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Downhill Carnage
March 21, 2011 4:46 AM   Subscribe

Downhill Carnage (SLVimeo)
posted by KirkpatrickMac (34 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Activities that have a high chance of snapping a vertebrae in your neck and making you a paraplegic for life give me the willies. I'll give this activity a pass. These people have balls I do not possess.
posted by zardoz at 4:59 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Back in the day, I too as a student, fell down many hills in and around Sheffield... but they were sans bicycle and mainly under the influence of Tetleys.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:02 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best parts of that video were watching the ones that made it, actually. There was some nice bicycle control on display at times.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:03 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


In which gearheads learn that powerful front brakes are NOT your friend on steep down-slopes... use the back disc, kids, that's what it's there for.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:05 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


In which gearheads learn that powerful front brakes are NOT your friend on steep down-slopes...

... unless you want to do a cool crash in front of the camera. None of the people in that clip looked like this was their first time down a hill.
posted by three blind mice at 5:16 AM on March 21, 2011


zardoz: "Activities that have a high chance of snapping a vertebrae in your neck and making you a paraplegic for life give me the willies. I'll give this activity a pass. These people have balls I do not possess"

That was precisely my thought after witnessing the first endo.

Learn how to fall, kids!
posted by bwg at 5:20 AM on March 21, 2011


i felt bad for the hill... all that erosion; there's probably a gully there now. or do these hills in sheffield just erode and reform like sand dunes?
posted by ennui.bz at 5:27 AM on March 21, 2011


The guy at 2:50 is a trooper.
posted by pwally at 5:45 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would have been better with the Benny Hill theme in the background.
posted by Fizz at 5:57 AM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are they all drunk or something? It doesn't look very technical or all that steep, just loose. Get back on that saddle and go. Ride it don’t slide it.
posted by Big_B at 6:23 AM on March 21, 2011


I liked the guy around 2:45 that goes right off the trail, over the bars, but then catches his bike out of the air as it bounces down the hill towards him.
posted by orme at 6:32 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not "drunk" just stipid....I love that they don't have enough sense to wear knee pads.

Darwin at work... for both the riders and the idiot spectators that don't understand the concept of momentum on a curve.
posted by tomswift at 6:35 AM on March 21, 2011


only an idiot would type stipid when he meant stupid.
posted by tomswift at 6:35 AM on March 21, 2011


I wonder if the tape could be analyzed to see if there was a correlation between seat height and success - a lot of people went over the handle bars.
posted by 445supermag at 6:37 AM on March 21, 2011


It doesn't look very technical or all that steep, just loose.

As it says in the video description, it's an off camber. Most people intuitively expect the camber to be with them - like in track cycling or NASCAR - in this case the off camber provides no support and the bike just slides away.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 6:45 AM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


NEEDS MOAR CHEESE.
posted by Decani at 7:11 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of my friend in college who went halfway down a sledding hill in a shopping cart and landed on his face. I could have sworn he was dead, but he popped back up and said 'Guess I'll have to try that again!'

Me, I grew up scooting around with my butt on a skateboard.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 AM on March 21, 2011


Would have been better with the Benny Hill theme in the background.
With the internet, all things are possible.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:17 AM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, while it seems like the probability of a face-plant is rather elevated, it seems like the statistical likelihood of serious injury is lower when you're face-planting into a muddy, grass-covered (albiet also stone-strewn) hillside at <10 mph than, for example, face-planting into concrete at much higher speeds. Everyone seems to pretty much just pop up, right as rain.

Still takes balls, though. Or liquid courage.
posted by drlith at 7:35 AM on March 21, 2011


Awesome. Maximum carnage and the Tra La La Song. What could be better?
posted by Ahab at 7:49 AM on March 21, 2011


>I wonder if the tape could be analyzed to see if there was a correlation between seat height and success - a lot of people went over the handle bars

It did seem like there were a lot of saddles that were far too high.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 8:09 AM on March 21, 2011


Thank you for MrMoonPie
posted by Fizz at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2011


Maybe I missed the right link, but google wasn't helpful in figuring out what off-camber means. (Since I'm also not clear on what makes this look like keystone cops... )
posted by k5.user at 8:52 AM on March 21, 2011


k5.user, what they mean by off-camber is: if you think about a NASCAR or other high-speed track (or velodrome), the actualr riding surface leans in toward the center of a turn. That's proper camber. This allows the bike or car to basically be pointed straight ahead and still go 'round the turn. Often, in dirt trails, the trail surface is built up so that it leans into a hill. In this instance, "off-camber" means the trail surface is leaning outward - both in the down-the-hill sense, and the away-from-the-center-of-the turn sense.

Short version: the trail surface leans out. Hard to keep traction.
posted by notsnot at 8:58 AM on March 21, 2011


I guess the outside of a downhill curve isn't a good spot for spectators to stand. Who 'da thought?
posted by klarck at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2011


Ah, OK - like a banked turn, then ? ie that's why some bikers ended up going what looks like "straight" down then hill, rather than trying to negotiate the turn ?
posted by k5.user at 9:15 AM on March 21, 2011


These two-three word links to a video with no explanation should stop on MeFi. I always find myself immediately reading the comments to see what the hell the post is about. I know it's been said before here, but we ought to have it all monitored more closely.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:08 AM on March 21, 2011


sigh. I guess this the viral biking failvid of the week, since it was posted on Roadbikereview's analogue of MeTa last week, and the roadies on that board were all LULZ LOOKIT THE N00BZ AMIRITE??

well, yea, granted there is a certain amount of that at play. Most of these riders appear to be from the juniors / beginner men and beginner women's fields, so it's a given that you'll see your share of clueless rookie mistakes.

However, as I also commented in the RBR thread, it's pretty easy to armchair QB this stuff on the internet, and a whole nother can of worms when you're on it.

Briefly: yes, that's a very difficult piece of terrain. It's hard to tell because the wide angle camera lens really flattens the perspective. Also, the trail is pretty muddy / torn up / washed out on the steepest part, then you have to make a rather sharp turn on an offcamber slope (means: negative banking or "leans the wrong way").

also, from what I can tell, most of the riders that messed up were youngish looking lads on older looking hardtails. This is a very common combo for junior and frequently collegiate riders. Primarily as there's no sense in spending upwards of $4K on the latest dual suspension tech on a 14 YO who's going to outgrow it in six months. Collegiate racers usually don't have the scratch for the high end stuff, especially if they're just starting out, so they will often make do racing on whatever $300 secondhand beater they're using to get around town.

The reason equipment matters in this case is that this is a good example of where dual suspension can help a rider maintain control. The rear shock keeps the rear end planted which is good, because when your back tire is hopping up and down on stutter bumps, you've got essentially worse than zero traction and control going downhill.

and I'd also like to point out that no one's seat is too high in that vid. These are XC riders, not DH or slalom racers. Meaning, they have to have their saddles at the correct height for cruising and climbing; you don't gain anything from having your seat on your top tube like a trials rider because for 90% of the course you need to apply power to the pedals. I also want to point out that those QR type seatposts that some freeride guys tend to use to auto-drop their saddles for descents are 1) stupid expensive, 2) stupid heavy and 3) just plain stupid for XC.

What you're mistaking for saddle height issues are simply beginner riders without the skills or experience to get their butt off the back of the saddle.

the couple guys on duallies who wiped out are just terrible bike handlers who are scared and going much too slow / overbraking. You can't brake on that sort of terrain, you just need to drop in, relax, and look thru the line to where you want to go.

which is easier said than done, but on something like this, counterintuitively, speed is your friend. Check the kid in the stripey jumper at 0:35 and the guy on the Reign (freeride bike) in the fullface helmet at 2:20. They're doing it right.

last but not least, those idiot spectators on the hill getting in the line? they're bloody lucky they didn't end up wearing a set of mud studs in the teeth. Assholes.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:31 PM on March 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sigh BUCS hardly the pinnacle of any sport.
posted by Virtblue at 1:02 PM on March 21, 2011


Thanks lonefrontranger for stating essentially my thoughts although in a much more complete manner. Especially this:

What you're mistaking for saddle height issues are simply beginner riders without the skills or experience to get their butt off the back of the saddle.

But yeah, I ride an older hard tail and was sort of confused about why this was seemingly so difficult, even with the camber issue.
posted by Big_B at 1:45 PM on March 21, 2011


I ride an older hard tail and was sort of confused about why this was seemingly so difficult, even with the camber issue.

like I said, it's super easy to armchair QB something on the internet. I'd imagine if you got teleported onto the top of that sketchtastic failpit, you'd quickly understand why so many riders came to grief on it. It's not obvious how steep that is unless you notice how the spectators are having to stand with one knee bent on the sidehill and struggling for balance on the slope, etc. Also watch how many riders tumble and roll for a long ways down the slope after crashing. That's a good tip on how steep it really is.

the bottom line is that thing is rideable, but you need skill and a big pair to do it. The ones who are getting all wadded up are generally making the classic rookie error of going too slow in the first place, and/or panicking, stiffening their legs and overbraking in the middle of the worst bit where they really want to keep their weight over the rear tire, with some momentum to help them over the ruts and bumps, and nice soft mobile knees and ankles with the heels pushed way down, both to keep their weight far aft of the BB, and to provide additional suspension.

There's a lot of classic "scared" MTB rider body language in that video - this is where the rider gets into a dodgy situation and feels the rear wheel get a little floaty, and rather than sit wayyy back over the rear tire, let go the brakes, soften his knees and drop his heels, instead he freaks out, stiffens up, and starts to panic brake which shoots him even further forward, so that he gets up on his tippy toes, the rear wheel unloads, the fork compresses, and then those stiff knees and ankles act like a big fulcrum to launch him over the bars the next time his front wheel lands in the slightest little hole, with the fork spring unloading adding a nice little "sayonara" kicker just for funsies.

how do I know all this? waaaaaaaaaayyyy too much personal experience :P
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:10 PM on March 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Horrible riders. Those dips wouldn't last 5 minutes here on the North Shore. Lower your frikken saddle all the way, and get your weight way back, like behind the rear wheel. Piece of cake. My 12 year old niece can do it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:13 PM on March 21, 2011


The first thing that came to me was why are the folks in the crowd sticking so close to the course? I'll take my chances going down on the bike, but I am rather squeamish about taking a flying bike to the head! What was the soundtrack tune, btw??
posted by pdxjmorris at 5:45 PM on March 21, 2011


PareidoliaticBoy, a North Shore freeride specialist dissing on a bunch of beginner amateur cross-country racers flailing in a Sheffield UK cow pasture is akin to a black belt mixed martial artist wandering into the local daycare and offering to beat up all the four year olds in the sandbox.

I suspect your trolling for the lulz, amirite? Also, as I noted above, dropping your saddle in a cross country race is a pointless exercise in diminishing returns.
posted by lonefrontranger at 5:46 AM on March 22, 2011


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