Merry*Death's Handy Dandy Guide to Crashes

8:28 AM

Crashing is a natural part of mountain biking.  I would even posit that learning how to crash safely is a basic skill that every budding mountain biker should learn (in addition to all those other skills that, you know, prevent crashes…).  In the course of my one and a half years on the fat tires the Spouse, friends, and I have come up with a comprehensive list of names for crashes to more effectively and efficiently describe our experiences.  Here is what we have so far…


A Lumberjack in rocks...always dangerous
The Lumberjack 
This was the first crash to be honored with a name, and still remains my most common type of crash to this date.  The Lumberjack is that slow fall you have when you have completely run out of momentum and body English is no longer going to save you.  So you tip over in a protracted fall where time seems to stop to give you a chance to leisurely consider exactly how much you suck.

The Turtle 
Really a Turtle can be attached to any type of fall, kind of like suckage bonus points.  Turtling happens when you wind up awkwardly on the ground with your feet still stuck in the pedals.  Turtling is done to greatest effect in the course of a race, when you can experience that special type of humiliation of writhing on the ground while your competitors ride pass.

The Charles Barkley
So many opportunities for a Charles Barkley or Pinball
This is one of the few that doesn’t always end up with you on the ground.  In fact, the Barkley can actually make you feel pretty bad ass if you successfully find your way through it.  The Charles Barkley happens when you barge too close to the local trees in an attempt to make your own trail.  The trees, of course, will always win – leaving you either on the ground, or with a nice piece of tree-rash as a souvenir. 

The Pinball
Similar to a Charles Barkley, the Pinball happens when it is your bars that make contact with the tree.  A well-executed Pinball will throw you across the trail into another tree, which will then throw you to the ground.  A poorly executed Pinball puts you down right away.  Aside: after seeing more than one person hook their bar ends on trees resulting in some spectacular Pinballs, I would never put bar ends on my bike.

The Pecan Sandy
I admit with pride that I don’t often find myself involved in a Pecan Sandy, though when I was first learning the ins and outs of the mountain bike the Sandy was a common occurrence.  When your bike is properly weighted sand is easy to navigate; however, take a turn through a sandy section with a bit too much on the front end and you are rewarded with the Pecan Sandy.  There is nothing quite so scary as when your front wheel ceases to grip the ground.

Crashing - a year long endeavor 
The Pirouette
The Spouse was the first to pioneer the Pirouette, and I have to admit that I have not actually experienced this special fall.  The genius of the Pirouette was first identified in a winter race when the Spouse rode a studded front tire and a regular knobby back tire.  When cornering on ice he found a way to gracefully spin around with the front wheel as the focal point before sliding out completely.  The Pirouette is truly a thing of both beauty and pain.

The Choco Taco
Perfect for a Choco Taco
This is something you never want to experience, both as a convenience store “food” item, and as a crash.  The Choco Taco is any type of crash supplemented with a generous helping of mud.  The true indignity of the Chaco Taco comes later in the day when you are hunched over your bathtub, scrubbing out stinky mud spots from your kit by hand. 

Of course, every ride offers all of us new opportunities for ground breaking original crashes – crash on!

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