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    Aug 2008

    Big Chirs' Clavicle Calamity

    This is a short "blog" post I made to some riding friends. It details a good friend of mine as he broke his clavicle into three pieces. Pics at the linky below...


    Well, hello all! Some of you have commented on the lack of a Canal Loop Blog in the past week or so. Truth is, I was getting sort of bored writing it. I mean, seriously, how many different ways can you tell an 11 mile story? Everything was getting sort of routine. Oh sure, Curtis and Big Chris still crashed with alarming frequency, bike parts were getting broken and bent, and the dust and dirt kept flying. I passed a milestone of 50 loops on August 16th (Wow! That's like 565 miles since May 11!). Off the top of my head I don't recall when the last report was posted. Since then, many of us have taken the ride, alone and in pairs or more. I did switch rubber to a pair of Kenda Excavators, which I do love. Smith added a Kenda Telonix to his rear tire and was so impressed, I followed suit. Now, I am running a Telonix rear and a Excavator front-- sold my spare Excavator to Smith. I love the rear traction this setup provides. This is probably opposite what many riders do; they want the best cornering tire up front. As I corner like grandma, my setup makes more sense!

    In the few rides prior to st Saturday, Curtis and Smith, and I, made a loop or two. Lots of fun and a few spills. I managed to wipe out on Hornet Hill on one trip. The trail had become so dusty as to make many spots very slippery, even with the Kenda tires. I slipped out and fell pretty good one day, bruising or cracking a rib. Still hurts when I cough or sneeze. The next day, in EXACTLY the same spot, I washed out again, my face landing in the same bare spot created when my face hit the trailside the previous crash! Smith was good for a few spectacular crashes. In particular, he endo'd on Tower Hill, neatly bending his dérailleur hanger.

    On August 22, a Saturday, Big Chris and I met for another loop. I'd completed the trail from the Kentucky side the previous day, and wanted to try the Telonix out counterclockwise today. We hit the Barkley side and made god time along the way. Just before hitting the trail, two Wood-n-Wave riders had gone in. We caught up to Ken and Kay a short time later; Ken was adjusting a brake. At about the three mile marker, I noticed my front tire was going flat. Suspecting a faulty valve, we stopped and I pumped it up. A mile or so farther down, it was flat again. I hollered up to Smith to pull off the next wide spot. As we approached the small dirt jump at mile post 4.0, just beyond Hayfield Turn, he had a space shuttle style disaster. I was slowing and unclipping as Smith accelerated up and over an innocuous dirt pile on the trail. As his front tire apexed and rode down slope, it stuck neatly into a small hole. As his back tire cleared the top of the hill, he endo'd. I saw his bike go over his body as he slammed head and back-first onto the forest floor. The loud "pop" I heard would only later be defined as his right clavicle--collar bone--snapping into three pieces.

    After the dust settled, I ran over and offered the general "are you ok?" comment. It was apparent he was not. Stunned and in a great deal of pain, Chris was writhing and rolling in the ivy, all while grasping his shoulder in agony. Once he came around some, he just could not get comfortable. He was up. Nausea. Down. Pain. Laying flat. More pain. Then there was the knot--bone--poking up through his bike jersey. Hmmm. Not good! There was talk, as I recall, about a dislocation, but I think we both knew better. Something here was FUBAR.

    About that time Kay and Ken rode up. They assisted in accessing our evacuation options. B connector? It was becoming less likely Smith would be able to walk out on his own power. The pain was overcoming him. I tried to keep him laying down but he just could not arrive at a position that did not encourage severe pain to him. Kay suggested we call Steve Wilson of Wood-n-Wave. I gave him a ring and explained the predicament. With Kay's help in helping Steve determine where we were along the trail, he told us to sit tight and he'd be in route with a truck.

    Shortly thereafter, Steve and Dustin arrived just about 50 yards from where Chris had crashed. They were able to come down into a hayfield and evacuate Chris. Once he saw the truck, he was like a bull to a red cape! All he wanted to do was get in the bed of the truck. I tried to keep up with him, and he made good time over logs and fallen limbs to the back of the truck. We got him in, and Steve used my flat tube to fashion a sling for his damaged arm. We loaded up the bikes and headed for Wood-n-Wave. Along the way, I called Post and had them check for an orthopedic doctor in Paducah, and had Grand Lakes EMS head for the bike shop--we'd meet them there.

    Along the way, every bump we'd hit in the hayfield, I'd hear Chris moan in pain. We finally made it to the bike shop. A small crowd had gathered. Chris called his love Deanna to tell the tale. I distinctly recall her saying, "well, I knew this would happen..." or something like that! Could have been me. EMS arrived and we got Chris out of the back of the truck and to the ambulance. He was in so much pain. But I think his main concern was that they'd have to cut his Star Wars jersey off. Asking if there was anything I could do for him, he replied "take pictures!". As they slowly moved him into the back of the meat wagon, he kept telling them to lay him down fast or he was going to puke. Fortunately, that never happened. After stabilizing him, he was transported to Western Baptist Hospital. Subsequently released, he now faces at least two surgeries, six month off work, and I have personally grounded him from the Canal until at least Springtime!

    I can't help but feel (at the very least) partially responsible for this event. What if we'd gone the other way? What if I had taken the lead. What if.....? This is certainly a travesty. But, it happens I suppose. I hope that all of you reading this will keep Chris in your thoughts, and wish him a speedy recovery! It's gonna take some time....

    Oh, and I need another riding partner. Any takers?

    See ALL the pics at

    Attached Images Attached Images
    2009 Trek 4300 Disc
    Thudbuster suspension seat
    Kenda Excavator and Telonix DTC's
    This neat thing that tells speed

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