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If you’ve ever fallen will riding a Stand Up, you know it can cause some damage and inflict some pain. It’s not something you want to experience if you can help it. Here are some tips to help you stay upright when you ride.

1) When you have to cross a bigger than normal crack in the road, try to approach it, and ride over it with your tires at a 90 degree angle to the crack. If you can’t hit a perfect 90 degrees, which you probably won’t, make sure your tires are as perpendicular to the crack as possible. If you approach it with more of a parallel attitude, you could find your tire being heavily influenced by the crack, making it difficult to stay upright. This also applies to short curbs, sticks and other obstacles that you might come across. If you feel you need to get off and walk, this is even a safer approach but sometimes not very realistic or possible.

2) Wet surfaces cause tire slipping. Be careful when turning on wet surfaces especially surfaces that might get extra slippery when wet. A wooden bride is a good example. With so much weight up high with Stand Up riding, tires can go sideways if the rider is leaning too hard into the turn without the proper grip from the tires. Smooth or worn tires will be an even bigger offender. When surfaces get wet, slow down and be mindful of your turning.

3) Loose gravel is unpredictable and can cause big trouble for riders. The size of the gravel/sand, the depth and length of the stretch you have to ride through will influence how it will affect the stability of the rider. Slow down and even get off and walk it if you must, especially if you have to make a turn while riding across it. Do not speed through it and hope for the best. If you don’t make it, extra speed always seems to add more injury to the insult.

4) Potholes are possibly the worst enemy of Stand Ups since many of them have such small tires. If a small tire goes into a big pothole, there will be trouble. Avoid potholes at all costs. Go around or come to a stop if you need to. Potholes don’t play nice. Ask anyone that has tangled with them.

5) Shadows can hide things that need to be seen. Pay special attention when riding into shadowed areas. Many time, sunglasses will help to hide obstacles even more. If you can’t see it, it may just jump up and bite you.

These are pretty specific things to watch for when you ride, but if you really want to be a good and safe rider, be aware. Awareness is the best tool you have to stay upright against cracks, cars, rain, pedestrians, etc. Always know what’s going on and who is around you. If you ride, chances are that you will eventually take a fall but hopefully these tips will lessen your chances.

If something does happen on your ride, be prepared. Check out our Ride Safe – First Aid Kits article.