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  1. #1
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    Stabbed right in the heart

    it looks like the day has finally come... i crashed in a race about a week ago and broke my hand (no big deal), but worse off I suffered another concussion (3rd major one in 5 years). The doctors are telling me its time to start thinking of doing something less dangerous, my wife agrees with the doc. i just dont know what to do. I have been mt biking for 17 years and now I am being advised to stop? I dont think i can do that.
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
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  2. #2
    Of the Nameless Rabble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    it looks like the day has finally come... i crashed in a race about a week ago and broke my hand (no big deal), but worse off I suffered another concussion (3rd major one in 5 years). The doctors are telling me its time to start thinking of doing something less dangerous, my wife agrees with the doc. i just dont know what to do. I have been mt biking for 17 years and now I am being advised to stop? I dont think i can do that.
    You could still ride. There's nothing wrong with being mellow or simply cruising on a bike. Or you could ignore everyone and become some kind of hydrocephalic daredevil with a short lifespan and an even shorter short-term memory. Or you could quit riding altogether and be miserable.

    I know which one I'd choose....



    Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    If my doctor or wife told me to stop riding, I'd be advising them both that they can be replaced. Personally, that's a part of my life that's non-negotiable.

    OTOH, if I was breaking bones and having concussions regularly, I'd consider toning it down a bit. I guess it's a question of how much more cautiously you can ride and have it still be fun.

  4. #4
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    look into POC helmets, said to reduce concussions. And slow down. And get new doc. and new wife. and new bike.

  5. #5
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    Slow down man.

    Id rather go out on my own terms than live life miserable and unhappy.

  6. #6
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    I agree with slow down, no one wants to go out with Alzhiemers or dimentia later on down the road.

  7. #7
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    maybe you show off too much?

  8. #8
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    I never had a concussion

    But I have broken an embarassing number of bones-with help from other's vehicles. I have had to take the "zero tollerance" attitude towards going down, even a clumsy dab is unacceptable. I am looking into the future, not in years, but decades of riding yet to come. CHILL...

  9. #9
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    Try a rigid bike. I found it forced me to slow down a bit to pick and finesse the best lines. Of course you can still crash but the impact forces are greatly diminished.
    Cheers,
    M

  10. #10
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    Keep riding.
    There are no guarantees in life.
    Who's to say that you're going to crash again and suffer another concussion?
    Who's to say that 3 concussions in 5 years is going to have a negative impact on your future cognitive abilities IF you live to a ripe old age?
    See how you feel after you recover from this concussion.
    Risk V. reward.
    It's different for everyone.
    Give it some time and space before making a decision.

  11. #11
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    Or just stop breaking your fall with your grape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  12. #12
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    I am not much of a show off. I ride a hardtail singlespeed and typically ride very fast (i blame strava :P)

    Definitely time to slow it down I think. I dont get paid for this stuff so whats the point of going as fast as i can? I did just build up a new fully rigid karate monkey so maybe that will be my primary bike until i cant take the rigid pounding anymore then i can switch back to the misfit. I like riding to much to stop, but i can slow it down and enjoy the ride. at the very least i got my goal of over 1000 miles this year.
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
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  13. #13
    Of the Nameless Rabble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    I ride a hardtail singlespeed and typically ride very fast (i blame strava :P)

    at the very least i got my goal of over 1000 miles this year.
    You don't need to ride fast to capture big miles. I'm fat, old and slow and I logged nearly 2k trail miles this year.

    I see what your issue is, but Strava is another issue entirely and I'm not going to go there...
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  14. #14
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    Two years ago I had to give up a sport I love because of illness. I shot Archery for 25 years and could no longer do it because of inflammation from Lyme. I can honestly say I went through a time of grieving. Archery was a huge part of my life. What I can say is life goes on.. If it was me I would quit racing.. 3 CONCUSSIONS?? Time to read the writing on the wall. Take a year off and focus on other things and then start riding again but recreation-ally. Do some research on boxers and what happens to them from being bashed repeatedly in the head and it might just give you the incentive to make the right decision.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  15. #15
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    There is a way to look at this, someone already said risk vs reward. It's true. However, stepping out of your home is a risk. Sitting in your home is a risk. Doing anything that will likely put you in any harm of anything ever happening, is going to put your at risk. You never know, you have zero idea of what is going to happen in your life. Live it up, you never know what tomorrow may bring!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    I am not much of a show off. I ride a hardtail singlespeed and typically ride very fast (i blame strava :P)

    Definitely time to slow it down I think. I dont get paid for this stuff so whats the point of going as fast as i can? I did just build up a new fully rigid karate monkey so maybe that will be my primary bike until i cant take the rigid pounding anymore then i can switch back to the misfit. I like riding to much to stop, but i can slow it down and enjoy the ride. at the very least i got my goal of over 1000 miles this year.
    Z29r: Sounds like you're aware of risks, which underscores making an informed decision. We know more about concussions today than we did a generation ago, and to to summarize: concussions are traumatic brain injuries, it takes less energy to cause each successive concussion, it takes longer to recover from each successive concussion, and each concussion probably causes cumulative brain damage. However, the exact long term effect of multiple concussions is still not well understood (even the most recent Fourth International Conference of Concussion in Sport, held in Switzerland in November 2012 was a bit fuzzy discussing the details of "chronic traumatic encephalopathy"), but most docs (self included) are conservative and advise patients accordingly.

    The general rule of thumb is no further play during the season after your third concussion, with further consideration to stopping that sport completely due to high risk for repeated injury, which may lead to long term problems down the road.

    So, like the others have said, there is risk to everything and only you can weigh whether the risk of further injury (with potential long term consequences) is worth the benefit you get from riding.

    FWIW, I'm an MD. I broke my neck (C4) downhilling a few years ago. I was injured just enough to be paralyzed temporarily (5-10 minutes) but was damn lucky to regain all mobility and sensation before they unstrapped me from the backboard in the E.R. I had surgery 2 days later (removed 1 blown disc and fused C3 to C4) and recovered fully. My neurosurgeon advised me to "stay off the mountain."

    I'm probably an idiot, but I still ride because I love it. I rationalize it by citing all the physical and mental benefits of riding, and downplaying the risks because I avoid the double black DH runs and have toned down my riding a notch or 2. If I think about it, I'm probably one bad crash away from becoming a quad, but for me currently the benefits have been worth the risk.

    I also went back to riding a singlespeed hardtail this year, because it made the moderate trails more fun (my 6" travel bike is kinda overkill for most of those trails).

    Good luck and just don't crash--you'll be fine ;^)

  17. #17
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    STOP Racing! Keep riding. Seems like a pretty simple formula.

  18. #18
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    Not trying to be a jerk but it seems to me that you don't really have an option. You can always find new hobbies. Getting a new brain would be a tad bit more challenging.

  19. #19
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    Maybe you could try riding within your limits. I used to crash a lot too. Now I don't. Why? Because I quit trying to do stupid crap. I am out there to have fun. I don't have anything to prove anymore.
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  20. #20
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    this

    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    STOP Racing! Keep riding. Seems like a pretty simple formula.

  21. #21
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    Take some time off, and recover before thinking this all the way through. Concussions can cause depression, and make sure you are thinking clean and clear before making any decision about riding or not. Also know that your wife cares for you (I know you know that!) and that is why she says that. She too wants you to be around for a while. I understand your desire to keep riding, but keep in mind that is a selfish outlook. Your wife's outlook is selfish too, to a point. But I would think it is nothing more than a caring voice.
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  22. #22
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    I had a moderate to severe tbi (traumatic brain injury) while teaching high school. It was 6yrs ago and I am about where I will be.
    I am happy and have an enormous passion for life. I have made poor decisions with my riding resulting in numerous injuries and surgeries. I try to buy the best helmet I can afford and rang my bell this summer in a stair step climb losing my balance. that one scared me I try to ride within my limits and live to ride another day. I enjoy watching people do the challenging obstacles for me it is riding for the cardio, mental health, and me benefit.

    Good luck
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D View Post
    I had a moderate to severe tbi (traumatic brain injury) while teaching high school.
    How did you get TBI while teaching high school? I can only imagine it was from banging your head against the wall between classes. What did/do you teach?

  24. #24
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    I'd tone it down, which believe me I understand how hard that is. I've burned the candle at both ends for as long as I can remember working long hours during the week as an attorney with a large firm, driving 2-3 hours friday night, riding bikes with friends 6 hours a day on Sat/Sun, driving home and repeating it all over again. Combine that with racing XC, Short-Track, and Enduro/Super-D and the only thing missing is a couple of kids to take care of.

    Well, it all caught up to me this year. Two and half years ago I got a concussion in a bad crash in a Super-D. That cleared up in 10 days like it should, so even though the memory fog scared me, life was pretty normal. Well, I got another concussion this spring working in my garage. I didn't take care of myself as well for the first three weeks and I developed PCS. It took me out of riding for 6 months and I suffered through some seriously dark times--no sleep, confusion, light sensitivity, depression, the works. I'm finally back on my MTB, but I have no stamina left anymore. If I ride too hard, work to hard, miss too much sleep, etc., it brings out the tighness in my head. I'm pretty confident that things will continue to improve and eventually resolve completely, but the whole experience definitely opened my eyes to the preciousness of health more than any other event in my life. The point is, once you've flown a little too close to the sun, your probably better off holding back just a bit. Even if I fully recover, I probably won't race enduro very seriously just because of the higher risks. That would have been an impossible pill to swallow a year ago, but its not worth another year of limited cognition and riding.

  25. #25
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    Hi All,

    I appreciated all the responses to this thread. I have recovered pretty well, my hand is out of the cast at almost 5 weeks after the crash so thats good... just have to take it easy and only light rail trail rides for another few weeks. As for the concussion, it took about two weeks for the worse symptoms to work out of me. I am feeling pretty good and I am trying to stay positive. I have kept busy by building up another bike, a steel Surly Karate Monkey ( I love that bike ). I am really excited to get back onto it and back to riding my trails at a fun pace, but not race pace. not sure I will go back to the speed demon I once was. my wife will just have to deal with me taking longer to do my rides because I am going slower. She is not against me riding, that was more of a knee jerk reaction by her. She just wants me to be safe.

    I was also at my LBS this past weekend and the owner and I were chatting and i guess Scott is coming out/or has come out with a new hlemet system designed to alleviate that chances for a bad concussion. the system is called MIPS. its pretty cool and I am going to be purchasing one of those hlemets.
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
    Surly Puglsey

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