How often do you get injured?


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    • #182727

      As I begin my third period of injury recover in less than two years, I found myself wondering: am I alone? Do other people spend a ridiculous amount of time on the sidelines as well?

      So tell me: how often do YOU get injured?

      To be fair to the sport of mountain biking, only 1 injury of the 3 recent injuries I mentioned was caused by riding, and it was an overuse injury. The last time I had a traumatic riding injury that kept me off the bike was back in 2008… but still, I keep getting injured in other sports, which affects my riding.

      I’m also interested in any specific injury stories you want to relate!

    • #182743

      You probably don’t want to hear this but I’ve never had an injury that’s kept me off the bike. Heck, I’m lucky to say I’ve never had an injury that’s even kept me from running for more than a day or two. You could argue that’s because I don’t push myself or take enough risks and honestly, that’s a pretty valid argument.

      Leah injured her ankle while running back in December and she hasn’t been able to run since then which really bothers her. Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for you and her both!

    • #182745

      Haha yeah, didn’t really want to hear that 🙂

      However, there are definitely two sides to that coin that you mentioned. On the one hand, while yes, you’re not pushing yourself as hard as maybe you could, on the other, I’ve been asking myself more and more: what do I enjoy most about mountain biking, and the other sports that I do? Some of it’s the thrill, yes, but most of it is just getting out in the mountains, working hard physically, enjoying the experience, and sharing it with friends.

      While I’d like to think I could always push my limits to the same degree I have in recent years, honestly, the older I get, the more sense it makes to maybe dial back the crazy a bit in an attempt to simply keep myself riding (and running, and skiing, etc.) instead of riding the couch for months at a time, injured.

    • #182747

      Here’s the odd thing about injuries for me.  My worst injuries, most painful and/or most debilitating, have been the result of rather low-speed crashes or seemingly benign obstacles.

      My most spectacular/high speed crashes, while usually painful at the moment, have never been debilitating.

      So, at least in my case, there has not been a direct correlation between “pushing myself” and ending up on the couch.  I sometimes use that to goad myself into continuing to push myself.  But I’m still more risk averse than in the past.  As Neil Peart says  in the song “You Bet Your Life”  — “The odds get even.”

    • #182793

      I’ve had several. Concussion in ’96 (hit an overhanging branch I think. I don’t actually remember). Fractured right clavicle in 2000 (missed a bunny hop). Fractured left wrist & left shoulder dislocation in 2004 (hit by a car on a road ride).

      The one I’m recovering from now though takes the cake. Dislocated left hip (put back in by ER doc), two posterior rib fractures and a compression fracture of T-7 vertebrae. I was on my cross bike doing a “gravel grinder” with three buddies when a deer (yes, a deer) running at full speed T-boned me in the rear wheel. You can’t make that up!

      Put this video on HD & fast forward to about 4:50

      Ed Hamilton vs a deer! Glad Ed is going to be okay.

      Posted by Louis Schwarzman on Saturday, December 5, 2015

      Oh, and if you are squeamish, don’t watch past the crash!


      • #186428

        Hit a sheep once… a herd of them hangin’ out on the road around a blind turn on a huge hill. Pretty sure I blacked out before I hit it. No broken bones but the road rash and bruising was epic. Back on the bike the next morning.

    • #182802

      I have been lucky. I havn’t had a bad injury yet!

    • #182807

      I’ve been riding off road for years now but my only injury was back in 2013 when there was a tube strike and I was forced to take my baby out on the roads to get to work.

      A taxi pulled out infront of me from the opposite side of the road I slammed on me brakes flew over the handlebars ( ridiculously bad braking technique I know) and landed 4 foot away from my bike facing the tread of the taxis front wheel.

      I went to get up to dish out some scottish justice then realised my right arm was folded backwards over my shoulder.

      3 months off work with a shattered upper arm broken shoulder also dislocated socket and a rather painful scratch on my left knee!.

      Got a payout last month and bought a tasty Neukproof TR 275 comp !.

      Silver lining to every cloud I guess!.

    • #182856

      Outside of the usual bruises and scratches that come from wipeouts or unintentional bike separation, I have stayed fairly healthy. I have had some pretty nasty spills, but usually get up intact.

      Two weeks before Christmas I had a pretty good wipeout on a wood berm that was partially covered in wet leaves. Left my hip and thigh with a section of skin missing and a black, blue, green and yellow bruise that was nearly the size of a football. Also either cracked or fractured a couple of ribs, they are still a little tender to the touch. Also had a little trail rash on my shin and forearm. I had to ride out about 3.5 miles back to the truck…. now that sucked.

    • #182892

      Luckily I haven’t been injured too badly other than normal scrapes and bruises from the occasional wipe out. Only serious injury was in January of last year when an endo resulted in a cracked tooth. Also in 30+ years of road riding the only spill I ever had was trying to do a track stand for the first time in clipless pedals. Mostly bruised my pride on that one as it was in front of several neighborhood kids lol. I do ride a little more cautiously now at 53 though. My 25 y.0. son-in-law begs to differ.

    • #182897

      Nothing major. A lot of endos causing bruising and abrasions and upgraded bike parts

    • #182969

      Update on thought to be healed cracked ribs… they are cracked again from sledding Friday night… This is what happens when middle aged man tries to keep with his kids on a snowy night.

    • #183192

      While I’ve had bike injuries in the past that have kept me from riding (concussion and others), it seems that lately other stupid accidents are happening that are taking their toll on my biking time. Ah well, hopefully this season is nearly over!!

    • #183195

      Over the last two years I’ve been off the bike with a number of injuries. To be fair they are all linked to the first as it never healed which has a knock on effect of making me crash as I lack strength in my shoulder. Doc says rest but I end up going out of my mind not riding. I think as you get older you are prone to injury more often purely because it takes longer to heal. That’s my experience. Also, the mind thinks it capable of sending stuff you were doing 20 years ago. Sadley that’s not the case.

      One specific injury I had two years ago was a low speed crash that I didn’t think was much. I went over the bars on some steps and rolled off into the under growth much to the entertainment of my friends. As I climb back out to their laughter it came to an abrupt stop as I was bleeding quite heavly from my forearm. Few minutes later I was unconscious from blood loss. To cut a long story short I had fallen on some re-bar that was holding up one of the steps went through my arm and ripped out as I rolled off. It’s all good now but I still can’t ride that trail anymore. Worst than that I was rescued and taken to hospital by my own watch (I’m a firefighter) Never gonna live that down.

    • #183202

      @redd42 ouch, that sounds brutal!!

    • #183215

      Started mountain biking about 10 months ago, I’m 59 yrs old . Over the bars twice resulting in a bruised rib both times, only missed two Saturdays riding. learned from both experiences, always been one to try to push it to the next level, wife keeps reminding me I to old for this stuff.

    • #183266

      @Craig/FI you’re never to old. Fair play to you.

    • #183407

      I did a nasty endo more than a few years ago when I hit a deep sandy wash-out rut at full speed. I have fallen many times before, but this one was not good. Even though I rolled with the fall almost perfectly to minimize the damage, I still ended up dislocating my left shoulder on that fall. It took me around a whole month of not riding to get the shoulder back in shape. I counted this one as lost time where I could of been riding my bike, and very lucky that I had no medical bill that would of killed my budget.

      I ride mainly to stay healthy, and thoroughly enjoy the ride through the woods. Riding at break-neck speeds for an adrenaline rush has never really been my style. After this injury, I have focused on more XC miles, and less downhill and technical trails.

      How often do I get hurt now-a-days after I changed my focus? So far around once every few years, and the injuries are much less severe too.

    • #183521

      I take a spill now and then. Nothing more than a bump and bruises. Sometimes a sprain wrist, elbow, ankle, or a knee. When I was in my early 20’s I took the crash of a lifetime. Four friends and I were pushing our limits on a well known trail. We had just rode it the week before. I was in front heading down to the river. A nice downhill section with some tight turns. We just got rollin and rounded the first turn when I saw a good size tree limb. All I could do is pull a wheelie and hope to control the rear end. Not the case. I was sent into a cartwheel flipping four times before coming to a stop with my bike on top of me. My friends pulled my bike off of me and was talking to me to see if I was still conscious. I did the systems check and didn’t feel to bad except for my left ankle. I had blood on my sock. When I took off my shoe and sock I saw that the axle had pierced  the skin between the Achilles Tendon and the ankle bone. It went clean through. I was very lucky it didn’t hit the bone or tendon. My friend had some whiskey in a flask. I took a good swig then I put the flask on the hole and gave it a good squeeze till it came out the other side. I sat there for a few minutes more than put my sock and shoe back on. I walked around a bit to see if I was able to get home. Unbelievably it didn’t hurt that much so we set off to finish the ride after tweaking my bars and saddle back into place. My friends still can’t believe that I finished that ride.

    • #183524

      Great story Schmo … … and by the way, great name. =)   I love it when ST readers share their own stories.  You are fortunate you didn’t sever your tendon.

    • #183578

      I’ve been riding seriously now for about three years, and luckily (don’t know if it was actually that lucky though) I’ve only had one major injury. I went over the handlebars pushing myself way too hard and when I came up immediately knew I broke my clavicle. The pain was worse than any injury I’ve had before, and now I know I never want to have that happen again. I was off the bike for two months after having surgery, then I could ride again but only on rail trails and the road. Another two months later and I could finally do some real riding.

      If anything the injury was a good wake-up call to me. Not that I ride any crazy downhill or try to ride as fast as possible, but it made me think a little more about my lines and realize that getting hurt sucks. I missed four months of riding at the end of the summer and fall, and my favorite time of year to ride is in the fall. And I couldn’t do anything else during that time, no going to the gym, no golf, no hockey. Being that I am typically so active it was like my body was in prison! Luckily I’m back together now but I’m always going to have that plate and six screws in me, but its a good reminder that I like to get out there and ride for the fun of it. I’m not making any money riding my bike, so I have no reason to push myself way past my limitations. Riding is too much fun to be hurt!

    • #183595

      after riding 35 years I have only injured myself 3x….in the late 20’s going otb and landing on a swan off stump….ouch.  in my late 40’s I managed to break both pinky’s….nice!  Both on sheer drop off’s that landed me on my side and for some reason i think I am drinking high tea when I lurch onto the cliff….hence broken fingers.  Each time I just snapped them back into place and rode on…with tears in my eyes!  It’s funny now as my pinky’s on both sides are fatter than the 4th digit….and awefully hard to play the git like I use to.

    • #183625

      I started riding in May of 2011. Plenty of OTB experiences but nothing more than scrapes and some grass/dirt stains.

      April 2012 Broke my left collarbone after clipping a tree with wider bars and going OTB into another tree. (ER visit only)
      Back on the bike in July of 2012 and nothing major for a while just a couple of washouts here and there.

      Fast forward to August 2014 and BAM! concussion, eight broken bones, some internal organ damage and memory loss to boot. (Six days in the hospital)
      Back on the bike in November of 2104 and again, nothing major. I barely had any washouts since I was still getting my strength back.

      2015 comes in and I’m doing more enduro “races”. Thankfully no major crashes except for one pedal strike that sent me cartwheeling. I broke my pedals and ripped the jacket I was wearing, but no broken bones. I had a sore shoulder for a while but that went away after a week or so.

      I’m really hoping my “every two years” pattern doesn’t rear its ugly head this year. After 2014’s hospital stay, I’d hate to see this year’s.

    • #183686

      10 times if you count my road ride across a very icey lake last Saturday.

    • #183768

      @jared13 Hope you stay injury free this year!!

    • #183843

      Broke my arm, basically standing with my bike, wating for a bus to pass. Went to get on the bike, fell forward and had a hairline fracture near my elbow. Kept me out a couple of months.

      I’ve hurt my knee several times, nothing extremely serious, but enough to keep me off my bike for at least a week or two. Probably from riding too hard, too often. Got a HR monitor and I have learned to train a bit smarter and that has helped me a lot.


    • #183937

      Thanks Greg! I’m hoping the same! 😀

    • #184468

      I hate to admit it, but I usually have a couple of minor injuries a year and about every 2-3 years I have a major one. As I type this I’m recovering from a foot surgery.  Lucky me! I get the stitches out tomorow and plan on heading right from the doctors office to the trail!

    • #184559

      Just dumped my cyclocross bike on a leisure ride with the wife less than a week ago!  Caught the front tire between grass and sidewalk while turning, slammed me to the concrete.  Clipped in and didn’t have a chance to unclip to put a foot down, landed right on my left hip.  Also slammed my head on concrete, but thanks to the HELMET I was OK!  Huge black bruise and can’t sleep on my left, really surprised and relieved I didn’t break a leg.

    • #184923

      I had an over use knee injury at the end of last year which didn’t completely take me off the bike but I was reduced to family friendly rides with my kids (7 and 8) rather than big climbs and rapid descents. But other than that I have had no bike related injuries in the past 3 years. ( I had a long hiatus from riding when I was in the military, in hind sight that was a huge mistake, so many trails at my disposal back then) Before that when I was in my teens I would say once a month I’d get wrecked doing something stupid.

    • #185039

      I consider getting banged up something that will happen if you mountain bike.  It’s not uncommon to come home with a scrape here or a bruise there.  For serious injuries, I’ve only needed stitches once.

    • #185359

      Let’s see…. I broke 3 ribs in a wicked endo, Off for 2 months. I broke my back and tailbone in 2 places in a full speed back flip. That one was just stupid. After a straight down the mountain decent I went down a little shoot off the trail and hit something in the grass at the parking lot and flipped backward.Was off for 9 months on that one. Did a lot of road biking then.  3weeks ago I ran into a tree on my first fat bike snow ride. Was on a nice decent that goes between 2 small 3″trees. I go through there all the time on my lefty.  Found out the fatty will ROLL! It also will fly. It also is wider than my Flash. Came through at a good clip when I caught the end inch of the pedal on the tree to my left. The bike weighs 36# and flew like a helicopter rotor over my head and landed about 7′  past me. bike came away in good shape but I sprained my right shoulder and my left hand. Got up and figured the adrenalin had me covered so I rode another 2.5 hours then went to the ER. Just got back on the bike Monday. I expect it to happen as I am 58 and feel like I am 16 on my bikes. I ride em like I am 16 also.


    • #185643

      Greg, hope you’re healing up.

      I’ve never been hospitalized for an injury and never missed more than a couple days. I’ve been blessed. The aforementioned fact should not be the case. I’m afraid the bad injury will happen when I’m bike commuting and I’ll get hit by a car on the way to work. People are idiots, especially behind the wheel.

    • #185661

      Thanks dex8425! I was actually able to get out for my first road ride post-surgery this weekend! Even though it’s not singletrack yet, it still feels good to be pedaling some pavement and gravel!

    • #185663

      Great to hear you are back in the saddle again Greg.  All the best.

    • #185724

      I have been MTB since the early 90’s….(knock on wood) I haven’t had any serious injuries that have left me out of commission for a long duration, except for the usual scrapes/bruises/cuts, but never any thing that required a hospital visit or serious down time.    On the other hand, I’ve had my share of some serious wipe outs which have let to a couple cracked frames, and being thrown into a river (bike & all).


    • #185925

      Fortunately (and knock on wood), I have not been plagued by injuries as a function of mountain biking.  But, when they did occur, surprisingly, it was not a result of a crash related to pushing the boundaries of my capability or dabbling outside my skill-set.  Rather, it was occurring when my focus shifted from a ride and as fatigue set in – primarily, at the end of a race or long ride. And, the crash was always slow, awkward and painful.  It rarely kept me off the bike but it had me wincing in pain for a few days.

      As I ride more and extend the length of rides, I am beginning to notice symptoms of repetitive stress.  It has me thinking more about fit and setup to prevent any lingering issues.

    • #185954

      @mongwolf, thanks!!

      Re: mtbgrinder: “As I ride more and extend the length of rides, I am beginning to notice symptoms of repetitive stress.  It has me thinking more about fit and setup to prevent any lingering issues.”

      I’ve become a staunch advocate for bike fitting, to the point that I don’t like riding a bike for more than a day or two without getting it fitted, and without my preferred saddle & contact point components. Here’s an article that might help convince you even more:

    • #187061

      most iv ever got was cuts or stuff or bruises just every day kinda ride type of stuff

    • #231694

      I’m almost 60, been riding all year (in New England!!) for the past three years, summers only prior to that, for the past thirty years with the occasional season off.  Typically only ride 1-1.5 hrs a day for 3-5 days a week, rarely more often or for longer rides… summer ride is FS X/C Scott Spark 940, winter is new Scott Big John rigid frame w/Schwalbe ‘Big John’ 4.8” fatties.

      I can’t say I’ve gotten through a year w/o some sort of injury, but mostly very minor… although have had two concussions in the last three years, severely bruised ribs, trail rash galore, etc.

      I totally support other ‘old farts’ in their dispute about us being ‘of a certain age’ and/or ‘too old’ to ride!  I’m too old to ride when I need help getting on/off the bike or can’t remember how to get to/from the car or trail…

      Ride on y’all – if you don’t come back muddy or bloody you’re not having fun, and if you don’t come back at all leave your bikes to someone who’ll appreciate them!

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