Did you fall or crash as much as I did when you were newbie?

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Pictures like this were synonymous to riding as a newbie. I remember way back when Moe and I first started to ride. We had about a group of 5 guys that would join us on the trails. We were all newbies and that meant none of us really had much bike handling skills.

What was funny about those days was the fact that almost every trip out there, one of us would crash or fall. It got to the point where we would name hills or parts of the trail after the person that fell. That way when we would refer to part of a trail, we’d simply say, “Remember RL’s Hill…” then the other person would immediately know which section they were talking about.

Luckily after a few years of riding, we all started to gain some confidence and crashed or fell much less than we did when we first started.

So I’m curious to know if this is a common thing for newbies?

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).


9 thoughts on “Did you fall or crash as much as I did when you were newbie?

  1. If you started right out doing full-on mountain biking on singletrack and shit then yeah, you can expect to crash a lot. I started riding mountain bikes almost 20 years ago (yeah, I’m damn f*ing old), and a lot of back then was mostly fire roads on simple bikes. Not the slightly crazier shit on suspension bikes like today.

  2. Torn,

    Thanks for sharing. For the most part, our little group of guys all had HT bikes, Moe was the only one that had a squishy.

    Its funny, the trails we thought were hard back then, are pretty boring now a days.

  3. funny you mention this…I first learned how to ride a bike when I was 14, now I’m 30 and in between those 16 years I may have rode a bike like less than 10 times. So newb is definitely my name. I just started getting into biking about a month ago and love it to death. I wish I had rode more when I was younger but I am very thankful to enjoy it now.

    I went MTB the first time ever this past Labor Day. I told the guys I was with that it was my first time. So they took me on the next to the hardest trail at Monte Sano (Huntsville, AL). And needless to say, I crashed a lot. I slid off the side of the mountain twice, slammed into trees a couple of times, and just plain fell off my bike from sharp rocks and thick roots.

    So these guys could tell I wasn’t having that great of a time so we then jumped on the Family Bike Trail which was a lot better fit for me. I ended up having a blast and can’t wait to go/crash again.

    Love the site by the way. My fav out of all the ones on the interwebs devoted to MTB.

  4. Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you were reunited with biking. I know for me, it was a gradual build up of skill and experience that allowed me to start doing tougher trails.

    I would say that falling or crashing teaches you to be a better rider. The next time you’re faced with a situation like it, you’ll know how to handle it rather than panic.


  5. Looking back – the first time out mountain bike at Fullerton Loop, I crashed three times. Man I sucked! 🙂 These were at places you wouldnt even expect people to crash on.

    Now when I ride through these segments of the trail I chuckle…

  6. By the grace of God I haven’t crashed while riding. However, I once crashed while NOT riding – well, more like I fell over. It was one of the first times out clipped in, and I came to a stop, forgot to take my feet out, and fell over on my right side, scraping the crap out of my calf with the chainring. Good times…

  7. Hey the last time I was at Fully I crashed too! I was fiddling with my sunglasses and for some reason I grabbed a fist full of front brakes and OTB I went. Worst part was I was less than 1/2 mile back at the parking lot!

  8. I grew up biking so I had that previous experience but I didn’t start doing real mountain biking until 2005 when I got my first vehicle and was able to transport a bike places. I fell in love with mountain biking so much after that and spent every minute I could biking. I probably wiped out and flipped over so many times I’ve lost count. It gives you some crazy stories to tell people from your trail experiences, like riding right into three feet of mud! I think I will always continue to crash as I push my limits, so I’m a newb for life! Not to mention the fact that riding in New England… it’s pretty much impossible NOT to crash! LOL

  9. Sorry to post on an old post… but I bought some new pedals and shoes last week. While I was testing the cleat placement, I fell. It was one of those slow, sidewalk falls when you just can’t get your foot out of the pedals. And yes, there was someone driving down my street at that exact moment. Once on the ground I un-clipped and got the bike off me. Nothing was hurt except my ego…what adult falls off a bike going 1 mph on the sidewalk…Needless to say I did get the cleat position right and they work great. The embarrassing part is that I’ve been using clipless pedals for years!!!

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