Riding from road onto trail

Went out for a ride today looking for some more local small trails to ride, after about 40 minutes on the pavement I was finally coming to a trail I’ve ridden before and was excited to hit it. Took the turn off the road and my body didn’t seem to adjust to the trail, it was like my legs were stuck in road spinning mode. Anyway, I went straight down, landed an my knees in the gravel, bad news. Didn’t have my phone with me to call my wife to get me, just sat on the ground like a sad wounded animal holding the gash in my knee together trying to figure out how the heck I was going to get home. Luckily a lady came by walking her dogs, used her phone and made it home.

I’m pretty sure this is the second or third time this has happened to me, anyone else get stuck in ‘road mode’ and biff it on transition to trail?

Well I guess I need to get some kneepads.

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I understand this phenomenon completely, and experience it myself often. I’ll be cruising at around 10-12 mph on sidewalks on my 29er and then go around someone on the grass and very nearly eat dirt because I’m in “road mode” and am fully weighted on the seat and pushing the handle rather than pulling up on the handle and putting some weight on pedals. As soon as I snap into an off road stance all is well.

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I’ve had similar happen, but not in recent years. My latest version of something like that was one of my early rides with the bone-conducting headphones my wife got for me. These allow me to listen to music but with my ears uncovered so I can still hear other stuff. Problem is, if your mind gets too absorbed into the music you may be paying less attention to your riding.

So there’s a well known “dip” in the bike path, and I just went cruising into it, not noticing the “up” part until I was already in it, and getting too far forward. Only thing to do in such a situation is pedal as hard as possible but with a 36" in high gear that doesn’t get you instant results. It took a split second to realize I was not going to ride out of it, and I was probably not going to be able to run out. Fortunately my (old!) reflexes came in and had me do a roll once I knew I couldn’t keep my feet under me. It was still a bit of a yard sale, but mostly I had a few scrapes and bumps, and broke my bell.

So now I don’t ride at full volume, and I turn it off if I start to feel distracted. I do ride with bare knees on the road (or bike path), but any pre-planned dirt riding is always done with the knees and hands covered. And I always wear gloves for Road riding as well.

I’ve had the opposite happening to me… for a long time, I mainly road on trails, dirt tracks. I had gotten pretty good at spinning rather fast with weight on the pedals. Once in a while, I would hit a proper road or piece of concrete. And it was hell. I could hear my tire screeching left to right because of the weight on the pedals, and it was the most unpleasant part of the ride.
Took me years to get rid of these habits. And stil, when I’m tired or tense, it’s a reflex to apply the off-road riding approach to the road and it’s not great!

A bit the same here.
I can well adjust on trails, but smooth roads with slights and occasional irregularities (bumps/holes/road repairs…) are more prone to make me lose my balance, probably because I’m not focused enough.

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I’ve had a similar issue too. I sold my gravel 29, rebuilt my fat 27.5" with a 29 x 3.0 tire. It’s got the 100/125/150 vcx cranks and it feels world’s different in muni vs road mode. I do prefer to run in the 100mm cranks though for extra challenge but I find myself needing to drop the pressure a bit of I’m going towards a longer stretch of offroad.

Well props to you for running 100s, man I just switched to 170s from those cranks due to some knee pain and lack of fitness :grinning:. I can climb much better with the longer cranks now that I’m used to them. I just couldn’t do the steep hills on my 29x3.0 with 150s, now I can stay seated up the steep paved hills.

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It’s a mix of doing a lot of leg workouts and living in an area that doesn’t have big Hills just long ones at a medium gradient I would say so it’s more about the cardio than the strength

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