Crash and Look Cool

Ride bikes hard enough for long enough and you will come off. Ron Haslam offers advice on racking up style points and steering clear of A&E

When you fall off you’ll usually find yourself either somersaulting or sliding. Sliding is preferable – try to spread your weight around over several contact patches. You tend to slide on your bum and your elbows but, if you feel them getting warm, lift ‘em up. They’ll only feel lukewarm to you but if they’re getting hot that’s your skin.

If you’re flipping over and over – and this is hard to do – try not to stick your hands out. What tends to happen then is they just get hit on the ground harder, breaking arms and legs and the like. Keep your limbs tucked in and you might slow the tumbling down and protect your arms and legs.

Really though, the crucial stage is just before you come off, when you know you’re going to crash but you’re still on the bike. You might have saved it but now you’re running across the gravel or heading for a wall or a ridge.

You’ve got to get your act together and think about where you want to go. Then the rule is you go for it; try to steer the bike. One of two things will happen. One; you’ll come off, because you’re effectively trying to get the bike leant over on grass or gravel or whatever, but at least then you’ll be off the bike and sliding, which is the best place to be. Or you might actually make it, in which case you’ll be thinking: "Shit! I made it!"