Why we crash?

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Re: Why we crash?

Postby cramer » July 13th, 2018, 12:14 pm

Whether it's a skills issue or an equipment issue vs. you're just pushing it too hard can be tested by riding with other fast riders. Are they riding away from you in these same trouble areas or are you mostly going about the same speed? There is certainly a maximum speed for technical sections or corners that is dictated by physics so no matter what your skill level, there will always be a speed that is too fast which will end in a crash. The closer you are to this maximum theoretical speed, the more likely you will over shoot the max speed and crash and the less likely you will be able to deal with unexpected things that might happen. As I get near 50 years old, I'm less interested in testing the maximum speeds considering the longer time it takes me to recover from crashes.

When it comes to racing cross country in MI, it's my opinion that it's primarily a contest of fitness anyway. Whatever fractions of seconds you gain going a little faster and pushing it on corners and technical areas is very minimal overall compared to what happens on climbs and flats where your legs and your lungs are tested. That's assuming your skills are solid after all these years of riding.
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Re: Why we crash?

Postby TerdFerguson » July 13th, 2018, 1:51 pm

I was like you last year and after a good winter of training I was able to push hard more often and was taking spills every other ride. I feel the same way as the others about the snow-fat biking really improving my skills. I found that I was coasting through turns and technical sections too often. This will allow you to be knocked off balance more often. A more aggressive approach to turns and features will help stay in more control. Pushing the bike into a loose turn and pumping the bike on small obstacles helps alot as well as attacking rock gardens and roots hammering over them with your wheel just off the ground. Of course this takes more energy to do, and gets harder as I get tired. I am in much more control this year and crashing far less.
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Re: Why we crash?

Postby b_b » July 13th, 2018, 2:31 pm

c0nsumer wrote:
TimTucker wrote:[...] going super-slow can be a good exercise at improving handling.

Uphill and downhill sections that I wouldn't have ever though difficult suddenly become challenging when you're dropped down to your lowest gear and moving slow enough that tipping over becomes a real threat.

This is one of the the primary reasons why I feel winter time fat biking is a huge benefit to bike handling in summer.

Two of the best off-road motorcycle racers have trials back-grounds.
Taddy Blazusiak (Poland) and David Knight (UK Isle of Man).
These skills also help to go fast.
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Re: Why we crash?

Postby Jared13 » July 13th, 2018, 9:39 pm

cramer wrote:There is certainly a maximum speed for technical sections or corners that is dictated by physics so no matter what your skill level, there will always be a speed that is too fast which will end in a crash. The closer you are to this maximum theoretical speed, the more likely you will over shoot the max speed and crash and the less likely you will be able to deal with unexpected things that might happen.


For 99.99% of the riders, we are no where near that maximum speed. It is dictated more by skill than physics.

I do agree with the closer one gets to that maximum theoretical speed (based on their skill set), the more likely they are to crash. Riding or racing at/near one's 100% means there is little margin for error when something unexpected happens.
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Re: Why we crash?

Postby cramer » July 14th, 2018, 12:14 pm

Jared13 wrote:
cramer wrote:There is certainly a maximum speed for technical sections or corners that is dictated by physics so no matter what your skill level, there will always be a speed that is too fast which will end in a crash. The closer you are to this maximum theoretical speed, the more likely you will over shoot the max speed and crash and the less likely you will be able to deal with unexpected things that might happen.


For 99.99% of the riders, we are no where near that maximum speed. It is dictated more by skill than physics.

I do agree with the closer one gets to that maximum theoretical speed (based on their skill set), the more likely they are to crash. Riding or racing at/near one's 100% means there is little margin for error when something unexpected happens.


For various reasons / circumstances, when I used to race I would occasionally find myself sharing singletrack with elite level riders. What I observed was that we would ride the corners and technical sections at the exact same speed, then when the course opened up or we got to a large hill, they would ride away from my like I was standing still. In some cases I've been with expert level riders that can't keep up with me on technical downhills but they still achieved very good results when racing. So I stand by my statement that cross country racing in Michigan is mostly a fitness contest. I would be interested in knowing this secret corning technique that allows someone to go way faster around the same sandy corner of trail without sliding out. When I watch the professional racers, it seems like they're doing it the exact same way that I am.
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Re: Why we crash?

Postby Jared13 » July 14th, 2018, 1:52 pm

cramer wrote:
Jared13 wrote:
cramer wrote:There is certainly a maximum speed for technical sections or corners that is dictated by physics so no matter what your skill level, there will always be a speed that is too fast which will end in a crash. The closer you are to this maximum theoretical speed, the more likely you will over shoot the max speed and crash and the less likely you will be able to deal with unexpected things that might happen.


For 99.99% of the riders, we are no where near that maximum speed. It is dictated more by skill than physics.

I do agree with the closer one gets to that maximum theoretical speed (based on their skill set), the more likely they are to crash. Riding or racing at/near one's 100% means there is little margin for error when something unexpected happens.


For various reasons / circumstances, when I used to race I would occasionally find myself sharing singletrack with elite level riders. What I observed was that we would ride the corners and technical sections at the exact same speed, then when the course opened up or we got to a large hill, they would ride away from my like I was standing still. In some cases I've been with expert level riders that can't keep up with me on technical downhills but they still achieved very good results when racing. So I stand by my statement that cross country racing in Michigan is mostly a fitness contest. I would be interested in knowing this secret corning technique that allows someone to go way faster around the same sandy corner of trail without sliding out. When I watch the professional racers, it seems like they're doing it the exact same way that I am.


Maybe you're part of the .01% then. Or maybe the elite/expert riders you rode with focused more on fitness and less on handling skills. Or maybe a bit of both.
For us mere mortals, it's skill and not physics that are holding us back in most situations. And possibly equipment, if someone is running slick tires that would come into play as well.
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