists one day. Is there a better technique to landing? How can I overcome my reflex to land the way I do?
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Old 09-18-04, 11:18 PM   #2
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You can break your wrists from doing that, or just really hurt them...

What you do is use your arms, put them out in front and is probably easiest...don't cross them just sort of have them ontop of each other with space between them. Don't have them straight flat with each other, have each of your arms bent to about 80-85 degrees, not a full 90 or close.

I have never experienced a crash like that (I'm new) but I am guessing that is the best way.
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Old 09-18-04, 11:28 PM   #3
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Hehehe...best way to crash....

Hope to go you don't hurt yourself. Crashing is pure instinct created from experience. Reading talking and trusting other people will not work. Sometimes I crash like superman, sometimes Ijump thehandlebars...sometime I don't remember. Best case scenario you are fast enough or good enough to roll as much of the crash as possible, otherwise best of luck. To get good at crashing...practice
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Old 09-18-04, 11:54 PM   #4
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I try to land on one of my shoulders and kind of roll with the crash like maelstrom said. Try not to land on your hands to much, I have broken/dislocated a couple fingers by trying to land on my palms.
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Old 09-19-04, 12:29 AM   #5
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Remember to scream.
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Old 09-19-04, 02:02 AM   #6
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just try and get off the bike somehow and land on your forearms.
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Old 09-19-04, 04:00 AM   #7
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I just try and get as far away from the bike as possible and try to avoid putting too much pressure on joints from an akward landing... Not always that succesful though
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Old 09-19-04, 06:28 AM   #8
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When I was growing up I have broken my right wrist three times. Then I broke my left wrist in three places by sticking my arms out. So I am gonna have to go with putting your arms out in front of you is infact a bad idea. When you crash you wanna try to roll if you can. In the end it should look like a shady Kung Fu movie.
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Old 09-19-04, 07:00 AM   #9
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Yeah, roll. Unless you can jump off and land on your feet. Ok to use bent arms in slow fall, at speed it's often better to stay with the bike, don't let go of grips, look for a soft place to land (time seems to slow at moments like this and you can alter trajectory slightly to avoid that pointy rock), hit first w back of shoulder rolling to distribute impact...
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Old 09-19-04, 07:38 AM   #10
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From experience :

- I'd never, ever want to land in a way that my head and/or neck is taking the major impact. Endo's (over the bars) suck really bad! I try to get my slightly bent arms out in front of my head. If I'm in an endo and the bike is coming on top of me, I'll use arms, legs, whatever to keep the bike from hitting me.

- I try to use my arms like absorbing springs, not stiff boards.

- Face plants and palms down suck bad. I find the best is to, as others have suggested, do a shoulder roll. I try to be in a ball as much as possible so my arms aren't sticking out in odd ways.

- You'll be eternally grateful you have a helmet on if you crash. Sometimes it's really fast and sometimes it's like slow-motion; I've felt my helmet hitting the ground, my bike, or something and I'm thinking I'm very glad it's not my head taking the blow.

I used to practice falling by doing running forward shoulder rolls on soft lawn. I think it helped me as most of my crashes now I don't get hurt like I used to (I still have a little road rash here and there and some sore spots the next day; that's OK with me). My worst crash was an endo right onto the top of my head! That quickly taught me to ride way back on steep downhills and front-end dips.

Soft landings to you!
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Old 09-19-04, 07:55 AM   #11
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People tell me that you should push toward the hill at an angle with your shoulder. I freaked out and said "You freak wouldn' that dislocate your shoulder?!" I still wonder. Doesn't it?!
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Old 09-19-04, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpm100
Now, landing on my palms is probably better than landing on my head, but I think I'm really going to mess up my wrists one day. Is there a better technique to landing? How can I overcome my reflex to land the way I do?
It is always a bad idea to stick any part of your body out to break the fall. A large impact on a small area results in much higher force absorbed in that little area. Thus, you have much higher chance of injury. I imagine your fall wasn't exactly at a fast speed, otherwise, you'd have a broken wrist. :'(

The key to crashing is to spread the impact over as large of an area as possible. I tend to keep all my body parts together, and try to tuck and roll as you fall off the bike. I usually end up on my bike or my shoulder when I do crash, and I haven't been seriously hurt as of yet. I remember last summer, I was flying down a steep hill, my back tire slid out, and I went flying and landed on a flight of concrete stairs with my rib cage. Man was that PAINFUL.

Really when you crash at high speeds, the logical portion of your brain will NOT kick in. Therefore, you must kinda pratice and put the drill into the natural reflex part of the brain

Good luck with your riding....

Ming
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Old 09-19-04, 08:24 AM   #13
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i learned a bit of ju jitsu last year in gym, one of the most important things the teacher taught us was how to break fall. Look it up.
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Old 09-19-04, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juniper
I used to practice falling by doing running forward shoulder rolls on soft lawn. I think it helped me as most of my crashes now I don't get hurt like I used to (I still have a little road rash here and there and some sore spots the next day; that's OK with me). My worst crash was an endo right onto the top of my head! That quickly taught me to ride way back on steep downhills and front-end dips.
Hahaha.. I used to pratice on the hardwood floor during shop class. I remember in high school, I was praticing doing endos on the street with toe clips. Somehow I went over the bars, landed on my feet, then I stuck my hand out and caught the seat of the bike

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Old 09-19-04, 08:54 AM   #15
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Tuck and Roll.
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Old 09-19-04, 09:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks_219
I remember in high school, I was praticing doing endos on the street with toe clips. Somehow I went over the bars, landed on my feet, then I stuck my hand out and caught the seat of the bike Ming
And then you turned to the stunned crowd that was watching and said, 'I tried to do that'.

Reminds me of a time I was watching a guy waterskiing. He came in way to close to shore at high speed, the ski stuck in the sand, he shot out of the ski like a cannonball, did a somersault and came up into a full speed run until inertia sucked him down into another somersault. He did that (run-roll-run) three times until he finally got himself under control at which point he was about 15 feet from the beach-bar which he cooly approached and ordered a beer as if nothing had happened.
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Old 09-19-04, 09:19 AM   #17
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Definitely tuck and roll. I used to be a volleyball player, and we would practice diving after balls, and tuck and roll. Saved me in college, as a shakey biker on a cheap 10 speed. Got my tire in someone else's and flew over the handlebars on rough asphalt, no helmets then. Automatically tucked and rolled, popped back on my feet, just with a couple of scraped knees. 20 years later, I don't know what reaction I would have, but planning on trying a few rolls on the rug just in case.
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Old 09-19-04, 10:51 AM   #18
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Thanks for the replies.

Guess I'm going to have to practice my rolling (although this particular case might not have helped, other falls I've had it definitely would have).
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Old 09-19-04, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indolent58
Remember to scream.
I actually tend to use the queen mother of all swear words at full volume and turn red with embarassment if any children are around.
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Old 09-19-04, 08:24 PM   #20
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Remember that everything is in slow motion, even the screaming. Best to contort around and away from immovable objects like rocks and trees first and worry about the rest later. Not getting out of the pedals can make a most messy crash too.
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Old 09-19-04, 09:26 PM   #21
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Go race BMX! That's how I learned how to fall. My buddy used to call me "Krash", I remember after a triple weekend of racing (Fri night, Sat. night, Sunday) I crashed 6 times out of 9 moto's. Worst of them all was going over the berm into a whole pile of sand spurrs. Picked those bugers out of my hands for hours!!!

The key to crashing is think, "SMALL BALL!" not, "Hey, there's a tree, maybe I should try to catch it to break my fall!".

Tuck and roll is the key to avoiding major injuries!

Oh yeah, and with the screaming, try to avoid sounding like a monkey in heat! Your buddies will tease you about the "Girly scream" for years. (don't ask me how I know this) My buddy did this, yeah, that's it, my buddy! (Yeah right)

L8R
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Old 09-20-04, 12:15 PM   #22
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tuck and roll .. if going otb then learn to barhop trust me it works miracles. when you can jump the bars and kinda control you fall for the most part you dont get as hurt. but always always go with the fall dont fight it cuz you hurt yourself more... just rool with it and flow with it..


and always were a helmet


tuck and roll baby!!!


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Old 09-20-04, 12:54 PM   #23
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One thing I learnt many years ago, is not to put out your hands, or legs and definitely not your head. If you have time, Think about rolling. Trouble is, I Have not had time to think about that on my last few falls. On the last occasion, I still had the bars in my hands after going over the front and bit that hurt was where the Chainring caught my thigh as I pulled it over on me. On the other occasion I was stopped very quickly by a Bush, about 4 ft up, and the pain came in from sliding down the Thorns as I fell to the ground
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Old 09-20-04, 01:47 PM   #24
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out of experiance, dont put your hand out in front of you where your elbows wont bend in the impact, i compound fractured my right arm a few years ago(compound mean bone broek the skin and popped out of my arm, for those who didnt know), it hurt like hell, and now i have 2 steel plates and 12 steel screws in my arm, not too pleasent. try to land on something solid on your body, shoulders are good...
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Old 09-20-04, 11:03 PM   #25
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Do a full somersault (sp?) with a half twist and stick the landing.
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