After studying your lessons about not getting weight back in the air and staying centered (Stop the injury cycle!), I’m curious if that contributed to Myriam Nicole’s violent endo at the Fort William World Cup. I know landing on the flat didn’t help, but is this an example of overloading the rear like your info graphic?
PS: Just trying to wrap my head around it all as I start to slowly but surely leave the ground higher and longer the more I ride and better I get. Not a knock on her, I know she’s far more skilled a rider than I. I just watched the second half in slow mo and immediately saw your info graphic in my head.
Here’s that post on Lee Likes Bikes:
Here’s the infographic you’re talking about:
And here’s the crash, courtesy of Craig Sharp:
First, I wish Nicole a speedy recovery. Collarbones are painful, but if you’re smart and patient (unlike me), they usually heal well.
Second, you’re right about her riding skill. Everyone on the World Cup is a better rider than we’ll ever be.
But I think you’re right about her crash. From the safety of my office, I see:
0:16 – She knows she’s coming up short, and she instinctively pushes the bike in front of her. This is not the right thing to do, but at this moment the lizard is running the show: “Must … get … brain … away … from … danger.”
0:18 – Heavy impact! She’s clearly sitting heavily into the back of the bike.
0:19 – What is heavy must become light. The rear end rebounds violently, and the whole system (bike and body) begin rotating forward.
0:21 – By the time she lets go of the bars, she’s a projectile.
How to avoid this issue
I realize the 2004 U.S. national Cat 1 35-39 downhill champion (overall points not the big show) is saying this about an elite World Cup DH pro, but respectfully:
1. No matter what violence is about to happen, drive the net force into the middle of the bike. In other words, match the bike angle to the landing angle, and land on your feet.
NOTE: You can land on your back wheel first, but you should still be balanced on your feet. This advanced technique should be used with care.
2. If you and the bike get pitched forward, get away from the bike ASAP! You’re not the captain of a ship, and there’s no sense holding on to see what will happen. Push the bike away from you — as hard as you can! This will theoretically reduce the amount of your body’s forward rotation, and you’ll have a chance to tumble safely when you land. Your parents put you in gymnastics class, and you’ve been practicing parcour, right?
When you’re at a World Cup coming up short on a huge jump, it’s too late to consciously execute these skills. You must dial in these habits gradually and safely. If you do this well, you’ll have a chance when the shit goes down.
Have fun and be safe,
Know more. Have more fun!
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