Pinkbike Poll: How Often Do You Crash?

Feb 19, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  


the Ridge project Take one on the fence Fence 1 Danny 0
Danny MacAskill outtake.


"Keep the rubber side down," goes the cliché, but the better send-off would be "Crash lightly" If you ride dirt, you are certain to go ass-over-tea-kettle - it's a matter of "when," not "if." The topic is fresh on my mind, because I was recently given the go-ahead to ride after suffering a mild concussion and some damaged ribs. It was one of those surprise get-offs. I was making good time down a local DH trail, skipping over a patch of imbedded rocks, totally relaxed on the bike and eyeing my entry onto a beautifully bermed left-hander. In the blink of an eye, my bike was chasing me down the hill and I was sky-ground-sky-ground-sky-ground, caroming from stone to stone in slow-motion. Another mountain bike truism is, "If you're not falling, you're not learning," and I accept that I'm going to eat dirt from time to time in my quest for progression. Most often, only my pride is damaged, but that lesson cost me a Troy Lee A1 helmet, two weeks off the bike, and I had to swear off comedy, because laughing hurt so bad it made me dizzy.

I probably pile in about once a week - easy stuff like low-sides, front-wheel washouts, minor ejects and botched landings. I do my best to avoid auguring in. By contrast, I was watching a handful of BMX riders sessioning my local skate park and their tally of get-offs held steady at one every three minutes. On the subject of payment for progression, however, nothing in our sport compares to the yard sales absorbed by pro slopestyle and big-mountain freeriders - all of which inspired today's poll question: "How often do you crash?

While you are preparing your answers, I'll leave you with Nicholi Rogatkin's top-ten bin reel:





How Often Do You Crash?






304 Comments

  • + 319
 I feel like now I'm older, I crash FAR less than when I was a teen. Not because I'm a better rider, but because I just don't take the risks I did when I was younger. Falling hurts more the further you get from being 18 haha
  • + 45
 Very true. Gotta dial back going for the nutty stuff as we get older. But if I'm not at least sliding out low side or a front wheel at least once per ride day...I'm riding too slow(DH). Might aswell go for a stroll down by the river with a lap dog in a sweater and a flower in my hair otherwise.
  • + 18
 That's true. On the other hand I feel like I'm not crashing enough to keep my progression going like it used to be.
  • + 68
 I honestly don't buy this crash for progression clichè. Every major crash I remember ended up with some teared tendon and several months off the bike. So far for progression. When you finally get back on the bike you lost all your strength and you're scared of every single rock...
  • + 58
 What I learned by tearing ligament in my arm while casually casing a jump is that the older you get the more important it is to do strength training to keep your body resilient and minimize effects of crashes. At least if you plan to hit big things and ride fast. If top guys didn't have that resilience, they would not be able to make it to the race day, considering they crash often during the practice
  • + 9
 Totally agree..experience makes you wyser..last big crash cost me 17 months away from the bike..and honestly now all i want is enjoy my riding..
  • + 4
 I used to crash weekly riding downhill on my rigid scott voltage with 55's on it, but after getting a job and a full suspension DH bike my crash rate went to something like once every two months...
  • + 19
 Yeah I don't buy into that progression excuse either. What happens in these situations isn't progression. It's just you not being good enough to do what you just tried to do!
My bike skills have progressed massively in the last few years, and (touch wood) I crash rarely. Whereas I have friends who crash very often and aren't getting any better, they just crash because they suck, simple as that.
  • + 9
 Trying things that are out of your comfort zone and possibly beyond your capabilities is how you progress though. If you only ride stuff you know you can do you will improve very slowly or not at all.
  • + 5
 Yeah but you can try things that are out of your comfort zone and beyond your capabilities without crashing too. Clearly there are different situations though like when slopestyle guys are trying new tricks and stuff, obviously they're gonna crash trying new stuff, thats a whole different ball game!
  • + 10
 All I can say is the older you get the more the crash hurts and longer it takes to heal, this is coming from a rider who has broken collar bones, wrists and arms riding bikes, could be I'm just not very good at mountain biking Smile Still enjoy it though.
  • + 21
 Many, many times, crashing isn't from only pushing you're limit, but from simple and stupid mistakes or bad judgement. These types of crashes slowly diminish with time of course. I'm a proponent of slowly pushing your limit, to the point that it's a bit scary but you're pretty darn sure you can safely do whatever it is. This way, you're not out on injury so much so you can keep riding and progressing, yet you're pushing it still but safely.
  • + 59
 OTB uncontrolled stoppie to tree is my signature move.
  • + 4
 I agree that crashing doesn't always mean progression but when I was younger, I used to think it wasn't a good ride unless I crashed, and I felt that until I did [crash] I was riding scared. I also lived someplace where the ground was much softer. Now I'm in my 40's and live in SoCal and every crash, no matter how minor, seems to do some damage. Age or terrain? Probably a little of both. I feel that here, the loose kitty-litter over hard pack, moon-dust, and baby head rock covered trails throw you a curve ball on a regular basis no matter how careful you're being. Not that I'm all that careful...
  • + 15
 If you are bad at jumping, you can push your limit by training on safe jumping site with table tops. Then you can also try to hit a 20ft double... I am so sad for many teenagers who think that they must do something corageous or they are not pushing it and won't get anywhere... Guys who saw Danny Hart's run in Champery, but bever saw years of slow and sometimes boring progression on a BMX track.
  • + 6
 There should be a " only crash when going full retard" Hahaha! xD
  • + 8
 As far as everyone disagreeing with crashing not leading to progression, I PERSONALLY disagree. I ride with certain people who are VERY CAUTIOUS, and I notice they tend to not have the same progression curve. How else do you find YOUR limits, unless you ride on the brink of them, sometimes a bit past them, understanding your personal limitations and dial it back a bit to match your skill set.
  • + 5
 Couldn't agree more. The older you get the more you calculate the risks v's rewards ratio and the risks get higher the more responsibilities you have.
  • + 6
 Okay so this depends on what you define as a crash. Most everyone is jumping to worst case scenario where you go down and break/tear something. But there's also the small crashes where you just slide out or drop to a knee. Personally I agree with JC9won4. You need to push your mental limits and try things your not used to and chances are that you'll crash as you try new things. It just part of the game. It's not that crashing causes progression, it's that they go hand in hand. That's my take on the crash for progression.
  • + 3
 I Think it's related to the type of riding you do too, if I ride street/trials the amount of crashes is incalculable but most of the time you laugh it off or you get a bloody shin and hold back those tears... If I am riding DH then it's a different story, one crash can send you rag-doling into trees and end your day pretty quick. I am now 24 (yes oh so very young) and my body can still take one hell of a pounding, but I keep it fit as a fiddle (flexibility helps just as much). That is a major aspect of being able to crash, when I was 17-18 I was working on a farm (fittest I ever was) and even crashing my KTM was, most of the time, harmless. as much protection as possible is paramount too !
  • + 1
 Actually it's like this: I don't crash often, just a couple of times in the entire season. But when I do, I usually manage to seriously f*ck myself up. Last crash was a multifragmentary fracture of the collar bone requiring surgery, physiotherapy and what not that's been keeping me off the bike for three months now. The only positive thing about the fracture was that it happened at the end of the season so staying off the bike hasn't been that much of a torture.
  • + 7
 I'm 15 and falling hurts a lot. I tend to avoid it.
  • + 12
 Give it 15 years and you will be like "I miss being 15 and being made from rubber, you just fall down and bounce right back up."
  • + 2
 My view on crashing has been biased by a dude who crashed into a tree on Polish DH cup, right next to me. He came to a near dead stop after going rather quickly. It was on a section I planned to go brakeless on the next run. I will never forget that sound of him hitting the tree (like a big bag of potatoes dropped on the floor) and then the grunts he was making in pain, since he was unfortunate enough to not knock himself out. Later on I heard he broke half of his body, including shoulder bone and pelvis.
  • + 5
 The big difference between crashing when I first started riding and now is I crash more gracefully now and crash much less. It's the unexpected crash that hurts the most and as a beginner, years ago, they were all unexpected. I can't remember the last time I went over the bars and got hurt. It kinda happens in slow motion these days.
  • + 3
 I'm totally in the same boat. Since having kids and landing a career I no longer risk it. With that being said, I'm not having any less fun.
  • + 3
 Ya guys...big difference between minor wipe outs cuz you're pushing yourself VS wiping out all the time cuz you kinda suck at staying on a bike. I've found that BOTH types of riders have the same amount of fun Smile
  • + 3
 being a 30 year rider i have learned 2 things:
1. never let go of your bike - i have had so many choices of whether to ditch the bike when going over the bars or hang on and ride it out that it is truely amazing how you can save a spill by slowing your mind down and getting ready for weight transitions for when the wheels finally touch earth again when you feel like your going over the bars and have no choice [front suspension is amazing], and

2. if you have no choice coming out of #1, then learning how to crash and how to 'roll' out of it is essential.

i ride the same stuff i always have, however, i do it far faster and with greater amplitude as i get older. i consider this to be progression for my personal riding and with nearly no crashes any more.
  • + 3
 Just clean it ,glue it shut and save that ER money for new parts. Stitches are not cheep. Super glue is only $1. I know pinkbikers hate high priced stuff.
  • + 1
 Not so much crashing more like slip ups For me
  • + 3
 Super bad luck to talk about crashing... I hope you're all knocking on wood right now and anyone who answered 'never' in the poll, well you're going to hospital next time you go anywhere near a bike and you have no one but yourselves to blame.
  • + 1
 I think until I crash I don't think I have to improve my riding, even though I never hurt myself really bad (maybe 'cause I'm still a teen ????)
for example: in november I had a pretty bad crash jumping a table, because I jumped not far enough and although I couldn't feel my hands for about 10 minutes I was riding the whole day after and since then I try to get better at jumping!
  • + 2
 Do it for the Honeys lads. Do it for the Honeys
  • + 2
 Mortgage: minus 10%
Marriage: minus 10%
Kids: minus 10% each

Slower is safer so the chance of a crash reduces.

Racing is racing though, and you have to go flat out because the clock is justification.
  • + 0
 But jaame - this year I got concussion because I chose the chicken line... I was meant to go off a drop to flat as I used to do, but on that day I felt weak and unfocused. Rode the chicken line around it and landed on my foreahead, then on my face, eating dirt. Then I tore out my ligament because I was cautious. Instead of going in a continous manner on a libe of jumps, I stopped a few times before the big gap. Then I went for it... Landed short, untrained body didn't cope with the G-Force.

I'd say it has more to do with trail choice. If you don't feel at least 90% then stay away from the gnar aaaaand... a-line kind of trails. Do strength training or forget it, switch to XC, endurance, run marathons. Going to a bike park untrained is asking for trouble.
  • + 5
 Confidence and commitment. If you don't have those you will crash more often.
  • + 1
 forgot something, indeed to progress you need to crash, but also crashes can keep you away from progressing. when you keep making the same mistakes and you just dont commit enough it can be a pain that keeps getting back and makes your fear even worse. expl. bunny barspin and keep taking your feet of the bars. sometimes i am like making the same mistake every time even when i try i still do it... something in my head or in yours... commit... thing about tricks is step by step but especially commit and know you can do it... ofcourse starting with the easier tricks. so far for the trick crashes. you also have the material ones (your bike fails) unexpected ones and the too tired ones (comming from a guy cashing like atleast a 1000 times
  • + 3
 Commitment is key, definitely
  • + 2
 Totally agree, commitment makes a big difference. If you go into something half assed with too much fear you're bound to fail. If you go in think I'm doing this and commit to it, 9/10 times you will.
  • + 2
 Commitment is a big part of the puzzle no doubt about it, but if you had a year off, the muscle strength and more importantly muscle memory simply isn't there. In such case all confidence and commitment are not worth that much. Stress, lack of sleep, sickness, there are all too many factors. Fk... I need a divorce
  • + 5
 Fully agree. I'm 46 and still crash every few rides but my crashes are MOSTLY pretty mild. I don't hit big jumps any more so the degree of consequence is definitely lower. Having said that, I've had a couple of concussions, a separated shoulder, and a pretty nasty neck injury in the past few years. I don't bounce any more -- I just hit the ground with a splat!!
  • + 3
 At 41 I'm still going for jumps and drops, but each time that I crash (at least twice a year-kinda like my norm) the healing process is slower and the crashes are getting harder. Like DaleHauf said "I just hit ground and rocks with a splat!"
  • + 5
 My experience is that #1 factor is environment. Been riding 35yrs on dirt. My skills & bike are better than ever. Even bracketing the issue of resiliency & healing changing w/ age (spoiler alert: it gets worse), I've lived in enough places to learn that how much both I & the riders around me are prepared to crash is a direct product of our riding environment. When I lived in Europe & on the East Coast, with loamy forest soil to crash on, sliding out several times a ride, even with zero protection was no big deal. Get up, wipe off the dirt, & ride away with maybe a scrape. I now live in the Sierra foothills of CA, where 9months out of the year we're riding on hard-baked, dust covered clay. There simply is no such thing as a soft-soil dismount on our local trails. Every inch is imbedded w/ rocks that will tear you apart like a cheese grater, & leave deep, debilitating contusions, sprains & tears. I now wear light knee, hip & elbow protection even for my flowy daily trail rides, & the gnarlier the terrain gets, the more DH my protection choices.
My previous mentality for MTB was like my mindset for skiing: if you don't fall every time you ride, you're not pushing hard enough. Now that I live where a single, unprotected dismount is likely to take you off the bike not just for days, but for weeks, the calculus has changed: I don't push the envelope of my ability to failure every time I go out: I grow it at an incremental rate where I am confident I can make daily progress w/o crashing.
  • + 0
 Veloscente - great comment! I'd also add a bike to it. Too small and you have too little error margin. Too big and you are going way too fast, waaay too easy while trees, rocks and ground are as hard as they were. To make it worse for the old dudes, current DH bikes simply don't allow for going half arsed, you have to commit big time or they don't turn.
  • + 10
 I started DH at 37 (39 now). Most of the guys I ride with are 5 to 15 years younger than me with 5 to 20 years of riding. My first day was at Silverstar B.C. which has a lot of really nice beginner runs... I never saw them. All those pricks said was "Follow me, don't brake. you'll be fine!" Thanks guys. Season one I crashed EVERYDAY... HARD. ACL torn off the bone with a tear in the PCL and Meniscus (Day one in Silverstar) didn't know about that till December. A couple helmets, its amazing how far you can slide on just your face. A lot of shorts " I'm done, my balls are bleeding" was uttered once and a lot of dirt rash. I must say though, Riding with those guys was the best thing ever. I learnt a lot fast and hard.
Season two I crashed less... Rode harder (I can ride pretty much anything... within reason) and braked less... went bigger (I can go 30ft. now and did my first road gap) Got quicker... still can't keep up to Paul.
I'm no pro but learnt a few things that worked for me.
1. Drop in behind someone good and keep your speed.
2. Hold on, its amazing what you can ride out if you don't give up.
3. A good Tuck'n'Roll is priceless.
4. Commit, second guessing yourself is dangerous.
5. Too big is better than to little, unless its WAY TOO BIG! [enter] "i'm done, my balls are bleeding"
I like to push it but at the end of the day its nice to go home to my kid, not to the hospital. Can't wait for season three!
  • + 2
 1) If you're not crashing, you're not going fast enough.
2) Don't be a pussy.
3) Crashes make for good stories, chicks dig scars.
4) If you're afraid to crash because your wife is going to yell at you, your problems are far bigger than some random jackass (me, probably others as well) calling you a big sloppy pussy on pinkbike.
5) Ride fast, safety last.
  • + 1
 I have one question for you, how are you still alive posting this?

Hehe

All I have to say is that head injuries are VERY BAD!
  • + 1
 Wear a helmet and appropriate PPE, obviously. Don't be like me in 2009, rocking the half-dome on my DH rig.
  • + 6
 My wife isn't going to be angry, but I do worry about putting food on the table. Responsibility isn't just about getting shouted at.
  • + 1
 ^^ this, missed almost two months of work in 2015 from injuries
  • + 1
 I pay almost 30 quid monthly in insurance to worry much less about that. The moment I'd worry about putting money on the table is the moment I quit mountain biking. As soon as I stand at the edge of steep shute or in front of a big jump and family crosses my mind, I skip it. And everytime I skip it the damage occurs. There can be no boss, kid, mom or wife interfering with neurosignals responsible for accurate execution of the task. They can be a motivator to do it right but not something putting you in doubting. My dad devoted a big part of his life into not getting hurt or even tired. He spends hours in front of TV. Then he takes out his car and drives like a maniac...
  • + 3
 I don't think throwing around the pussy word does much good for anybody and any level. I've been riding trails for nearly 30 years and I'm still very passionate about riding. My 15 year old son and my 10 year old daughter are both into riding as well. It's awesome to be able to ride with them and I want to continue that for as long as possible. Wait until you are almost 50 years old and then we will see what you think of 'pussies' that do not want to crash and be off the bike for 6 weeks or not be able to work and provide for their families. Sometimes you've got to think about more than yourself.
  • + 1
 @DaleHauff Chill. My post was meant to be taken as a tongue in cheek comment. I'm not actually suggesting that people go out and dismember themselves for the sake of not being percieved as a pussy. Mountain biking for me is about going out and getting rad with your buddies, helping push each others' riding, and occasionally ragging on each other by calling someone out for being a pussy. It's all lighthearted and in good fun, as no one actually wants to see their friends get taken off the mountain in a helicopter.

Also, all this talk of putting food on the table and "providing for one's family" makes me think Walter White is the man behind the keyboard on the other end. (This was also an attempt at humour, if anyone is wondering).
  • + 1
 Fair enough. No disrespect intended. I also love to rip but my crash recovery time has begun to dictate some of my risk taking. As for Walter White....I literally am a Science teacher!
  • + 3
 My wife earns more then I do and in Sweden kids tend to leave the house at 16... 12 more years and I can hit the FEST series! We lost the traditional family values...
  • + 1
 For sure. I have to agree on the recovery time. I'm 34 and certainly don't heal like I did when I was 24 (not that I was riding anything other than a barstool at 24). Also, awesome to hear that you're getting your kids into it. I raced my first DH event at your son's age, trying my best to harness my inner Shaun Palmer.
  • + 3
 @coupstair I have to restate your first rule for you - KNOW when to never let go of the bike. If you are 15 feet over a dirt spine and screw up, ditch the damn bike. If you're getting squirelly and hanging halfway off your bike through a steep rock garden, you'll fair better staying with your steed.

It's amazing how many crashes I've walked away from unscathed by saying "f*ck this" and throwing the bike away.

Oh, and even in my early 20s I miss the recovery time I had at 16.... I could ride til my back would spasm and I'd have bruises all over. Two days later, I was 100%. Now I have to stretch, hydrate, not push it too hard for a few days... wonder what 40 feels like

Edit: A buddy of mine likes to share words of wisdom he picked up from some crusty old ski bum, and I always think about them after I crash - "Old age begins with one bad fall"
  • + 3
 The first time I got drunk, and I mean properly maggot, I was 12 or 13. Woke up the next day fresh as a daisy. Ate my breakfast, carried on no worries. Now if I have four beers the next day I feel like a piece of shit.
  • + 1
 Jaame - not to mention the peeing issue when drinking out at the bar... it takes me long enough already...
  • + 2
 oi @trialsracer ya it all depends on what you're riding of course as to whether to roll down the windows or not. dj'ing, yes much easier to find a spot to eject to than while moving at speed, through trees, hitting gaps, etc as there's just too many potentials for finding the wrong end of an obstacle or immovable object upon ejection. at any rate, i ride at velocity and this is where my #1 recommendation came from ... hang on to your steed, she's generally headed in the right direction ... most of the time. i've snapped 3 frames & 2 triple crowns from some potential crashes, however, just the impacts the bikes have taken have saved those same breaks to me that i walked away from the carnage, so it's a good trade off in the end.

and yes, although i rarely crash any more, those crazy years so many moons ago has me seeing my physio, chiro, and massage on a weekly basis to keep me mobile .... can't think of how some of our mtb stars are going to feel in 20 years ... yikes! ... you dudes do need that socialized healthcare Wink
  • + 118
 Everytime I go full retard.
  • + 12
 SUICIDE RIDE
  • + 4
 ...but it's sooooooo fun...!
  • + 10
 Never go full retard...
  • + 1
 Haha true sh!t i only crash when going full retard! xD
  • + 2
 FAST N SCETCHY
  • + 3
 bike park day nearing it's end ? I has the urge to go full retard !
  • + 4
 I only crash when I go full enduro
  • + 2
 I crash every ride... it's fun!

Maybe i just have something wrong with me lol
  • + 2
 Haha i feel you mate! @Brakesnotincluded
  • + 85
 I'm not going to jinx this by voting "rarely".
  • + 76
 I'm not going to vote at all, I don't want to up my average. This poll is a trap.
  • + 23
 Oops, i should've read this before i voted 'Rarely'... i'm screwed now D:
  • + 3
 If you lie in that poll St. Patrick is going to tell Jesus on you.
  • + 6
 That's why I got more travel. Not for bigger jumps/stunts etc, but so that the margin for error is larger. At my age, I need that.
  • + 3
 I crash approximately once each year, usually in the fall when our trails are covered in leaves (not including numerous dabs, and low speed technical mishaps). After a lifetime of mtb, I know my limits and how to ride just below threshold. That is until I bought one of those "long, low, and slack" modern geometry bikes. At least 10 pedal strikes every time I went out for a ride, including two that resulted in full speed crashes. The second almost sent me off a 15 foot cliff. Ultra low bottom brackets are a deathtrap around here for anybody who pedals their bike.

Luckily I was able to install a semi-integrated angleset with an outboard lower cup which added 15mm stack to my front end. That combined with a steeper head angle by 1 degree and the problem has been solved.

Low bb bikes may be fine for many West Coast trails, but in the East they're not worth the risk.
  • - 2
 More travel doesn't mean you crash less, it just means you're going faster when you do.
  • + 1
 ^^^ nope. When you're north of 40, the thought of being injured over and over again because of bad crashes is about as appealing as snuggling a hairy fat dude in roadie shorts.
  • + 0
 @mountaincross - just curious, do you run front mech or sub 30t chainring on wide range cassette?
  • + 1
 2015 model year. 1x11. 32 tooth. 170mm cranks. 160mm travel. The changes I made bring the bb height to approx. 352mm (was at approx. 344mm). For my purposes the bike is now dialed. I'm very lucky I got an early production run frame with a semi-integrated headset. The newer models are fully integrated.

Its no coincidence, I think, that all the 2016 models (and most of the previous 2015 models) have/had a 170mm fork (higher bb).

Previous bike (still LOVE it) is an Ibis Mojo Sl. Also had low bb issues (too many pedal strikes) until I swapped the 26er front wheel for a 27.5. Made the bike better in every way except cornering at speed. Many pros far outweigh the one con. Made pedal strikes a thing of the past.

Local trails are rooty, rocky, tight and twisty, with lots of sudden changes in topography. The riding tends to occur at somewhat lower speeds and not much sustained ultra steep terrain. This terrain favors bikes with slightly higher bb and steeper HT angle as well as shorter wheel base. That said, both of the crashes I mentioned took place on DH and jump lines at a local bike park.
  • + 80
 I never crash.. but then again, I don't go very fast and the only time my bike sees 'air' is when I'm pumping the stuff in the tires once a week
  • + 10
 HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • + 55
 The poll needs
"not as often as I should"
"not as much as I used too"
and
"I'm too old for this sh#t"
  • + 14
 Tick - I'm too old for this sh!t.
  • + 3
 Yup, sign me up for optoe #3
  • + 2
 Not as often as i should, lessons are learnt from f#^k ups not successes
  • + 5
 I find that i'm still riding as fast at 40 as I did at 30, maybe faster. What's different is that I don't push it to as close to the edge anymore. Instead, I substitute skill or fitness training. So far the tradeoff has been working. I figure it'll hold for another 4 or 5 years and then each year after that will be slower than the last.

Why don't I push it as much anymore? Lots of little but permanent injuries start adding up. My knees don't have as much cartridge. Connecting tissue has been stretched. Bits of nerve damage from various injuries. Loose shoulder joint. Toes that don't bend anymore after being broken a few times... etc.

With that said... it's been totally worth it and i'd do it the same if given a second chance! It's friday and I can't wait to ride this weekend! We're finishing the last couple jumps on a new trail. Someone hold my beer...
  • + 6
 It only hurts when I stand still Wink
  • + 35
 got to be almost every ride. Just little off's mainly from going too fast and pushing it to the limit. Its the only fun way to ride. If your not pushing yourself to your limit you wont learn the boundaries and advance your riding.
  • + 3
 I agree, and have to admit it's probably every or every other ride that I crash. Rarely I hurt myself badly but I am quite an expert on the rocks and soils where I ride now. I do feel sorry for the poor b***ers who crash more than once every ride!
  • + 8
 This. If I have a ride where I didn't crash (or at least get super sketchy), I know I was being lazy.
  • + 2
 Go fast or go home is my moto. But on more of a serious note it does depend on your riding style. Slopestyle/Park/Trials/Dirt jump will crash more frequently for obvious reasons. Next will probably be DH, then Enduro/Trail, then XC, and lastly road.

my problem is im always chasing KOMs at my local spots which pushes you more and more and that's when the mistakes happen. But you learn from said mistakes, get back up and do it again. I rarely have any big bag crashes (touch wood) just silly little off's.
  • + 3
 Hmmm, aren't you recovering from a broken arm ? lol
  • + 2
 That was for Luka !
  • + 3
 Sshhh Pigman. I am invincible!
  • + 3
 Well, i ride enduro and i crash in avrege once a week, this week, i totally wrecked my balls, the tire (contibetal mountain king) burned a my tights and my balls are blue... i came off the line missed a tiny bridge by a meter and had to drop into a tiny little river... if i didnt drop i wouldve gone otb to the face plant....

In many enduro i races i go to, i pretrymuch crash at every practice... as my strategy is to ride in practice like in the race day...

I train with a.xc dude, he came 2nd in the german nationals. The firt dude, a pro was half an hour ahead (24 h race)
He crashes like once a mounth, but thats because he has been riding for over 25 years
  • + 5
 @davidpr2 please tell me you have a POV of that crash, I bet it looked amazing. Heal up.
  • + 6
 HAHAHAHAHA sorry mate no video but thanks for the vibes Wink
  • + 2
 riktherider Its interesting that you compare the crash ratio of different cycling disciplines. What you didn't mention is that with xc and road (oh and 4x) there are often other people involved with the crashes and therefore its not always about the riders skill level as its out of their hands. (when someone just in front or beside of you crashes and you go into them) The worst crashes I've had have been with cars on the road, but then I live in a big city and am a cycling commuter as well as being a keen mtber. Some of us know our limits and are happy to not push them too far. I'm not saying that should apply to everyone but you generally become a safer rider with more experience and age. The more responsibilities you have outside of cycling the less likely you are to push yourself to your absolute limits.
  • + 2
 I have to agree with the people who say it depends on the type of riding you do. We have a small hill littered with steep, technical hand-cut trails...its muddy and awkward to ride so we rarely average more than 15mph on a 2 minute downhill. So although it is almost inevitable that I will crash at some point during a 2 hour session, very few of those offs are actually serious. Funny, but hardly life-threatening. I`m going to take it easy tomorrow now I`ve said that though!!
  • + 2
 I used to feel that way. I rode all out all the time. Even after I broke by big toe in two places, I was still all out. Then, I dislocated my ankle and broke my tibia and fibula. Two surgeries later, and I no longer feel like riding beyond my limit is that much fun. It happened on October 3rd, and im not going to be able to get back on the back until the end of March.
  • + 2
 The highest consequence crash I've had occurred in April of 2015. I was taking it easy, not pushing it but had a tire blow out in an off-camber section. Before I could say "Bontrager tires suck", I smashed my foot into a rock. 3 months of non-weight bearing, many hours of PT and the damn thing still hurts. I've probably had dozens of high-speed crashes when I was pushing it and walked away with nothing.

My point is that if you mountain bike, you will crash and get injured (it's just a matter of time). But I'd rather risk crashes and injuries than sit idle...
  • + 2
 I feel your pain.. The balls are not a nice injury at all.especially when you flatten them Wink
  • + 1
 Lol u made me laugh Big Grin
  • + 21
 I seem to crash rarely, which is great, but when it does happen... it's bad
  • + 3
 Same here
  • + 1
 No such thing as a good crash. If you land on your feet its bailing not crashing. I get that pros and racers are inevitably going to crash more than most as they have to push themselves more. I guess it comes down to how well you know where your limits are (and how willing you are to push those limits) and how well you can read the terrain you are on.
  • + 11
 I was late to the table. Started MTB just a few years ago. I used to think crashing was the way to progress fast. Actually still kinda believe that pushing yourself that hard does progress you but the possible injuries set you back. Now I think the better way is TOTB. Time on the bike. Soend more time on the bike and oush your boundaries a little less. Wait to get a bit more comfortable. Just wish I was younger with more free time.
  • + 1
 totally agree man, little by little has worked wonders for me, no injuries and technique is mastered better when done slowly. Just tossing yourself over a big jump or a tall drop will result in injury most likely and technique will not be as mastered as if you did it on a smaller jump or shorter drop. Master dropping from sidewalks and then take it from there.
  • + 11
 Got a mate who purposefully pushes himself into crashes, not major ones but yeah he'll go too hard into berms and stuff and loves a bit of rough and tumble. I'm not quite so crash happy but I'm sure all of us know that feeling when you've had a crash, not sure what it is but it kind of feels good? So long as you're still alive and walking of course!
  • + 31
 The feeling of "I don't know how but I am totally fine." after a nasty but injury free crash is always good.
  • + 12
 I always like the feeling of heading into a berm with "too much" speed lol. Sometimes I chicken out and feather the brakes, sometimes I just jackknife it and look like a hack.. But every once in a while, everything comes together, and for one split second I feel like I don't suck so bad!
  • + 2
 THIS^
  • + 4
 Berm crashes are nice because you are usually so low to the ground, digging in a handle bar like a pro! That rush after a non-injury crash is what a lot of us love about MTB. The rush of a near disaster that you somehow rescue and then give a loud whoo, is another feeling I love. I like one stinging hip, leg, or arm scrape in the shower after a long ride. Brings a smile to my face knowing that I am still living and doing something joyful. Keep it young fella's, you can rebuild your joints, but protect your brain!!!
  • + 1
 Had that skiing yesterday. Caught my edge over a roller, launched one ski up in the air, and slid on my stomach a good 30 feet. It was a marvelous crash if ever there was such a term.
  • + 7
 After my last proper crash I spent the night in hospital complete with MRI scan. Following that i needed a new tooth £1200, new helmet £60 and parts for my brake £10. As such I've been taking it easier since. Also being self employed I've got no one to cover for me if I bang myself up....
  • + 4
 I feel the same. I smashed myself up nearly 3 years ago and was in a bad way. I now need an operation on my shoulder as it never healed right. Ive just bought a house and got married this year so i cannot afford time off work. I now ride slower and dont take the risks i used to. If im not sure whether i can do something i dont do it. Its kinda taken the edge of mountain biking for me but i still enjoy it and my son thoroughly enjoys it so thats enough for me.
  • + 2
 Same here, smashed my collar bone to bits. Now with a baby, buying a house, and me the only one working a proper injury would be a disaster!
  • - 5
flag karoliusz (Feb 19, 2016 at 4:33) (Below Threshold)
 The more you crash, the more pressure your family makes on you. The more pressure the family makes, the more you crash...
  • + 1
 @karoliusz Not sure where you get that idea from my wife and family encourage me to ride and have fun. They just want to see me come home in one piece.
  • + 5
 At my advanced state of decay, I am 58, crashing is to be avoided as much as possible. I still go down in a heap a couple times a year though. Better bikes and skills have helped me to crash less, but mostly I am more cautious by necessity.
  • + 5
 I'm crash rarely, and it's mostly because I'm riding within my limits. From my point of view I AM riding hard enough to enjoy myself - and when the conditions are good I'll try to push my limits. As an over-50 I'm prepared to trade a slow pace of skills progression for continued good health.
  • + 5
 Having road-raced motorcycles for the better part of 15 years(and riding/racing MX since I was 8 or so), I can say unequivocally crashing is absolutely NOT the path to higher learning.
The thought is so ridiculous, I'm mildly shocked that I'm seeing this many people buying into it simply because they read it on an internet site.
Having crashed(unintentionally) at speeds in excess of 150mph, I'm here to tell you that crashing does NOT impart better skills, technique, or knowledge upon you. Depending on how badly you do so, it merely imparts pain, possibly long periods of time off your bike and time off work, and quite probably the separation of you, and vast sums of money-both towards your personal repair, and that of the vehicle you crashed.
The way to get better is learning new skills/techniques, and spending lots of seat time practicing said skills and techniques.
You don't get better at jumping merely by attempting a 40-foot gap jump and hoping when you wake up in the hospital you'll have magically 'learned' the proper way to clear it next time without ending up unconscious in the hospital.
You first LEARN how to jump your bike, which entails where and how to place your body on your bike while taking off, while in mid-air, and while landing, and how to variate all three for different kinds of jumps, then practicing FIRST on MUCH smaller [table-top] jumps, and gradually working your way up to the bigger stuff.
Quite frankly, people who think of themselves as Joe Cool because they crash, probably have an inferiority complex, and a severe lack of common sense to boot.
People who crash every ride, need to take a step back and try to figure out why.
People who write for 'e-zines' and advocate crashing for any reason, especially as a means to get 'better',
are RAGING dip-shits
  • + 8
 Where's the "every time I try and find out if I have any talent" option?
  • + 4
 Define crashing. I do a fair amount of elevated skinny and boulder hopping type stuff. I frequently drop the bike and jump clear, sometimes even taking a roll. Or a slide in a corner... I don't even consider them crashes anymore. A proper off at speed and uncontrolled, with actual risk of injury? Couple times per year on average.
  • + 5
 I fall more than I crash. There is a difference I believe lol. I fall all of the time but I consider a crash a fall with an inflicted injury and a fall a dismount from the bike, more or less.
  • - 7
flag djm35 (Feb 19, 2016 at 6:51) (Below Threshold)
 What? Thats some mixed up logic you have. A crash is defined as 'a violent collision, typically of one vehicle with another or with an obstacle.' On a bike you will generally fall with every crash you have. Are you still learning to ride? Thats the only way I see a crashless fall happening. Or maybe you bail before a crash happens, either way it sounds strange.
  • + 3
 First paragraph was the story of my July in 2013 haha. Cost me bruised ribs, a good month off the bike and a brand spanking new 661 Evo Carbon full face. I'm pretty sure my body armor and my helmet saved me from fractured ribs and at least partial mental retardation, respectfully haha. I won't lie; haven't jumped a double since then.
  • + 4
 I rarely crash, even when I was younger, not because I'm good, but because I don't take that many risks, BUT, when I first switched to 29', I crashed more in 3 months than in my whole life.
  • + 3
 Heal up, RC. I'm still affected by my "mild" concussion and its aftermath, years later. Be doubly careful now, because the threshold for re-concussion is often much much lower than the threshold for concussion was. Thinking you're good as new after 2 weeks on the couch can be a mistake with serious consequences.
  • + 4
 true that ^^^
  • + 3
 I don't mind crashing, most of the time, considering I'm learning from it to try and prevent it from reoccurring. Example, I opted to not wear my knee pads on a 95 degree day this past summer and while trying to clean a skinny feature, I did a minor endo off the side that would have not been an issue, had I just worn the pads. Instead, I ripped my knee open on something sharp and limped for a few week after that. Doh!
  • + 1
 I've finally started wearing my kneepads every ride after getting a gash in my left knee on my first ride of 2016 and then I completely scraped/gashed up the other knee on my second ride in 2016 on a very tame trail. Tearing up your knees is awful, not risking it anymore! I live in AZ so the spring/summer rides will suck with them on, but it won't suck as much as sitting on the couch not being able to ride or bend my leg for 2 weeks while the damn thing scabs over.
  • + 5
 I'm not sure if I'm crashing more as I get older because I'm crapper? I should stop buying bikes that tempt me to charge so much!
  • + 5
 I was 3 times at the hospital...don´t need this shit.
Crashes are funny when nothing bad happens.
  • + 2
 Im recovering from a crash on Galbraith i took 2 weeks ago when I was out visiting friends in WA. First lap on mullet, totally undershot and cased the step down sent over the bars and into the woods. Nothing debilitating just annoyingly noticeable. Elbow locks up with too much use.

Theres been too much snow back east so I havent missed much riding, but surfing was a struggle the past two days. I crash almost every ride. rarely because I push it too hard, just not paying attention when I get tired. I messed up my hip falling over a down tree while trying to climb over once.

This usually plays in my head in the midst of going over the handlebars
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiprAOKkYW0
  • + 2
 I rarely crash and yet I often ride at a higher technical level than most people I see out in the trails. I do live in an xc dominated area but still. My point is that progression can be achieved by gradually increasing difficulty levels in your riding. I find that as I get in my mid forties I get wiser and have learned to not put so much pressure on myself. It's only riding, and if my whip on the last table wasn't as tweaked who cares? I still enjoy the flow and hitting berms at the limit of traction. I can still enjoy the speed as I zig zag through trees like a rally racer. We have so many pressures in daily life. Riding shouldn't be about pressure but about scape and fun - unless you are a pro then that's your job and results are going to make you or break you. The rest of us mortals should enjoy Mtb for what it is and appreciate the fact our house payments don't depend on how radical we get on the bike.
  • + 2
 got new bars, literally cant tell the difference between the new ones and the old ones (although they are 20mm wider and have a smaller rise) but since i got them ive been crashing a lot more often, Although i think im getting used to them, felt confident during my ride this morning, but steep trails are where im missing the old rise
  • + 2
 After just having 6 months off the bike since breaking my tib and fib on the first stage of the Trans Savoie I can honestly say it not only knocks your confidence it really makes you doubt your skill no matter how stupid the initial crash was. It definitely hurts more the older you are, but despite all of that I can't wait to et out and ride again. We are truly unique nutters.
  • + 2
 I hate being "that guy" and writing this, but we gotta be smarter as a community when it comes to crashing. I know that the last thing any of us want is to be off the bike for a week, but if you smack your head super hard you owe it to yourself and the future of your brain to take a week or two off from pushing your limits. Maybe still get out and take it easy on the trails, but put the road gaps, vertical rock gardens, and racing balls out mentality on hold for a week. Let's not let the concussion epidemic that is happening in american football plague our sport. I'm not saying crash less, just be smart about how you ride the week or two after taking a big hit to the head. Your brain needs time to let the swelling go down before being pummeled again.
  • + 1
 sliding out and into a tree well or bramble of brush happens bout every ride for me.
kissing a tree? never done that.
banging my shoulder on a tree, or endos...prbly once evry couple yrs.
strengthening my core and upper body has helped me shake off
a minor crash and heal faster from a bigger ne.
  • + 1
 there is a huge difference between falling and bailing. the only times i fall is when a rail a berm too hard or get the rotation of a flip wrong. otherwise you'll see me flying through the air on purpose, as most decent dirt jumpers have a good enough mind to know if a trick is going to go wrong, so we normally think of what can go wrong and what to do in those decisions. as you ride and progress you wont get hurt as much because you know what to do in almost every situation. commitment is also huge. if you think that your gonna land a flip you're gonna hold on, but if something goes wrong in one of those fully committed and confident moments, thats when crashes happen, and where you cant really do anything about it. bails are perfectly fine and can be very funny at times, the only time that you really get hurt is when your so committed that you can't do anything about it.
  • + 1
 BMX and skateboarding = Crashing a lot. My fave was the time when I shredded all my finger tips and my lips and nose when I screwed up a curb hop manual thingy on the way to my girlfriends house. I talked her out of calling an ambulance because I hate hospitals.
  • + 1
 It was hard for me to answer this because I tend to file my crashes into two separate categories:

1) Getting off line, getting out of control and grabbing the brakes, setting the bike down or landing on my hands and knees but staying uninjured.

2) Unexpectedly losing control and having little to no control as I slam into the ground, ending up bruised or scraped as a best case scenario.

I have little get-offs all the time, thankfully the bad crashes don't happen as often.
  • + 1
 For most of my riding life I have used this measure; Skill-Speed-Fitness, if one or any combination does not match the terrain, within a certain margin, I crash or near crash. As a teenager (BMX) I would have moderate crashes nearly every ride, minor bones broken, lacerations, bruising etc. generally due to low skill (trying new stuff), incorrect speed, too fast or slow, but I was fit! ..now (DH) about one major crash a year, like last week, my skill was a bit off, my speed was good, my fitness was way off, stacked on a timber down ramp, broke my hand, elbow and dislocated my shoulder ..you don't flex as much when your 50. ..I'm now going to try some one handed pushups.
  • + 1
 I used to crash quite often. Now I have a bad shoulder that I can´t afford to operate, because I would be 2 months off my job - not possible now. I can´t crash, so I ride prudently and just don´t crash. I still ride the same trails and have loads of fun, only I quit taking unecessary risks. Actually I believe I 'm a better, more precise and technical rider now because I improved my fitness and basic skills a lot.
  • + 1
 In the last year 3 lads I ride with have had major crashes, one resulted in a smashed tibia and leg reconstruction (6 months out) broken hand (3 months out) and broken ribs and bruised vertebra (2 months out)

I ride at 90%, had a few crashes but nothing major and I've progressed faster than my injured counterparts that's for sure.

Fair enough, I'm stronger physically but I know my limits and try to build up to things progressively rather than jumping in head first, can't progress if your not on the bike.
  • + 1
 Clint had it right when he said "A man's gotta know his limitations". Most of my crashes were falls when I first went clipless. Then one day I got stupid fast, veering high up on the trail to miss a big root only to have a thick rhododendron branch grab my right handlebar and went down hard still holding onto the bars and clipped in. Result great pain and the most hideous multi-colored bruise from knee to hip you've ever seen. Since then I've backed off figuring it's a lot more fun going home tired and dirty rather than damaged. Thanks Clint.
  • + 1
 I crash most days ha ha Smile my last one was a bad off which ended up in slamming down nuts first onto the stem after I ended up slipping my foot off the pedal. Not a nice dose at all and put me off for the last year plus. Heading back out for the first time since this weekend. I pray for my nut ha ha Smile
  • + 1
 Usually when I'm hauling balls and try to take a tight turn and washout my front tire. No real major crashes as being older I'm not trying to hit huge air anymore or bomb DH like I'm a wannabe pro. Those days are long gone. I just enjoy riding and getting a bit of air every now and again.
  • + 1
 There is a difference between falling and bailing. Like you said in your post, at the skatepark you are likely to see people flying all over the place but they usually don't get hurt. Now maybe I just suck, but when I go out for a ride i'm going to bail about 20 times on a mellow day. But a bail is nothing to stress. You could loose your balance on a manual trick or get sketched out going fakie and just jump off your bike onto your feet. Now crashing is a whole other story, I would say a crash is when you are not expecting to hit the ground and you do. I take at least 1 crash per session but like I said, maybe I just suck.
  • + 1
 I crash every couple of rides but are usually nothing worse than bailing after a pedal strike or hitting a root/rock head on. Usually the only damage is to my dignity. I'm 43 only been DHing for 7 years or so and last year was my best year for riding, confidence and skill-wise. This season is looking pretty good so far.
  • + 1
 Crashing is a rare event - unless I pay money and enter a race... then - Crashing is guaranteed. Last time I crashed in a race - my brain was so oxygen deprived (because I suck), I crashed and then couldnt make my brain sort out which brake lever was for the front or which way to twist to get the gear I needed. I crashed again shortly thereafter. Good times.
  • + 1
 The day after I answered this pole with "Rarely" I was riding my local jumpline. I was having a good time until it was time to hit the stream gap. Nose cased it, my front tire just disappeared into the soft winter eroded landing. Then I went over the bars will still clipped in, then will totally scorpion flipping I managed to hit my sternum and my ribs on my stem. Defiantly ruined that ride, went to the doctors to find that I had bruised ribs and sternum. So I jinxed it.
  • + 1
 I'm 28 and just got back into BMX and mountain biking. I'm much more healthy and fit than i was as a teenager. I'm also much more comfortable with my body and how i can push it. So Ive been crashing a couple times i go out because i have been trying dumb stuff. So after landing on my elbow pretty hard I decided to buy some pads.

My dad always said... "if your not crashing, your not trying"
  • + 1
 Not as often as I should... I'm undoubtedly progressing slower as a rider because of my fear of getting hurt badly enough to keep me from working and paying the bills, supporting my family, etc. I'm 36, freelance, and I need full mobility in the my upper body to do my job. If I break my arm, I don't get paid for several weeks. So that has definitely kept me in check. I used to crash almost every single ride when I lived back east because there was never any exposure, but here in SoCal the stakes are a bit higher if you overcook a turn, etc. Jumping for instance is one big skill area I really want to be more competent with. I want to be able to at least hit a moderately sized double, if only for the confidence it will instill should I ever get caught off guard by bigger features. Don't wanna get caught with my pants down and end getting hurt because I freak out. But getting confident on jumps that size inevitably requires some big crashes along the way. So I may end up plateauing here sometime soon when it comes to how big I can go.
  • + 1
 I think it depends on what you're riding, where and how much you're pushing that day.. If I wanna be chasing that fast wild line-, I'll crash as many times as it takes! Whereas if I'm hitting those flowy trails and just generally loving life, I tend to keep it on 2 wheels.. Either way, If you're not falling a few times- you're not going quick enough!
  • + 1
 crashed couple of times at a DH trail in Moose Mountain last year 2015, because of a blind ramp I cant see the landing, next was, I have to stop going downhill as my buddies crashed already and I don't want to run over them. Usually crash occurs on the situation and the rider was caught off guard, better to know ahead if you can. But other than that limits, know your limits before riding the trails or bike park. Happy riding everyone.
  • + 1
 There are the crashes that you know can happen, like washout, otb, etc. and you know where and can kind of expect them and they are not bad. Bad are the ones that you don't see coming where afterwards you understand the cause.
Like: 'I didn't know there was a hole hiding under that fern between the two rocks' after clearing it 1000 times. Or 'I didn't kniw the wind funnels between those trees when it comes from SE and makes the takeoff of that jump dangerous' after smashing into the ground sideways and breaking collarbone. Or 'I didn't know mellow flattish trails with a dusting of loose dust and kitty litter can wash you out in gentle curves if you don't keep good form and stay onn the front of your long low and slack bike.'
Those might make you a better rider however as you learn something.
  • + 3
 If there weren't trees where I ride, I'd crash less... But almost every ride, I get to spend some quality time with the dirt.
  • + 1
 Been riding down hill since around 2000, mainly Bike Parks here in B.C., primarily Whistler. I certainly crashed more frequently and harder when I was younger including my very first run at Whistler near the bottom of the hill where I hit a rut and my front tire did a speed wobble to which I hit the breaks too hard and superman'd over the bars resulting in a torn rotator cuff. I should have taken this as a sign of things to come but I guess I'm slow to learn and I enjoyed it too much. In the years following, I managed to do both rotators cuffs twice, broke my right hand 3 times (last time was 2 years ago and about 15 seconds into my run on Top of The World, which sucked after that), one minor cuncussion, and last spring I broke my collar bone trail riding. Yes, I said trail riding. By far, the most embarrassing thing I've done on a bike. I started riding in my 30's, never had anyone teach me proper techniques, and ride far less than I would like, sadly, and mostly by myself. I'm now in my 50's and trying to get more runs in this year at more locations here and all over the PNW. If it's true you learn from crashing, I have learned I need to get way better and that comes from riding more often and more trails. Hopefully, no major injuries this year. So far, so good.
  • + 1
 I live by this saying

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - Wow, what a ride!!!!!!!!
  • + 3
 I don't crash often...

[The Most Interesting Man in the World meme insert here]

...but when I do, I break everything on my bike.
  • + 6
 Know that feeling.

Huh, brake lever's bent, no biggy.
Oh, tyre's ripped, got a spare in the car.
Saddle bent... kay.
Where's the rear mech gone?
  • + 3
 Last time i fell i protected the bike with my body.
  • + 1
 I use my 80-20-100 rule. Only try crap that I am 80% sure I am going to pull off, ride with 20% reserve (most of the time) and commit 100% without fear but with healthy respect. Most of my rare crashes now are from stuff I don’t see or lapses of concentration.
  • + 1
 When I started motorcycle racing I used to think the same way. If you don't crash, you're not trying hard enough. When I look back, it was always some stupid little mistake or misunderstanding that led to the big getoffs. Same thing here, I think. Slip a pedal at the wrong time, do something stupid, don't pay attention and overlook a crevice where your front wheel gets stuck, or just plain bad luck. Crashing more often won't improve your skills. I will say that since I started spending more time doing drills my crash frequency has gone down. Expand your comfort zone!
  • + 1
 We ride a DH park in Queenstown, NZ. I know so many riders that have broken bones (legs, ankles, fingers, collar bones) in this season alone. It sucks when people miss out on riding because it's also social and something to do each day with your mates. Personally, I think that's more important then pushing yourself to hard.
  • + 1
 . Let's start from top down. Nose, left clavicle, left shoulder, right elbow twice needing surgery, left elbow once needing surgery, left hand, 4 ribs, left knee dislocated 9 times, left ACL needing surgery, and right ankle.. started in 98 and I've raced for about 9 years and had my share of spills for progression but at 30 now I'm happy to just ride as fast as I can in my limits and enjoy the trails!. Believe me there's no progression sitting on a couch for 6 months!.
  • + 1
 Really everyone has a different definition of what a "crash" is. For instance; two days ago I over-manualed, lost control and wedged the front wheel between two trees. I wouldn't call that a crash though, whereas someone else's idea of a crash may be considerably less dramatic.
  • + 1
 Wait... I missed that...
  • + 1
 Indeed you did. You should make yourself un-busy on Wednesdays, last week was a great ride; no proper crashes, no mechanicals, much fun
  • + 4
 I crash every time i ride new track.
  • + 4
 I haven't crashed since the last time.
  • + 1
 2 bad crashes since August , 1st took me out for 4 mths , this most recent one has been out for 2 weeks so far , both were low speed crashes that happened on single and double diamond trails
  • + 3
 I might jump an open drawbridge or tarzen from a vine, but I'm the unknown stuntman that made Eastwood look so fine.
  • + 2
 am i the only one who crashes fairly frequently and doesn't attribute it to being badass but a little bit stupid? my dad re-introduced me to mtb and 100% regrets it
  • + 1
 Nope. I'm regularly picking scabs and myself off the ground. I'd like to attribute it to going big, but let's face it, I'm a hack.
  • + 1
 It comes in phases. I can go months jumping, dropping, building better stuff and riding great, then BAM, I will crash on every ride for a week. I just can't figure out how I get so stupid all of a sudden...
  • + 1
 Super rarely ever. Actually knock on wood, not for years.

My bank, mortgage, employer and vehicle payment dictate that I don't.

Riding at 70% might just be part of growing up?
  • + 2
 If I healed faster I'd crash more,but I ride injured a lot so usually after a good crash I won't charge as hard till may body is recovered so I'm going with once a month.
  • + 1
 Rarely, but when I do I am all in!!! Sitting here with a severely shattered foot with a contraption on it that looks strikingly similar to my Kuat NV 4-bike rack... 2 months in and at least 3 to go...
  • + 0
 3 right collar bone fractures
2 broken right hands
1 broken left index finger and torn thumb tendon 2 concussions
3 torn ligaments left foot.
1 fractured right toe
to many numerous stitches to knees and forearms

The week before I turned 50 complete L5 separation of left shoulder with complete rupture af all ligaments, surgery with hardware, a cadaver tendon and six months of painful PT. I am once again up to poised for soil samples and another foot high in air time than last. I'll ride FR/DH and trails until the wife locks me into a PADDED room or I die, WHICH MAY COME FIRST!

LIVE LIFE LIKE YOU WILL NOT BE HERE TOMORROW.
  • + 1
 If this counts for my injuries in the 46 plus years of riding (started at age 5), THEN I CRASH RARELY. Still less painful than some of my injuries during my 23 plus years serving god and country and 9 deployments to the absolute finest places on this earth.......
  • + 1
 If I dont crash on a ride Im not pushing myself hard enough. and if people say that they crash less with age then they have gotten soft in their old age. Im 40 and push myself harder now than I ever did in my 20s.
  • + 2
 Answered poll, once in two or three rides. Went out and crashed 4 times on a short ride. Moral of the story, don't amswer the poll until after your ride
  • + 1
 I try to listen to my body; If it wants to let go, I meter how much effort I need to give in order to safely last the ride. When I ignore this, gravity sometimes reminds me who I'm dancing with (sometimes its the foliage).
  • + 2
 If i ride race bmx i mess up all the time, it just happens a lot lot less on MTB, i dont know why either. But learning how to crash is so important to not injuring yourself!
  • + 2
 bmx is a bit more brutal less margin for error just recovering from separated shoulder and out of my knee brace for first time in 12 month feels great cant wait for dh race season
  • + 4
 Now 522 guys who voted "rarely"are going to crash very soon.
  • + 1
 I'm afraid that my inclination towards using the occasional get off as an indicator that I'm going fast enough is a result of falling too much . . or is it the other way around?

Gotta die from somethin' . . .
  • + 3
 I go weeks without crashing then dirt sample 7 times in one ride....but, that was not a choice....
  • + 1
 After destroying my knee nearly 2yrs ago I've gone from often to never. I'm scared to crash again. But lucky to even be able to even ride again. But still no dh. Miss that so much!!!
  • + 1
 Second to last time I crashed I lost thousands of dollars in gigs because I broke my hand. (Guitarist in a cover band.) So... yah, risk to reward ratio changes the older you get for sure.
  • + 3
 You can tell how many people there are pushing themselves to the next level, just based on this poll..
  • + 2
 Yep, I was expecting rarely to be in the minority when it was what I answered. I feel like I don't crash enough, but then I'm not a big risk taker and rarely ride far out of my comfort zone. Kind of nice to know I'm not the only pussy on PB!
  • + 2
 My dad used to tell me:
"If you don't crash, you don't learn".
I learned A LOT the past couple of years...
Too much knowledge is dangerous.
  • + 1
 Not often, dont push too hard past what feels natural, or maybe just lucky, probably lucky, admittedly washed out a couple of times due to bad setup. rather ride home than limp tbh.
  • + 2
 Had 1 proper crash in the last 50 odd rides. I dare not crash as if its bad i cannot afford the time off work really. House and kid to pay for ! Risk vs reward
  • + 1
 I don't crash often, but when I do I drink Dos Equis. ...and cry if my bike is broken and then I turn that frown upside down remembering that behind every broken part is an opportunity to upgrade.
  • + 1
 I crash all day
Crash compilation from our 2015 season

m.pinkbike.com/video/436850

m.pinkbike.com/video/437081
  • + 2
 I voted rarely, yet crashed three times last ride. Depends on the trail and conditions really.
  • + 3
 Not that often, but than again.. when I do, I do it properly.
  • + 1
 Have a better safe than sorry attitude due to my age, but still crash on a regular basis. Mostly scrapes, bruises, and aches.
  • + 1
 I crashed so often for a month or so after switching to clipless pedals. Most were not bad, but all were really embarrassing in some way or another.
  • + 1
 Progression comes with learning how to crash so you don't hurt yourself, OK hurting your self can not always be avoided but it helps
  • + 1
 Only when we get to the trail head and my kids say - "hey dad... you bring your pads?"..... which means... got our eyes on your life insurance.... Smile
  • + 3
 I tend to save them up for a big one every year or so.
  • + 2
 Every 2 years I break a bone. Could set your watch by my bones. Sept 2017 I'm due
  • + 2
 Its all about accepting your destiny! If you get your ambitions and capabilities mixed up your going to take a dirt sample!
  • + 2
 Here in the twisty single track of the Midwest my crashes usually consist of "oh shit there's a tree"
  • + 1
 If you don't wear pads, go buy some. I have had a few crashes lately (mainly stupid stuff) and the pads have saved me each time.
  • + 1
 Which pads? Upper body?
  • + 1
 Knee pads and elbow pads are a good place to start. I know elbow pads aren't that fashionable - but even a small whack can give you fairly serious injuries.
  • + 1
 I tend to have regular small crashes, like steadily sliding into trees, nettles, innocent walkers, etc and one big crash involving things breaking / snapping once a year
  • + 1
 I dont crash that often, but when I do its a trip to hospital & a few months off the bike, bored out of my mind, while the bones heal
  • + 3
 Ride. Crash. Repeat?
  • + 1
 what about Cash???
  • + 1
 I don't crash. I do it on purpose just to see how it is!!! It is not cool!!! Don't do it!!!
  • + 1
 PB staff been having a rough winter it seems. Keep Vernon Felton out of the jinxes
  • + 2
 Depends who's on the couch
  • + 1
 I always crash on group rides on new trails. But when I ride new ones myself I'm fine. Not sure why...
  • + 2
 Bad crashes sap ones courage!
  • + 2
 The more often you crash, the better you get at it!
  • + 1
 Never had one as bad as the cover photo. That's the most epic OTB photo I've ever seen. Hope that guy was ok!
  • + 2
 Yikes.. Rogatkins got more concussions than a linebacker
  • + 2
 If you not crashing your not going fast enough
  • + 1
 The only way to get better is to push yourself and crash. If you don't crash your not trying.
  • + 2
 i crash even if i play it safe. i need skillZ :/
  • + 1
 I rode every day in the french alps last season, i crashed at least 3 times a day, sometimes 6 or 7.
  • + 1
 I'll crash almost every ride, usually multiple times. Plenty of action but no control.
  • + 1
 Rarely now, my 7 year old crashes more often than me I am just action cam everything.
  • + 1
 I only crash when I try to throw a sick whip... but land on my face most of the time
  • + 1
 In the words of my father "if you don't crash, you're not trying hard enough"
  • + 1
 If you did'nt answer never or rarely your Health Insurance rates are going to increase.
  • + 1
 I'll go months without crashing, then I can't go for a ride without crashing, or ALMOST crashing for like 2 weeks.
  • + 1
 when I ride solo I almost never crash, but when I'm with a group I crash once every 2 or 3 rides
  • + 1
 "Screw that, I have to be at work on Monday!!"
-Me, every ride after graduating college.
  • + 1
 Hardly ever crash; but sometimes the rocks and trees attack me, knock me over and bust up my bike!!
  • + 1
 On the downhill bike pretty rarely; the road bike however is another story entirely...
  • + 1
 I crash rarely, but on every ride, I have moments that could have lead to a crash.
  • + 1
 I dont crash every ride but i come close to it or the earth moves and i just fall over ot drop my bike alot.
  • + 3
 Just 1 more run
  • + 1
 Problem with age: phisical size of balls > felt size of balls = less crashing but slowing down.
  • + 1
 one broken collarbone, two times broken fingers, one broken wrist. Hope its enough for my mtb weekend warrior career....
  • + 1
 Rarely, but for me that's once a year and ends up a surgery or emergency surgery every time. Four years in a row know.
  • + 1
 When I say that me and my saddle have been very well acquainted people don't tend to understand the gravity of my meaning...
  • + 0
 Maybe crashing more is better, because your body knows what to do and can handle it better. Look at the pros, if I would crash like this, I would be dead.
  • + 1
 I am 15 years old yet i still only crash like once a month. I kinda wish i would push myself more sometimes.
  • + 2
 rarely but when crash ... three times in a row!
  • + 1
 rarely crash... 2 bad crash that i remembered, and one of it cost me my right knee ACL...
  • + 1
 2 2 often in fact.... Part of learning how to ride! Part of learning what not to do next time!
  • + 1
 I rarely crash, but when I do, it results in injury. Could just be my old man bones....
  • + 1
 Guess .... I am just considering change of nickname..might help.
  • + 1
 Every time I feel smug about clearing something tricky.
  • + 1
 I crash often, cause I'm a newb. Getting better though.
  • + 1
 When the North Shore is wet I tend to crash more hmm.
  • + 1
 Learn to crash. Best skill ever. Watch dirt jumpers roll and tumble.
  • + 1
 Ride fat bikes, they come with airbags!
  • + 1
 Is that guy in the picture dead now? I'm most certain I would be.
  • + 1
 Here is the actual vid scene of the picture, not as bad as it looks

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ67I8sJ7Qo
  • + 1
 often is not the word. It is starting to happen with alarming frequency
  • + 1
 I never crash. I am just pioneering freestyle dismounting xD
  • + 1
 Wow, you disappoint me pinkbike readers.
  • + 1
 I crash commuting more than in the woods.
  • + 1
 i used to be a skater.....u need to know how to crash n roll
  • + 1
 Crashing is a skill unto itself … I'm still learning.
  • + 1
 Crash 1 + 5 look like the same crash to me but at a different venue
  • + 1
 I don't crash all that often but when I do I end up in the ER.
  • + 1
 I read this article before riding Bootleg and guess what happened?
  • + 1
 Once had a massive crack downer..does that count
  • + 1
 if you aren't crashing, you aren't riding hard enough
  • + 1
 cool
  • + 0
 Last time I crashed was in 2005... on a road, into a car.
  • + 1
 This is all lies
  • + 1
 Almost every ride.
  • + 0
 HAHAHA, you guys, and girls, are all liars......
  • + 1
 Once per ride.
  • + 1
 knock on wood
  • + 1
 I go BUCK WILD
  • + 1
 no crash no cash !!!
  • + 1
 best pink bike VDO
  • + 0
 whoever said they never crash is a liar
  • - 1
 if you put rarely or never your not trying hard enough
  • + 3
 Or we just ride in our limits cuz we ride for fun and don't feel the need to prove anything. Most experienced riders eventually reach a skill cap or just enjoy riding more than meeting some artificial expectation of being "better."
  • + 1
 Best answer I've seen yet, leftCoastBurn. Live to ride, ride to live. Can't enjoy, or even participate in, the sport any more if you're too broken to ride.
  • + 1
 Don't really agree mate it's human nature to want to be better at what you do and I for one at 45 yrs old want to ride as well as I can sometimes that goes to far granted but I have a competitive nature and will live the consequences you only live once#bds#mastersworldcup
  • + 1
 Whatever works for you. I would agree with you if you were talking about a real skill that might save your life someday like marksmanship or hand to hand combat--or maybe a career skill--that makes sense. But for a recreational activity that is just for fun for 99% if people who do it... seems a little childish to have that mindset. Just my opinion
  • + 1
 listen pal I have an opinion and so do you I havnt tried to tell you your wrong or that im right but you have made comments that arnt entirely relevant to what we are saying i.e. using words like childish you don't call somebody names when making a point about being childish grow some balls and ride your bike like your supposed too
  • + 1
 Yeah it's cool man. I've been riding aggressive for about 20 years. All i am saying is i have a family to take care of like most adult men so i dial it back to about 80-90% for everyday riding for fun. Doesn't really have anything to do with "balls," just different priorities.
  • + 0
 ERRRRRRRRY DAYY
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