Best Ride of the Year - Opinion

Oct 14, 2016 at 12:11
by Richard Cunningham  

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“Best ride of the year RC. Thanks so much!” It was the third such text from local legend Harold Preston. You’d think after reading them that we had just returned from an all-day epic in Squamish, BC, or Hurricane, Utah – not a one-hour, cross-country loop on our home trails in San Diego.

Some of you may know Preston. He’s one of the better bike-handlers in my city, an indomitable spirit, and a trusted PB test rider who often appears in my bike reviews. A while back, Preston parted company with his bike at the top of a tricky compression drop and ended up with two plates and a number of stainless steel screws inside of his left shoulder. The surgeon handed down a three-month sentence: “No mountain biking until we get that plate out.”

Harry handled the news surprisingly well and, within a week he was on a stationary bike, preparing in earnest for a swift return to his rightful place on the Southland’s Strava reports. By the half-way point, Harry was secretly training on his road bike, still deliriously optimistic, but by the beginning of month three, I could sense the strain in his voice. He was over it. So, I returned a favor.

“Harry. I’m riding this afternoon. You’re coming with me,” I texted. “I’ll be at your house at three.”

Crashing with a plate could hand-grenade his healing process. I assured Harry that we would take it easy. I chose a zone with numerous turns and grade changes, and steered away from jumps and technical descents. My plan went out the window in thirty seconds. Harry was tentative when we first rolled out, but then the supercharger kicked in and it was foot-out, flat-out - almost an hour of drifting and dodging oak trees. I was riding at the top of my game just to stay in contact. The mountain bike had worked its magic. Harry was radiant.

Five months earlier, I suffered a different fate with a similar outcome: two unexpected crashes and two minor concussions. I’m pretty good at mitigating crashes when I can anticipate the danger, but the dirt was moist and tacky, the trails were freshly tuned, and I was flying downhill, relaxed, and riding at 85-percent. What could have gone wrong? The short version for the first off was: bike, no bike, then sky-ground-sky-ground… I had to piece together the second one from clues, because I woke up face down. Two helmets in as many months. The doctor said it would be both foolish and permanent to risk rattling my brain even slightly for a long time, and she ordered me off my bike.

Four weeks crawled by. I anticipated great news about a record recovery at my follow-up visit, but all I got was: “As you age, head trauma becomes far more serious and recovery intervals increase.”

I was fine, at least I felt fine. The doctor asked in an off-handed way, if I had returned from the grocery store recently only to discover that I had duplicated items which I had purchased a week earlier. Damn! Turns out that self-diagnosing one’s state of mind after a good rattle is like self-assessing one’s ability to carry on an intelligent conversation at a bar with a non-inebriated love interest after one drink too many. It rarely goes well.

When the doc finally did give me the OK to ride, it was not the celebration I expected. She knew I rode bikes for a living and grudgingly gave me the nod, followed by a number of phrases like: “no jarring impacts,” “mild exercise,” and “utmost care.” What I heard was: “Bla bla bla …You can ride your bike …bla bla bla bla.” I wasted no time. I was kitted up, tires pressurized, and bike loaded in less than an hour after my checkup. I rode solo. No peer pressure. Just an easy roll on a familiar loop.

It was awful. Trying so hard not to crash virtually ensured that I would. I missed lines. I foot-dabbed easy drops. There was no flow in my ride. Was my brain still addled, or was I overcautious and overthinking everything? I regretted taking so much time off.

Not so long ago, I would have shaken off those crashes and been “back on the horse” the next day, but new studies related to long-term effects of head trauma reveal that minor concussions – the ones most of us once laughed off – can have cumulative and permanent consequences. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. I had visions of ending my mountain biking career on a mobility scooter, helping my caregiver pick out my favorite baby food flavors at Walmart.

Salvation came a short while later in the form of a phone call: “RC. Let’s ride this afternoon! Meet me at my house at three. I’ll take it easy on you – I promise!” It was Harold Preston. Of course, he was lying. We blasted cross-country trails at full gas until sunset. It was the best ride of the year.







72 Comments

  • 66 3
 I think of Lorraine. Do not fuck with head injuries. Full stop.
  • 7 1
 I can second that!
  • 42 1
 "“ Since the crash, I haven’t had a day without headache. Going from being a junior engineer, who used to be able to do her mathematical analysis homework while following a class of quantum mechanics, to a person who struggles to write this text, having to look at it with a massive font size to be able to read it and have to take breaks every 10 minutes or so, is a massive change in my life and also in my self esteem. I was a young rider appreciated for her riding style and with a bright career ahead; now I am a woman who walks with a stick. It’s hard to hold on. Most of the time I feel very ashamed of myself. Despite all I’ve learnt and am still learning about brain injury, I still have that inside voice that tells me it’s nothing. That if I was stronger I could de more rehab and get better faster. I’ve only hit my head a bit! But how to fight what your own central computer can’t achieve? I often feel crazy and so desperate that the only way I see to make all those symptoms stop is not a way where I am alive. Luckily, my sport doc has always backed me up, is kind and compassionate and allows me to take my time and to rest as much as I can. I also sometimes read or meet someone who’s been through the same kind of journey or a doctor who actually understands, reminding me that I am not alone and that all this is not my fault, but that I am wounded.”

– Lorraine Truong

Source (a great read btw): www.descent-world.co.uk/2016/08/02/brain-injuries-in-mountain-biking-are-we-doing-enough

Indeed, do not f*ck with head injuries.
  • 16 2
 I had one last year (#11 concussion, yippee!) It was kinda funny in a way,cuz i had strava on. It was a stupid crash,but i lost 30 minutes. The next day i checked the strava to see where i wrecked.
Thank god a hiker found my bike and then me. Strava showed me wandering around off trail in big circles in the rocky desert for a half hour.
A bit scary,but it looks funny.
The good thing is i can buy Bluerays of my favorite movies and can watch them 2 years apart and have no idea whats going to happen,but i know im going to like it.
Glass half full.
  • 2 0
 Feel truly sorry for Lorraine. Hope recovery comes quickly. But was it just me who thought you meant Marty McFly who hits his head and wakes up and sees Lorraine, his young mom.
  • 2 0
 And off I go looking for a MIPS helmet
  • 28 1
 At sixty five. No talent, limited foresight and good insurance keep my wheels turning. That compulsion to ride drives us to thrive. Go fast, have fun, don't ever stop.
  • 2 0
 I too like to go fast; when I grow up I want to be you!
  • 19 0
 My worst crash of 2016 happened on a flat wide open stretch of gravel. I was pedalling into the start of a jump trail when my chain snapped at the exact moment I put my full weight on the pedal. The release of tension from the breaking chain threw me otb, ravaged the right side of my body from my shin to my shoulder, bent my brand new Spank handlebars, and cracked my helmet. A crash at this speed really put things into perspective.... If this can happen on flat ground under pedal power, what could happen on a steep trail at top speed when a corner tightens up a little quicker than expected?
  • 12 0
 I went otb just under 5 months ago on a simple bit of trail when my front wheel washed out. Ended up with a broken radius and a plate to fix it and four cracked vertebrae. First MTB ride was last weekend and it's hard to shake that thing of how easy it can go wrong.
  • 4 3
 @BorisBC35: I went otb 2 months ago, result: separated shoulder and i still cant put my hand above my head. Went yesterday on my dj bike to ride on tarmac for 800m. Hreat feeling, like you just finnished smoking your first cigar of pot. But now i have even bigger worries if i can shred my dh in future.
  • 4 0
 Same happened to a friend of mine, straight otb to headbutt the tarmac. Broken skull, nearly died, weeks in intensive care and a titanium plate.
Frown
  • 22 0
 Great, now I don't want to ride for the rest of my life.
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet I still wish I had my GoPro on when this happened... we would have made fail of the month!!!
  • 2 0
 Had the same thing happen to me a year ago in a stand up sprint, the chain snapped and I went otb into a tree.
  • 2 0
 but, "It was awful. Trying so hard not to crash virtually ensured that I would. I missed lines. I foot-dabbed easy drops. There was no flow in my ride. Was my brain still addled, or was I overcautious and overthinking everything? I regretted taking so much time off."
  • 2 0
 I think about this fact all the time - it's like tree skiing; if you make a small error, you can smoke a tree and die. Even if you don't make the error directly, say your tire rolls or chain breaks.
  • 19 0
 The ride I just finished is always the best ride of the year!
  • 7 0
 Totally true! Be it on the road, dirt or snow. It's always the best time of the day/week/month/year!
  • 16 1
 Hi my name is Lee and I ride a mountain bike, and I hurt myself but then I got better. So I rode my bike again, but then I hurt myself again. I think I have a problem.
  • 18 0
 (in Unison): Hello Lee
  • 9 0
 @frijolemoreno: Hello, thank you for coming to the group today.
  • 1 0
 Don't worry mate, I broke my right Collar Bone 3 times in 14 weeks...
  • 12 4
 I had a huge crush five weeks ago where it seriously could've gone so bad like death or worse, paralysis. I went too fast on a pretty big jump at my locals, was sent OTB and nose dived right on the hard soil. I did put in my hands as a reflex but then my in my head hit the soil so hard because a fell from like 3m high... consequences: big commotion: i was seeing everything in triple for like 20 minutes. My helmet had taken all the impact, a d3 carbon i had for 1 year, destroyed now... went directly to the hospital where they scanned all my brain and cervicals and ... i had nothing there what a miracle ... ""only a broken elbow" ... i know realise that taking such risks just doesn't worth it, thank god and my d3 that i m alive. I m definitly done with jumps and freeride now
  • 31 0
 Your username is familiar to me from these comment sections. I don't truly know you, but I recognize you as a member of this community; from one regular Pinkbiker to another, I'm thankful you made it out okay.
  • 12 0
 @Bluefire: thanks man ... I recognize i commented some useless shit sometimes, apologies for that, but overall i just write my thoughts with a positive attitude; cheers
  • 4 0
 Get well soon, mate. Sending healing vibes!
  • 2 0
 Glad to hear you got away with it so well. And if we call destroying 300 euros worth in gear and a broken elbow "well", you know things could have been really horrible. It may be sad for the helmet, but it ultimately did what you got it for. Your elbow probably saved your head as well. So yeah take it easy, make sure that elbow makes a full recovery and set some new goals. There are enough ways to challenge yourself on a mountainbike without facing such serious consequences. Take care!
  • 4 0
 @RedBurn: Really glad it worked out for you. A close rider friend of mine died in our arms when he had a freak fall off a nothing 2ft high skinny. Maybe it all balances out in the end with really bad crashes that work out ok.

It certainly changes the way you approach riding.
Life rolls on......
  • 4 0
 I think when things start to feel better and you've had a few months off, you'll feel better about hitting jumps again, its only natural to be cautious right after it happened but that need for that floaty flying feeling of jumping a bike never fades. You'll be fine, do your rehab, hopefully you'll be back out flying in no time. The one thing I've learnt (painfully) over the years is to be cautious, do things that are safe, they can still be huge air or whatever just make sure you've prepared properly and are concentrating on precisely what you need to be doing every time you head out. Good luck with it, don't give up
  • 2 0
 @graeme187: i dont want to be back .... no risks anymore ... my mentality has always been going bigger and bigger, and once you will know a jump perfectly, you WILL crash on that jump one day, where you thought it d be alright as usual, but no.. i m done with jumps
  • 3 0
 @RedBurn: Fact is, its all dangerous. Just ride within your limits and have fun. Too many people think they need to ride like Aaron Gwin or jump like Aggy to have fun. Its not true. Don't quit freeriding if you enjoy it, maybe just be more cautious in the future : )

I'm glad that you are okay.
  • 2 0
 @hgrenade: thanks dude... of course i cant imagine my wheels 100% on the ground hahaha! But it will be "nothing" compared to before and i m ok with that, as long as i will have fun on my bike anywhere!! btw i cant wait to ride anymore.... yet 3 to4 weeks reeducation and i ll be allright I guess !!
  • 2 0
 sad to hear you got hurt. hope a good recovery for you, mate. me too used to read you around here. keep around and cheers!!
  • 7 0
 On one hand, having grown up in a family of doctors, I can't help but shake my head in exasperation at the recklessness on display. But as a fellow mountain biker, I can vividly relate to the sensation of which you speak - the silently roaring, golden catharsis of a really good ride. Nothing compares. I am young, and so I have thankfully avoided serious injury on the trail thus far. When my time inevitably comes, I suspect I'll pay as little respect to the doctor's orders as you did.
  • 2 0
 @bluefire This last year our whole crew has been obliterated by injuries. We've ridden together since 2010 with no serious ones and we do some pretty tasty stuff. We all talked about it and agreed that if you ride long enough it's not a matter if but when. So the last 18 months for our crew have yielded 2 broken backs (both fortunate not to suffer any lasting effects, one is still in his brace as I type), a ruptured spleen requiring an airlift to hospital, 1 collar bone, 1 metatarsal, 1 broken thumb and I've recovering from a dislocated shoulder....

Seems like ages since we've all been out together! Fingers crossed for 2017!
  • 7 0
 And this is why stuff like CTE doesn't get taken seriously--because riding injured get romanticized as having passion or some other BS. I get it, not being able to ride really sucks--been there myself more than once. Getting old sucks too, so throw both in the mix and you've got a recipe for pure frustration but we need to grow up and respect our bodies. I'm a lot more impressed by a 65 year-old who can still ride tech trails than by some 20-something that's able and willing to 'send it' anywhere.
  • 5 0
 I went OTB and crushed the side ofmy helmetat the beginning of May. I still have issues with dizziness and vision, unable to drive or work. It's a struggle dealing with it but this article gave me a little light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for the article Richard and some inspiration.
  • 4 0
 The key to a great ride is not anticipating it. When you are determined to have a good ride because you've been out injured, stressed or whatever, you aren't at your best anyway and it never goes as well as you'd hoped. Those rides where you just 'get' it, when you never expected it, are the best...
  • 4 0
 Ruding with thr intent not to crash. Makes for some awkward riding. Just have fun! Unfortunately you cant predict that odd moment that sends you off your bike .potentaly causing a concussion. Ive had too many knocks to the head. I love riding too much to slow down.
  • 4 0
 After a couple concussions, one from MTB I have to say the big crash is always in my mind a little bit. I think age/maturity plays into this too - gotta make it to work on Monday might mean shutting down a big drop or jump now whereas when I was 20 it was game on.
  • 3 0
 I busted up my hands 6 weeks ago on my commute. Just had my first taste of dirt since then, and its never been sweeter. My hands still hurt, but after a month of wondering if i'll straighten my fingers again... no MTB is an existential crisis and i've never been happier.
  • 4 0
 So true! Had a broken collarbone mid-season last year and been back on the bike after 8 weeks, fortunate enough. I was smiling even when rolling fire roads up to the trail entrace - while my pals partly were struggeling to find any fun in riding the very same trail. (Hacklbergtrail, if you happen to know)
  • 3 0
 "Turns out that self-diagnosing one’s state of mind after a good rattle is like self-assessing one’s ability to carry on an intelligent conversation at a bar with a non-inebriated love interest after one drink too many. It rarely goes well."
Haaaa that's good
  • 3 0
 Ride to live, live to ride. Nothing puts my mind and body back together again like a quick spin on my local trails. Perspective is regained, the mood is lightened, and life looks and feels rosy again, even after 30 years as a mountain biker. As Beavis would say, mountain biking RULES!
  • 3 0
 Don't rush the recovery process from any injury, especially head trauma.

After riding my old 26er at a skate board park, I was manual-ing through the parking lot. I wasn't covering the rear brake (duh) and the bike came back on me. My sticky shoes,spiky pedals and hard asphalt were a perfect storm, tibia shattered, fibula broken as well.

It took me FOREVER to recover because I am old and I stressed the breaks early and often. I cut quite the figure at the bike parks and trail centers with a cleat on my orthopedic (orthoshredic) boot! However, I know this delayed my full recovery.

It's been almost four years now, and I still can't dunk (but I never could before Smile ).
  • 3 0
 Part of why I love this sport is because it's dangerous. The adrenaline gives a better kick than anything I've tried so far. So I am fully willing to accept the consequences of messing up. Without that threat, I doubt it would be quite as fun.
  • 2 0
 Tore a meniscus and now have a little bone on bone. Doc says to ride all I want, just no pushing the bike up or down, just pedaling. So now I'm relegated to fire roads and trails marked easy but it still feels great to get some miles in.
  • 1 0
 Word. Had my right lateral meniscus removed back in the spring. I didn't have a choice in the matter; my knee wouldn't straighten enough to get into a normal MRI so they just went ahead and scheduled a scope. I woke up and that's when I found out they pulled the darn thing out. Turns out I was one of the worst cases the Dr. had ever seen. Anyway, after all that, I was very surprised to hear that he was fine with me riding as hard as I want. Apparently heel strikes are what I need to avoid, so I'm not allowed to run/jog. My first ride back was at one of the more grueling races in my neck of the woods. Couldn't have had more of a fun time.

If you haven't already, check with your doc about getting an OA brace. Mine was cheap (~$100) and makes riding much more comfortable.
  • 2 0
 It's interesting reading all of these crash stories and hearing how they do/do not change peoples' perspectives. For me, I had 2 pretty bad crashes in the last year, all involving sizeable jumps on my downhill bike, and decided that it wasn't worth it to me. It's a tough mindset to get over because I have a few buddies who are into sending the biggest things possible, and I feel almost ashamed for shying away from things that I otherwise would have been excited to hit before my accidents changed my perspective. I've managed to rein in my confidence a bit more again, but I don't think it will ever be quite the same.

I've never had any major impacts to my head, but broken bones in the last couple of years have taught me that going for a sketchy, big ass sender in the woods isn't worth the ensuing time off the bike and potential for lifelong impacts to my mobility, etc.
  • 3 0
 There's no shame in not hitting something, biking is about having fun, if your mates are happy hitting them and its fun for them fine, but if it's not making you happy don't do it, you should feel happy that you're out enjoying the bits you do enjoy and not worry about what you think other people are thinking. Sometimes we go on rides where we avoid all the jump trails and it turns out to be one of the best because everyone has a completely different ride and its fun again, maybe try to encourage your mates to hit those. Or get a trail bike, less temptation to hit scary big jumps and more playtime, less 'serious' than DH bikes can get
  • 2 0
 What NOT to do. A good way to have permanent damage. Brain injuries are no joke. The effects compound in severity with successive concussions and age. Personally, I have had a few over the years, but always felt fine after a few weeks. The latest, five months ago, however, whole different ball-game, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, confusion, etc. It can be extremely isolating, as despite best intentions, many do not understand. I went from a very active guy, to not being able to do any intense physical activity. Imagine not being able to work and earn money. No rides with bros and no beer! It is life altering. All one can do is remain positive, take care of your self well, reduce risks, and hope for a brighter day. If you're not cleared by a doctor, experienced in concussion care, and you do not know for sure that your brain has healed, please don't risk it.
  • 2 0
 Don't usually post but this one is close to home. In the past 4 years I have had some major crashes. the list goes something like this: 2 Broken ankles, 1 broken wrist, entire left side of ribs fractured and displaced. 1 broken collar bone, Shattered right scapula and shoulder joint, and 4 heavy concussions. My last major concussion was 3 yrs ago (see my pics in profile) My Leatt saved my life. I couldn't remember who I was or what I had said seconds before for about a month. Couldn't remember what my wife had asked me to do for about a yr. Taught myself to write with my left hand because right was useless. Anyway, of all the injuries the head impacts are the worst. The thing that frustrates me is that I don't know what I was like before because things are different now I don't think it will ever return, but life goes on. So the focus for me is trying to rid my mind of fear. One thing that has helped me is to basically chant this mantra "That was then and this is now" "whatever pain and challenges I have had was then and this is now" "take control of now" . This has helped me to move on and accept. I am also riding at a higher level than ever so there is a bright light but, the concern of hitting my head is with me at all times. I really believe this is a healthy concern. I replace my helmets. I assess things better. I walk away from things that I would have historically just done site unseen. I make better plans. I hit the eject button before I ride the bars into the dirt. My wife has come to understand that I need to have time going full out to be a happy person. With that will come injury and unforeseen consequences. If I could say to her that I will break one limb a season and need recovery I would, but head injuries are trickier. She made some changes to help me feel less useless. She writes things on the fridge and calendar, she reminds me often, she is less mad when I gap on things that we have talked about and I compensate by contributing more elsewhere whenever I can. This was a long ramble and I don't remember why I started it.... Wink heal up and change things to suit who you are and where you are but never give up.
  • 8 4
 Best ride of my life , got to be a Chinese girl I hooked up with a few months ago .
Best 30 seconds of my life ????
  • 1 0
 I am only a week or two away from my first ride back... Well, 4 weeks if you ask my doctor. Fractured my elbow in an OTB crash at speed and now have a plate and 7 screws. 40 days since the crash, 31 days since the surgery. But it feels like I've been off the bike for an eternity! The anticipation is killing me!
  • 1 0
 Welcome back. Take care out there!
  • 1 0
 Had a concussion in May, best ride ever was getting back into an enduro race a month later and letting it all out. Broke my collar bone 7 weeks ago riding DH with my 5 year old (Yes, 5...) and it was worth it, getting on the bike and getting my kids on the bike is awesome. Can't wait for this to heal up, get in some DH riding in the snow!
  • 2 0
 Overshot a big tabletop, landed on my ribs in a pile of rocks. Rib cracked and punctured my lungs. Literally my heart and lungs failed. I still don't know how I'm alive to this day.
  • 1 0
 I got a concussion on an MX bike a few years back. Thinking I was James Stewart. I thought i'd give wheeling through a set of whoops a go. All I saw was whoops, then sky....more sky....Why am I in the back of a truck with a Gatorade in my hands? It was a pretty horrible few months. Headaches, lack of concentration, and feeling like my brain was pulled out and put in backwards. The worst thing is not knowing if this will or already has had an affect on me. I read about how head injuries can cause problem in ten maybe twenty years after the fact.
  • 2 0
 Thats funny. I had a moto concussion years ago and had a magic gatorade show in my hands walking back to the truck.
  • 1 0
 Pain from an injury sucks in a big way. Missing work and the money is also a drag. Being off the trail for many weeks is the worst! These are what keep me from really pushing my limits. That kind of decision making only came to me as I aged. Now well into my 50s I recognize some mental governor at work.
  • 1 0
 After racing motorcycles, riding mountain bikes and generally being an idiot my whole life I have definitely had my fair share of broken bones and concussions. The cumulative effect of all these injuries is hard to quantify when you are aging at the same time. I still function pretty well physically and aerobicly I am in great shape. Brain wise I am not so sure. I estimate that in my 55 years I have had at least 3 major concussions and 15-20 minor dingers. Up until a few years ago if you crashed racing and hit your head you probably got back on the bike and raced that day. Even today many riders don't replace a helmet after an impact. In fact the more expensive the helmet it seems like the less likely it gets replaced. Honestly I wonder if it's the aging that's making me a grumpy old man or the effect of the concussions and that scares me.
  • 1 0
 With a broken clavical and torn shoulder I was out 6 months after surgery before I got back on the bike.

Then, the weather we got started to RAIN every damn weekend. To make things even worse my Fork had to get sent to get repaired. On top of that I sprained by wrist while road cycling to work because some jerk in his car didn't stop while coming out of a parking lot.

7 weeks it took for my wrist to get better enough to go back to mountain biking and only 2 weeks later I get into another road bike accident coming home from work Not my fault as the person who crashed into tried to pass a few joggers and didn't yield to on coming cyclists...like me.

That crash broke my middle finger. Now it's been 3 weeks and I am recovering fast but still not able to mountain bike.

Best Ride of the Year for me? Any one of the rides I got to ride. Frown
  • 1 0
 I just did my first MTB ride last week since the 9th July, dislocated my shoulder, damaged the rotator cuff and tendon.

If I'm honest it's still sore as hell, NHS has given my physio but said that they won't operate to repair the shoulder for 8 months! At this stage I'd already been not riding for 2 months bar a bit of the turbo trainer. Now I can just about tolerate the road bike commuting back and for work but the turbo trainer was really breaking my spirit especially as we had such a nice summer and I knew from the Whatsapp group that the boys were all out shredding.

I'm not supposed to be riding but I did bust out the DH bike last week for a little blast at our local spot. It was sore and but I can ride. Very tentatively at first by buy he end of the day I was hooning a little too much may be but hey, commit or eat shit.

New AM rig is arriving next week, the physio has cleared me to ride the road bike (he didn't explicitly say it but I'm pretty sure he meant MTB too) just said whatever you do, don't fall off... Well Hey, I never did that on purpose anyway but yes I will do my best to avoid falling off...

Now I know that I'm probably not doing the right thing and may well be aggravating the injury but if I'm not riding I'm miserable, don't see so much or my mates and miss the quiet zen moment of blazing down a trail flat out thinking of nothing but you, the bike and the trail!
  • 2 0
 I consider a successful ride on my motorcycle one where I come home safely in one piece. I still need to get better at applying that to mtb.
  • 2 0
 Man, while I empathize with everyone's injuries and wish you all full and speedy recoveries, I've got to leave this page or I will never ride again.
  • 2 2
 That's a fairly stupid and irresponsible article for PB to publish.

Re-injure your head, maybe never feel quite like yourself again, let alone ride again.

Smash the shoulder, bend some plates, maybe never use your shoulder again, let alone ride.

Mountain biking has risks, we all know that, but riding injured is a surefire way to f**k it up.
  • 4 0
 I found this article to be incredibly ignorant
  • 2 0
 I'm about to be down for around six months I already can't wait for my best ride of the year. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Best ever - your next one and the one you ride today - live it smile and never take it seriously - they're bikes fun love it
  • 1 0
 fear is the mind killer
  • 2 4
 I got too bored at about mid point text. I wonder if the ending was good...

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