Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting Hurt Again

This seems to be one of my frequent topics in this blog.  I've heard it said that "Mountain Bikers don't sue, they take pictures" and that is the truth.  While I think road biking is more dangerous than mountain biking, there is no mistaking that you can get hurt on a mountain bike.  With a road bike, one fall can kill you (as can that semi, joy riding pick-up truck or that texting teen) or at least give you lots of broken bones and severe road rash.  I like to say that at least on a mountain bike I can see the trees coming and the ground is softer.  But the nature of mountain biking is that at some point you are going to get scraped, scratched or bruised, but rarely unless you choose to do something crazy you won't brake any bones or get killed.

Which brings us to "choosing" to something crazy, or in my case not listening to the "promptings" I was receiving.  I have been on a mountain bike high for the last four weeks.  It started with a great ride at the CPR.  Then came Moab where I road some crazy fun trails that were all rock with drops, steps, and trails very close to the edge.  Then we came back and road the three hardest trails in Mac Forest in one loop at night (The Plunge, New Groove and South Side Slip) all with only a small scrape on my arm (CPR) and my knee (Slickrock). Then came Black Rock last Saturday.

I love the Bonzi Downhill (green run) at BR.  It has such great flow and BR crew has worked on it so much to really get it dialed in.  It is such a blessing to have it so close and I have played on it many times.  Last Saturday four of us visited BR in the morning and after riding my longest skinny in the Practice Area we climbed to the top of the mountain and road the first (of four) section of Bonzi twice, then we did the 2nd section.  The 2nd section has two table top drops near the end and because I was on my Epic, I skipped  these two drops. My Epic just doesn't have enough suspension for those kind of drops.  BR is better suited for my Stumpy. We then climbed to the top again and headed down sections 1 and 2 again.  This time when I approached the first table top in section two (having no plan to ride it) at the last moment I swung into the entrance, but by then I wasn't carrying enough speed and I didn't pedal hard enough.  So instead of flying out, I nosed dived off.  I landed perpendicular and went over the handles bars and due to the steep landing hit my shoulder so hard it broke my left collar bone in three places.

This is the second time I have broke this collar bone.  Breaking a bone is like getting the wind knocked out of you, but you can still breath. The pain isn't sharp, but so intense you can't get on top of it so it makes you feel like you can't breath.  What did sting was the scrape on my knee and elbow.  They really burned and bled.  After getting my legs under me, I checked the bike which was okay, so I unzipped my jersey and stuck my arm in it like a sling. We walked down to the road and the start of section 3 and then I road out with one hand. We then packed up the bikes, hit the Bread Board for cinnamon roles in Falls City before heading to Urgent Care.

I was so glad that Dave, Todd and Lee where there with me.  When you crash, the first thing you want to do is jump up like nothing is wrong.  Having friends ride with you, makes sure there is someone else with a clearer head to assess things when you won't.

So what did I learn? Accidents do happen, but following the "red flag" warnings in your head (the Spirit) is always better and will help you avoid getting hurt.  That split second indecision is now going to cost me 6 to 8 weeks of riding and a titanium plate on my collar bone.  I have also learned that surgery is worse than the break but it is the only way to get better. What I didn't expect to learn? That pain pills cause constipation (the secret warm prune juice).

6/9/13 Update - back on the bike since last Friday, but only on pavement, any vibration can loosen the screws.
CPR 2013

Black Rock 2013

Moab and Black Rock - always the same spot

I didn't even know

Sometimes the cure is worse...

One nice plate and 8 fun screws


  1. Glad you're not seriously hurt. The team dirt jersey looks like it survived the CPR without a scratch - so there's that. :)