A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Mammoth Lakes, CA visiting some friends and rode downhill for the first time. Anyone who's ridden out there knows how soft the soil (pumice) is out there, and just how sketchy it can be.
I was carrying good speed through it on the rental Demo 8 I was riding, and was fairly clean through the whole thing until I got to the bottom. The front wheel sunk into a "puddle" as they call it there, and I got tossed OTB and landed on my right flank.
I laid on the ground for a minute or two with the wind knocked out of me, and after the initial pain subsided, I got back on the bike and was able to get a few more runs in before exhaustion set in. I had no idea how tiring 4 - 5 hours of downhill could be!
The next few days were full of immense pain as we hiked all over Mammoth and Yosemite. After I returned home, the pain had mostly gone away. I thought it would be a good idea to get back to some good ole' XC riding at my local trail. The day after, I was in even more pain.
3 full weeks later, I visited my orthopedist to get my shoulder checked for an unrelated injury (chronic bursitis), and he did some x-rays. Turns out two ribs were cracked right along my chest near my sternum, and riding further only helped to make the injury worse.
To anyone who has injured their ribs during a ride, I can only recommend taking it easy and making sure it heals fully before going out again. I paid the price, and will be out for another 3 - 4 weeks right at the end of prime MTB season.
Be careful out there!
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