I crashed hard on my first attempt to ride the new 4-foot high skinny drop at Hillside MTB Park in Elk River, MN a month or so ago. I somehow had it in my head to not go too fast, that it was better to err on the slow side. And since I’m good at riding skinnies, riding it slow was not a problem, or so I thought. 22-second video:
Looking at the video, clearly visible in the slowmo segment, I not only approached the lip too slow but I didn’t use any ‘technique.’ My front wheel dropped immediately and OTB I went.
Fortunately, I was completely armored up: chest and spine protection, shoulder & elbow pads, hip and tailbone pads, knee and shin pads. Unfortunately, I was pretty shaky afterwards and decided to bail on my riding companions, L to R, Paul Hogan, Troy Sierakowski, and Bradley Cyr:
I sustained some cracked ribs on my right side, which have pretty much healed since with no complications.
Here’s a video of Hillside’s DirtWirx trail steward Rich Omdahl riding the skinny drop on the day it was installed this past summer:
Mid-November here in Minnesota is a good time of year to try riding some MTB obstacles that I’ve been avoiding. Why? It’s not too hot to armor up completely and I have all winter to heal should my lack of skill make me pay a price.
1. Riding down the big rock at the end of the wooden bridge in the X loop of the Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail. It’s a steep drop, made trickier because the landing is the bridge over a 4-foot culvert with some rocks down below. I rode it just as it started to rain. It took me 4 attempts to clean it. 20-second vid:
The Browner is in its own class of evil. I’ve never even made it half way across it. I designed that thing to have 8 layers of difficulty. The first one you contend with is that I built it at the top of a climb on an uphill slope with an off camber entry. Then it gets harder.
The Browner is named after Ray Brown who was the first one to clean it (YouTube video here). I’m the second. I’m particularly pleased to accomplish this on my 65th birthday.
Here’s my one-minute video. I only show two of my dozen+ failures: