Mountain biking can be perilous at times, riding along edgy singletrack with big drop offs to one side, negotiating rocks large and small and chutes of gravel, not to mention small jumps. But sometimes it’s the silly things that happen on trails or paths you might ride all the time that can catch you out.
I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years from the standard bumps, scraps, scabs and bruises to the more severe – a helicopter ride to hospital with a twisted ankle and more broken and cracked ribs than I care to remember. I think there’s only one part of my rib cage that I’ve not damaged so far (and that’s thanks to biking injuries, falling down the stairs and hitting a tree side on whilst snowboarding).
The element of risk is what makes mountain biking more fun though. It’s the challenge -“can I still do that rock drop?” Or “I’ve ridden something similar before so it can’t be that hard can it?” Or “well let’s just give it a go and see what happens.” After all if you don’t challenge yourself then you don’t improve, but then that’s when accidents can happen, although accidents can happen in the most unexpected places too.
I was in Tignes at the beginning of this summer and crashed out on some gravel at the bottom of a run. It wasn’t steep, it was by no means technical, I was just tired.. and then slam. Before I knew it I’d hit the deck and bent two of my fingers too far back the wrong way. Now if have fingers that don’t quite straighten and are a bit fat around the knuckles where the bone got crushed. But thankfully that’s the worst I’ve done all year.
Last summer in Meribel I mis-jusdged a table top and slammed down hard on my chest and ended up with a haematoma in my thigh. Whilst most people were sharing holiday snaps of hot dog legs, mine were looking like battered sausages. It’s taken over a year for the haematoma to almost vanish but it’s a reminder to me of what can happen when you’re not fully concentrating.
I’ll tell anyone to give mountain biking a go. Just to expect the inevitable crash or the odd injury, because it will happen, hopefully it won’t put you off though 😊