Injuries suck, it's as simple as that. Flat tires, broken parts, running over a pile of steaming dog poo – all of those annoyances pale in comparison to to the feeling you get when a doctor (or the internet) tells you that you're going to have to stay off the bike for a few weeks, months, or even longer.
I've racked up my fair share of mountain biking injuries over the years, and I've got the scars and titanium plates in my body to prove it. Just like any action sport involving speed and immovable objects, getting hurt comes with the territory, no matter how much protective apparel you put on. My list of injuries is pretty extensive, but I like to put it all into perspective by considering how many rides I've gone on compared how many times I've been hurt over the last 23 years of riding - when I look at it like that the list doesn't seem so scary. Plus, I'd rather have a few extra aches and pains and a bunch of memories of incredible rides versus spending my life in a virtual world, staring at a TV or computer screen away from any danger or actual physical activity.
Despite all those painful encounters with trees and dirt, I've never really considered putting my bike away for good. Instead, I've used the thought of pedaling along a perfect stretch of singletrack as a motivating tool, something to look forward to once my wounds are healed.
Those first rides back always feel a little odd, especially if you've decided to interpret a doctor's orders to 'take it easy' a little differently than most. But before long the flashbacks to that last crash begin to subside, and the number of successful rides increases, restoring your confidence in your ability to successfully pilot a bicycle more than a few times in a row without needing to visit the hospital.What does your list look like? Check all that apply below, and here's hoping that everyone has an injury-free season.