We’ve all been there, descending the mountain bike trail when the feeling of gravity is no longer with us, but against us. Hurling us through the air, facial expressions leaving friends laughing, squealing like a school-yard girl, then slamming you to the ground. Fortunately, a carefree attitude on the trail can help with a safer than expected exit off the bike.
Many things are going through your head while flying through the air. Using those final seconds to console yourself with the fact that at least you are not going to skid along pavement like those roadies; and no matter the bruises and cuts, no cars will be playing pinball with me across the highway. However, no time for consoling thoughts. Instead, use the time to look where you are going to land, and forcing yourself from the instinctual in these situations – trying to protect yourself with outreached arms. Catching yourself this way is a great way to break one. Trust me, I speak from experience.
So how to fall? The “tuck-and-roll” technique of tucking your arms in close to the body to hit the ground on the upper arm and shoulder and rolling into the fall. Just don’t use this technique on a ridgeline or narrow cliff trail… The roll could result in a minute long tumble and undoubtedly resulting in more than what we carry in our pack.
As for a sure fire way to prevent falls and injuries when the terrain gets steep, just get off your bike. Even the best mountain bikers and cyclists meet up with terrain now and again that are best walked, not ridden. So, no matter what you decide to do, ride through a steep technical section, or get off your bike and walk to a safe location, make sure to ride another day.
The TMG Crew