Years ago, in 2005 to be exact, a Singletracks user started a forum topic and asking other users to share their best crash stories. Some were funny and others were horrifying. Readers shared times that they went over their bars, smacked their heads on the ground, and broke bones.
In early May, Singletracks asked users and readers to share their stories again. The crashes paralleled many earlier stories. In a sport where technology is constantly changing, the accidents, consequences, and the learning curve of mountain biking remain the same.
Daniel Haney shared his story in a Facebook comment on the Singletracks’ post on May 4. He said that he was following his friends down Porcupine Rim in Moab, Utah, when he endoed on a steep section of the trail, in between both of his friends.
“I am now flying through the air like Superman, still clipped into my bike,” Haney said in the comment.
On his way through the air, his handlebars clip his friend’s handlebars, which causes his friend to crash. Haney says he landed, fairly unscathed. His friend was in much worse shape, though.
“He is mangled and bleeding. He is so pissed, he doesn’t say a word and simply remounts his bike and rides off.” Haney says when he caught his friend down the trail, he was already in a better mood.
Another Singletracks reader, Fred McGill, commented about his time riding in the Moab desert as well. McGill was in the middle of his pack of friends riding when they came upon a seemingly innocent puddle. Everyone rode around it except him. McGill popped his front wheel up to power through when one of his friends shouted out to deter him.
“Too late. Turned out to be about a six-foot waterhole,” said McGill. “I went completely under,” he said. McGill’s friends helped pull him out of the hole.
Frank Zavala also shared his story in the Facebook comments. Zavala says that he crashed on a ride in Wyoming after his “fork collapsed,” which sent him over the bars. In the landing, he fractured both of his wrists and broke a firearm he was carrying in his hydration pack. He says he had to pedal back out for about two miles with his broken wrists.
Maybe one of the most depressing stories was shared by David Stout. He says that he was on his honeymoon, riding the Bennett Gap trail in Pisgah, North Carolina. Stout says he was fresh off of a collarbone injury and it wasn’t fully healed, yet. He crashed and went over the bars, again, and re-broke the bone. He ended his honeymoon, went into surgery again, and got a new plate and nine more screws in his collarbone. Stout added that he’s since divorced.
There are literally thousands of crash videos on YouTube if you’re into watching that sort of thing.
Not all crashes are full of pain, and blood, and time off of the bike, though. Some readers wrote about experiences that solidified their relationship with mountain biking.
A Singletracks reader under the username MattBees replied to the forum about his time crashing on the Tanasi trail system in Tennessee when he was a new rider.
His friends took him down an advanced trail in the area. On the way down, his friends told him not to ride his brakes, but he worried that if he didn’t ride his brakes, he would hit a tree. But he took his friend’s advice for a moment and he let off his brakes, hit a corner, and went airborne.
“Well, I was on the brakes, but they didn’t work until I made contact with the earth,” he said.
When he touched down, the brakes and tires grabbed and he flew off the trail.
“I crawled back up the side of the mountain and just laid there for a few seconds to let the pain die down, got back on my friend’s bike, we laughed it off and kept going. Been hooked ever since!”
If you haven’t weighed in yet, it’s your turn: What is your best (or worst) MTB crash story?