Why Riding In The Rain May Not Be The Best Idea

Why Riding In The Rain May Not Be The Best Idea Singletrack Trails Crash Mountain Biking MTB

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek park

On Tuesday evening it was overcast and cold, but I was determined to get out on my bike. I had been going back and forth all day if it was a good idea or not, and just before dinner I had decided it was a good idea.

After dinner I loaded up the bike on the trunk rack and set off for Fish Creek Park. If I am going for a quick ride in the city the trails there cannot be beat!

After the drive I arrived at the parking lot and looked out questioningly at the sky. Was it going to do nothing, or pour buckets on me? It could go either way. I hopped out of the car and started getting my gear on. I felt a drop. Uh Oh. It was only one and no more came but it was a little ominous.

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek parkAfter I got my bike off and my gear was all on I headed down the hill towards a warm up trail that I really like. I didn’t even get to the bottom before I realized I needed to put the jacket on that I had brought. The wind was cold with just my jersey on!

I headed towards the trail and jumped on it. So far so good. The ground was damp but not soaking, and the roots and rocks were not too slick. I quickly raced to the end of the trail and came back the way I came. It was nice that the weather was keeping the trails quiet, although I did see a few other riders in the area.

After the warm up I continued on to another familiar path. This is where things started getting a little dicey. It started to drizzle and mist, not full on rain, but there was moisture getting down to the ground. My tires started to slip around a bit, which isn’t surprising as they are not the best tread.

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek park

the dip that almost killed me

I came to a large dip in the trail, that on most days I can drop in to and climb the other side no problem. Today was not most days. If you look at the picture above there is a large rut right in the middle of the trail. It had gotten muddy and deep with the rain. I charged hard in to the dip and had my wheel slip in the rut.

The bike immediately went out of control. I flew over the bars and slammed hard in to the hill going up. My body had turned to the left and crushed my left elbow in to my rib cage.

I was immediately winded and a little shaken up. Luckily I had used my body and rolled so that I didn’t hit my head. I got up to assess the damage and was in pain almost immediately. Crashing in my 30’s is way worse than when I was a kid. I took the bike back to the lip of the hill and took a breather.

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek parkThe bike had no damage that I could see, and I seemed relatively o.k. My chest hurt, but it didn’t hurt to breathe normally, so I didn’t think anything was broken. I decided to try to clear it, mostly because I was mad I didn’t do it the first time. The second try almost went just as bad, but I stopped myself from crashing in to the tress. That was enough of that!

I headed back to the trail and started going towards the rest of the park. I was in pain though. There was definitely something wrong. I didn’t want to end my ride yet so I pushed ahead.

After a few more trails going a lot slower than I normally would I had to turn around. I just couldn’t concentrate. It was getting hard to move my chest, which does a lot of the turning when you are riding. I was really disappointed.

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek parkAlthough I hurt myself I still had a good ride. It was calm and quiet in the park, which was a good change of pace. I did manage to get some good trails in, and can’t wait to go back.

It is now two days later and I still hurt. When it happened my left wrist felt fine, but the next day it was in quite a bit of pain. I am getting better though. The overall pain is decreasing and it is getting easier to move. Hopefully in a week I should be back to normal and pushing hard again.

It was fun to go riding in the rain. It was good to get the bike dirty, like a real mountain bike should be! I won’t be riding in the rain again though. The more I ride this bike the less confident I am about it. I don’t doubt my skills, but I do doubt if this bike can progress with me. I can’t wait to get a new bike, with much better tires.

Overall it was an o.k. ride today. There are things to improve on, and injuries to heal, but I can’t wait to get out there again.

Riding wet single track trails in Fish Creek park




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