This is not necessarily North Shore related but since this is where I ride the most it seems like the best place to post.
I've been back into mountain biking a couple years now and would consider myself a solid intermediate North Shore rider (I can ride most black trails with few problems and generally place close to mid pack when I do NSMBA Fivers )). I'm probably kind of old (sneaking up on 50), but I still really like pushing my boundaries and seeing if I can take my riding further.
In spite of working on all the usual techniques to prevent crashes, especially OTBs (riding lower / in the attack position, staying balanced or even slightly rear biased over the pedals while descending, dropping my seat and my heals, etc., etc.) crashes still happen. I'm pretty happy with the performance of my padding/ protection from head to toe with the exception of my hands. I long ago gave up on regular fragile bike gloves and have been pretty happy with the durability of Mechanix M-Pact work gloves but they still offer next to no protection against over extension (bending fingers backwards) or compression (impact to the tips of the fingers).
I'm currently off at least 6-8 weeks while my right 'pinkie' finger heals from a break in two places - the second time this has happened this year. As a family man with a real job this is pretty much unacceptable so I'm looking at anything short of quitting mountain biking - which is exactly what my doctor suggested the last time I saw him :( - to prevent further injuries.
At this point I am looking a modifying / re-enforcing some existing gloves or even looking at other sports gloves to see which have more protection (Martial art gloves? Lacrosse, dare I say even hockey gloves?!?) The other thing to look at would be taping my hands boxing style and maybe taping / sewing the outer two fingers of my gloves together to provide re-enforcement.
Has anyone else been down this road and come up with any good ideas?