Huge reality check.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Living Ghetto Fabulous!
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    Huge reality check.

    A friend of mine is paralyzed.

    It happened last week while I was at work. A couple friends came in the shop saying they were meeting my buddy Matt for a ride at some of our favorite trails, then going for an evening shuttle. I agreed to join in the evening but was obviously working and couldn't go in the morning.

    Fast forward to the afternoon and we got a call from one of my friends telling the circumstances. Matt tried a jump and went OTB and landed in such a way to fracture two of the vertebrae in his neck. He got knocked out and when he came to, couldn't move at all... He got heli-lifted out. Matt wasn't exactly a pro, but he could jump and ride just fine. He had a pretty good set of moto skills. Since I wasn't there, I don't know exactly what went wrong...

    Currently he's in the ICU because his lungs are collecting fluid. He is alert, but can't feel anything from his chest down. The doctor says he will probably be in a wheelchair.

    I really don't know what to think... Sorry to post it here since it's a buzz-kill, but things happen and I was curious what you guys have to say about it. I've been thinking about a Leatt brace lately, but I couldn't see wearing one where this guy was riding... This is a real mind bender for me.

    Cliff.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  2. #2
    外国人
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    did he have armor on?
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A Select Start

  3. #3
    Roll on Spring Time!
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    Sorry to hear Uncle. I worry sometimes when I think about where I want to go with my riding and realise how dangerous it can be. I dont go huge and a wife and 3 kids make me rethink things but I always cover up just in case.
    Hope he pulls through and dont count him out yet. I think loads of docs consign peeps to the chair and some just dont give in so easy.

  4. #4
    183 BRO's before hoes.
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    **** that sucks. +++++Vibes+++++

  5. #5
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    Huge healing vibes being sent.

    I did something similar in Whistler 4.5 years ago - was fortunate only to fracture / compress a pair of vertebrae. Was still pulled off the hill on a backboard on an ATV / ambulance. Would still prefer that ride VS the heli lift.

  6. #6
    one more time
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    Thats terrible news, sorry to hear that mate.

    It certainly brings you back to earth when you hear of that type of injury.
    Bikes, beer and pizza.

  7. #7
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    All my thoughts, prayers, and positive energy go out.

  8. #8
    yeah, uh............bikes
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    Terrible to hear stuff like that, but it does keep that self-preservation nerve center in the brain alive and alert, the one that asks if that jump/stunt/chute is worth the risk. Then again, falling and breaking ones neck is not a strictly bike related injury, happens every day to good people, could be a car crash, could be a sweet jump on a mountain bike....... either way, **** it, there is no god. (i've been drinking)


    Truly hope he is strong enough to endure the trials ahead of him and will receive all the support he needs.

  9. #9
    pro
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    Would a neck brace have helped him?

  10. #10
    clyde in training
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro
    Would a neck brace have helped him?
    quite possibly but you never know.

    hopefully he pulls through this and can get back on his feet with some physical therapy.

  11. #11
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    Very sorry to hear that and mega healing vibes to your friend.

    Oddly enough, a lot of serious injuries occur on easy or familiar parts of the trails where you lack focus because of familiarity. A week ago I was on one of my fave trails at Post Canyon that's really easy and over-whipped on the first hit of a six pack slamming into the next hit's woodwork. Now I have a broken shoulder in a sling for the rest of the summer all because of overconfidence/lack-of-focus on a very familiar trail that I've sessioned over and over before! I feel like an idiot - I've never been seriously injured MTBing before so this was my wake-up call. So b safe peeps - from my experience (and my friend's) it's not usually the big stuff that gets you but the more comfortable trails where you lose that focus and what I'm sayin is you can't afford to do that.

    I'll pray for a full recovery,

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  12. #12
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    Sorry to hear that! I hope he can heal up and make a recovery! If nothing else, at least let him be walking again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086
    from my experience (and my friend's) it's not usually the big stuff that gets you but the more comfortable trails where you lose that focus and what I'm sayin is you can't afford to do that.
    Truer words were never spoken. It's the lame stuff that gets ya.

    Cliff - that is horrible news, I'm so sorry for your friend. Seems like unlike some of my other activities (backcountry skiing, etc.), death is pretty rare in MTB but just due to the forward position of the head and OTB crashes, neck injuries are pretty common. Having had very serious injuries in the past (from skiing) I decided last season to get a Leatt brace and wear it almost every time I put on a full-face lid. That said I still don't wear it dirt jumping, which is probably the most dangerous thing I do in that respect.

    Will keep your friend in my prayers.

  14. #14
    Say Car Ramrod!!
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    healing vibes sent by the truck load! hope he pulls through.
    I wish my grass was emo so it would cut itself...

  15. #15
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    Yeah, very sorry to hear that. I am sure that you are posting the 'buzz-kill' so that hopefully you can share this sad experience so that more pople do not end up injured like that or worse. I am constantly amazed at the kids riding without helmets. But they are kids. We are adults. But there are adults that take too many risks as well, and what for? Progression is attained via innumerable small steps. You cannot 'cram' bike skills, just like you cannot 'cram' a foreign language. It takes time, you have to play around a bit, listen a lot, and grow into it.

    This is an example of how bad things can get, even when your are not doing anything stupid, even when you are wearing a helmet. I had a scare with some nerve damage that left my right arm weaker than my left. It's gotten to the point where I wear my fullface helmet on XC rides. What, am I going to cry about how hot my itty bity head is? People talking about 'manning up' for a jump. How about 'manning-up' and wearing body armor on that XC ride? Why not? Because you won't look cool, or you might get sweat in your crack? F-that! Now, I have been known to put my helmet on driving home in my truck from a ride, since in reality, its probably the most dangerous part of the whole experience. If you think that doesn't meet your 'coolness' criteria, screw you! If I embarrass you because you are riding with me and I have a FF helmet on, get a clue.

    We should all learn from those many, many good folks who have been injured and are now permanently disabled. We should all be a bit safer and more diligent at protecting ourselves, and not slaves to 'cool fashions'. We owe them at least that much.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
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  16. #16
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    sorry to hear...I hope the best for him.......that is the final straw....when I get back in 2 weeks you will see me with a leat neck device
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  17. #17
    Just roll it......
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    Yo dude,

    I'm very sorry to hear this. We've had some big injuries in our crew this year. Broken back, broken femur, hands, wrists, ankles, concussions, etc.....but (thankfully) nothing that compares to that. Knock wood.

    I've got two buddies now sporting Leatt braces....both are racers, but I've been thinking about them lately as well.

    My very best to your buddy. Please keep us posted on his status.
    EB

  18. #18
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    That's horrible to hear. Can happen to any of us. Hope he pulls through.

  19. #19
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    Uncle C - Copious amounts of healing vibes from down under here in New Zealand.... No buzz kill in posting, we need to have this stuff rammed home at times....

    Do hope the doctor has been over cautious mentioning the wheel chair and that you buddy beats all the odds and heals up strong and good....

    Be well
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  20. #20
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    So sorry to hear about this, healing vibes from australia to your friend
    Im definatly thinking of a Leat Neck Brace, F$%k the price tag, i dont put a price on walking....

  21. #21
    Now with More Wood
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    Cliff, real sorry to hear about your friend. Massive healing vibes being sent as we speak.

    Leatt brace....yeah....I don't really go that big by any standards, but pretty engaged FR/DH riding generally nevertheless....always looking for a bigger jump/drop to try, or more pace through a gnarly line...whatever...regular crashes are part of my riding, some of which involve flopping around uncontrollably at speed risking sudden encounters with various solid objects...I am beginning to wonder if this investment is something I should be putting off much longer (talking about the financial investment as well as the added hassle of another piece of gear to haul around...). I think I will try to find one to try on one of these days as a next step...

    Starting to see some of the DHers here with the usual no-armor-shorts-and-t-shirt look...but now with a Leatt. That maybe says something. F*ck the cuts and bruises, they heal up, but your neck...may as well favor the Leatt over the body armor if you have to chose one over the other (weight, heat, comfort...).

  22. #22
    check your six
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    Damn man sorry to hear,... I hope he pulls through and has a fast recovery. Healing vibes from the East Coast ~~~~~~~~~
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  23. #23
    maker of trail
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    wow man, sorry to hear. Hopefully your buddy heals up, or at some point medicine advances enough to fix these network connection issues (all it really is).

    The only comfort I get out of our human fragility/mortality is knowing that when your times up, your times up, its the same story for everyone. If you stop doing what you enjoy, you'll get hit by a bus or t boned by a drunk driver...

  24. #24
    SILENCE! I KILL YOU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    death is pretty rare in MTB
    Yeah, tell that to the organizers in my country: a Fox Shox sponsored series where they let the riders run around with no marshals and medical staff...

    And they have the guts to call it a NATIONAL SERIES.

    Uncle, I also had a friend who will lose around eight weeks of riding because he tore off his left shoulder ligaments. Still pretty minor compared to what happened, but I was there when he crashed and it was ugly. He endoed very badly on a jump we built (he lapsed on not pumping the lip), smacked headfirst and now he's got a piece of metal in his shoulder.

    If you feel safer with a Leatt Brace then do it!

    Just like everyone here, healing vibes from the far side of the Pacific.
    Hunter, Simmons, Berrecloth, Watson,Vanderham, Semenuk, Schley, Gulevich, Bourdon, Smith, Moreland, Shandro, Boyko... Bieber.

  25. #25
    Its got what plants crave
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    Man, that's rough. We are really pretty fragile and it is so easy to injure yourself riding. Things happen so fast and can leave you with consequences that last a lifetime. That said, if he can afford good therapy he may be able to walk or be functional again. Medicine and therapy has progressed so much in that regard.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  26. #26
    Capricious youth...
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    Leatt should pass out free publicity packages to some of us on MTBR here. We've sold dozens of those things based upon some photos, some chit-chat, and unfortunately, stories like these.
    Meh.

  27. #27
    Rollin' a fatty Moderator
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    Healing vibes to your friend from the caribbean.

    Been wondering about buying a brace for my son but the price tag makes me look away. I know that after the helmet it should be the next more important safety device you should wear.

  28. #28
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    Not to hijack thread , how prevalent are these Leatt neck braces in dh/fr and how effective are they? Best wishes to your buddy , hoping for a full recovery .

  29. #29
    I dig trails!
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    Compression fracture of the C3 last year here. 40+ mph, OTB like a lawn dart (full speed on 3 Divide in Downieville)

    I was tired and did not lift my rear tire up enough over a mass of roots and it shot my rear up. Who would have thought, skimming some roots...

    So like said above always be aware & show respect for all of the trail, and for me now, always ride within my zone. For me, it is now about flow rather than break neck(!) speeds.

    I got lucky, it should have been much worse for me. And I have 2 kids to be a father to.

    You must be gutted Cliffy. Healing vibes to your bud.

    P

  30. #30
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    Dude that sucks.

    It's crazy how guys riding in the Redbull Rampage can lawn dart off 30 foot cliffs and get right up for another run. And then in other cases, just riding the usual trail, slip and disaster.

    After losing most of my nerve control over my left arm last season and going through nearly a year of rehab, I've come to the conclusion that I should tone back my riding. Less DH and more epic longer distance riding.

    I'll take a whole life of riding well into my late years over risking it all for one good thrill.

    It really sucks to have bad things happen to friends. I just recently lost a friend to cardiac arrest. Cleaned up his life after tons of drug use, and just one day last week, died.

    RIP, Ryan Van Aken.

  31. #31
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    I broke my neck a little over two years ago on my bike. Was on a long trail ride, blew out a corner and went into some mud and then over the bars. Broke C6, had it fused to C7 with titanium and dead person bone chips and spent many nights in a hospital. I still have numbness in my left hand and have talked numerous times about a Leatt since...

    I don't race, I like to ride hard every time I am on the bike. I don't wear armor and I don't wear a full face unless I am doing lift access. Why?, it is freakin hot here. If you can't ride in 90+ temps, you aren't riding for 3 months straight. If you add armor and full face to trail rides you are going to trade the small risk of injury for the very real risk of heat stroke. Plus, I looked at the odds. I ride 4 or 5 times a week on trail. Probably average close to 80 miles a week for 8 or 9 months out of the year. Then add the 100+ miles a week from road commuting and the chances of the broken neck accident is looking pretty slim. Basically, wearing a bunch of protective gear will do nothing be reduce the amount of riding I do. Not really an option.

    The times I have had serious injury are on routine rides, like others have mentioned in regards to complacency. I do limit the moves I do based on my mental and gear preparation and weigh the risks. If I was racing, where every edge counts and one less worry means I will push that little bit harder, I would buy the brace. As it is, it would mean full face and it just isn't a realistic expectation that I would get much use out of it.

    That being said, don't lose hope. I was out for the whole summer when I did my neck but the feeling and the strength came back. Being overall fit and knowing how to fall is what can make or break these situations. I have gone to, and think putting some serious work into, gymnastics with the idea of improving my overall spacial awareness and body/falling control will also help mitigate risks. Keep the big picture in mind and listen to that voice in your head.

    Hope your bud can get back to his life soon man.

  32. #32
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    Any update today on how your friend is doing?

  33. #33
    squish is good
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    Jeez that sucks. Hope your buddy heals up okay, all I can think to say.
    Bike good, work bad.

  34. #34
    Go back to school
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    This reminds me of the 12 year old doing the 20+ drop gap thread. They just don't have any fear of this kind of stuff. Same reason I think that a lot of these hucks require a bit of insanity as well as coordination.

    I often find myself shedding my body armor because it's uncomfortable and this is a reality check. I hope your buddy gets access to a good doctor and the leading technological advancements.
    Die to ride, ride to die

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    sorry to hear...I hope the best for him.......that is the final straw....when I get back in 2 weeks you will see me with a leat neck device
    Same here. Anything other than AM/XC stuff (like for Mammoth/Whstler/Northstar), I am going to wear one.

    Bob, I heard that Leatt is coming out with a version for DH mountain biking. Do you know if that is the case? Or did I hear wrong.

    PS I am answering my own question. Looks like there is a pad kit coming out soon geared toward DH.

    http://leatttalk.com/comments.php?Di...&page=1#Item_0

  36. #36
    maker of trail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable0guy
    Same here. Anything other than AM/XC stuff like Mammoth/Whstler/Northstar, I am going to wear one.
    lol your sentence structure is a little off there. You're saying you consider mammoth/whistler/northstar AM/XC stuff

  37. #37
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    Guys, I'm super stoked on your responses here. I posted this on Ridemonkey as well and the responses are helping me deal. It's funny how I can still post in other threads like normal, but this isn't far from my thoughts... I did an XC ride tonight and all of us were just kinda numb to it. It's hard to shread on a ride thinking about what Matt is going through...

    Currently Matt is still listed as an "acute patient" in the hospital. He still can't feel anything from the nipples down... I haven't been in to talk to him while he's awake. It just so happens that another rider friend of ours is a nurse, and is keeping us updated.

    You guys have echoed all my thoughts on this. Risk and reward are something we all juggle in this hobby. Honestly, I'm still shocked by all of it. There's talk of tearing the jump in question completly down... Lots of people are still stunned by it. I think the circumstances will haunt us for a long time.

    I'm hoping for the best recovery possible...
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable0guy
    Same here. Anything other than AM/XC stuff (like for Mammoth/Whstler/Northstar), I am going to wear one.

    Bob, I heard that Leatt is coming out with a version for DH mountain biking. Do you know if that is the case? Or did I hear wrong.

    PS I am answering my own question. Looks like there is a pad kit coming out soon geared toward DH.

    http://leatttalk.com/comments.php?Di...&page=1#Item_0

    I will let you know what they have out and maybe have a full write up...in 4 weeks
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  39. #39
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    Sorry to hear that man... Real buzz kill for sure. Give him my best!

    Its one of the reasons why I sold the DHR and all bike related parts a month back. Just cant risk it anymore. Had a real bad crash right before I stopped riding...

    So I go out and get a 600cc Sportbike. Alot safer I know
    Gamut
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  40. #40
    Don't Stop Spinnin'!
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    wow... something we all fear. Reality check indeed. my prayers go out his way...
    ~every end is a new beginning...

  41. #41
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    Best wishes for your bud, Cliffy.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

  42. #42
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    very sorry to hear about your friend,i may have missed this but could you tell us what gear he was using if any,i always wear a helmet in the trail and armor and full face for free ride dirtjump stuff.i also have a 661 pressure suit with spine armor.

  43. #43
    Go back to school
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    Blue M&M's may be a good Get Well present. Check out this article.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle..._injuries.html
    Die to ride, ride to die

  44. #44
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    Sending some kung fu to you and your bud.....

    Keep us updated...


    ~rudster~

  45. #45
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    hoping your bud gets better

    rfr
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  46. #46
    ^ That's what I do
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    That's terrible. Happy thoughts coming from the UP.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  47. #47
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    I will keep him in my prayers and sending healing vibes. Stay positive UC.
    Oldest daughter doesn't ride.

  48. #48
    wait...what?
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    thats bad to hear, healing vibes being sent.

  49. #49
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    Update?

  50. #50
    yeah, uh............bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikesair
    Blue M&M's may be a good Get Well present. Check out this article.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle..._injuries.html
    Read that one today on sciam.com, very, very cool. I would gladly trade a few days of being dyed blue to help prevent paralysis.

  51. #51
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    I have some hope that your friend will regain the use of his arms and legs. A friend of mine was hit in the spine at the base of his neck by a pitched baseball around 75mph. He dropped like a sack of potatoes and was paralyzed for a day and a half. After the swelling in his spinal cord went down, he was as good as new.

    I realize that this crash was a bit worse, but he could have major swelling in his spinal cord and it's taking a bit longer to go down.

    Either way, healing vibes. Best of luck to you and your friend.

  52. #52
    Me hates pinchflat
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    thats pretty damn scary... it really makes you wonder how difficult it is to avoid getting hurt and how all the pro's go so big and they dont get injuries as bad as this...
    very sorry to hear what happened to your friend, and it isn't a buzz kill at all. It is good to get things in perspective once in a while and realize that what we do is pretty dangerous and that there is no such thing as taking too much precautions.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chumba15
    Update?
    My boss went to see him yesturday and couldn't get in cause he was in a "meeting." My buddy who's a nurse there told me that he has pretty good use of his right arm, but not his left... That's all I know for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  54. #54
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    Positive thoughts and vibes for your buddy Uncle C, hoping that he makes progress each day. This hits home for me too, I had my first serious crash a few weeks ago (lawn dart onto my head while over shooting the landing of a table) and consider myself very lucky to have no broken bones or major internal injuries as a result, time will tell what residual effects this may or may not have for me. My full face saved me for sure and I'm very seriously considering a Leatt even for stunt-y train rides now, amazing how quickly something like this changes or at least makes you think about what you're doing or not doing.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I don't race, I like to ride hard every time I am on the bike. I don't wear armor and I don't wear a full face unless I am doing lift access. Why?, it is freakin hot here. If you can't ride in 90+ temps, you aren't riding for 3 months straight. If you add armor and full face to trail rides you are going to trade the small risk of injury for the very real risk of heat stroke.

    You would just melt here in the desert . It was 115 yesterday and I still rode with full face ,suit and leg protection. The things we do to protect ourselves when there's a family to support.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  56. #56
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    hopefully things get better for your friend. My son's group all started wearing the leatts this past month , the kids kept getting faster and taking more risks and after racing a local series to benefit a local dh racer who became paralysed while skiing on a local bunny hill (can happen to anyone anywhere) it was a no-brainer.

    http://www.sickpromotions.net/Site/About_John.html

    the $200-400 cost is nothing in the big picture of gear , bikes and life. ride safe LH

  57. #57
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    Hey all,

    Haven't had the time to read 100% of the messages on here, but lots of talk about the leatt brace.

    I got one last weekend and I can tell you 3 things:
    1) You really don't notice it... most people say you notice it your first run, I never felt constricted/annoyed by it. The feel of it on your shoulders is actually very "bombproof" and reassuring. Taking it off you feel naked, because you are.5
    2) It is plenty adjustable, you don't need a "low profile" pad kit (I run a TLD2)
    3) I now wear it even if I am just riding a BMX track. Its always on, just like a full-face, don't even think about it.

    These were my biggest holdups in buying it, I just want to assuage your fears..... get it. wear it. all. the. time.

    My heart goes out to the guy in the hospital, do you know how hard it would be to lie there are think "if I just spent $400.....". I kindof bought the thing as a moment's whim, now I love it. Hope your buddy recovers!

    Note: I am not affiliated with leatt in any way.... in fact, more companies the merrier on this one IMO

  58. #58
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    I don't know what to say

    So sorry to hear about your Bud. I took a pretty serious header a couple years back and my neck still bothers me. When I think about it I count my blessings because I know I could have had the same fate as your friend. I hope he rebounds and is able to start shredding again. Peace, Link.

  59. #59
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    Dude... some use of ANY limb is amazing.

    Continued prayer for healing for your buddy and his family.
    Meh.

  60. #60
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    Sending Healing Vibes out! Sorry to hear. Hope for a full recovery!
    Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.
    Henry David Thoreau



  61. #61
    Fortes Fortuna Iuvat
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    Hope he gets well. Please keep us updated.
    Maverick Durance Ano-DUC32/C KING/XTR
    Mav ML8 Ano-DUC32/X0
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    Norco Team DH

  62. #62
    Build More = Ride More
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prettym1k3
    Dude... some use of ANY limb is amazing.
    Word. Great way to get moral going up again to work on the rest.

  63. #63
    SILENCE! I KILL YOU!
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    Slowly but surely. That's great news.
    Hunter, Simmons, Berrecloth, Watson,Vanderham, Semenuk, Schley, Gulevich, Bourdon, Smith, Moreland, Shandro, Boyko... Bieber.

  64. #64
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    Stay positive. Get well as soon as possible.

  65. #65
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    So sorry to hear about your friend, but the human body is an incredible thing, i am sending healing thoughts across the atlantic! Give him my best.
    As mentioned CLiffy, no buzzkill my friend, its gives us all perspective! - i broke my leg doing a pretty small jump with a nasty little lander and crack, tib/fib thru the side of my leg. That put my progression in perspective, and now i build myself up to things and feel safer doing it, and yet i'm faster than ever.
    We all need to remember whats important, and looking cool and 'manning up' AREN'T, having fun and getting home to your loved ones in one happy piece ARE!

    Happy Riding Everyone and get well soon to your friend.

    Keep the updates coming Cliffy!!
    Its All Downhill From Here....!

  66. #66
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    Sorry I haven't updated in a while. The local paper did an article last week on Matt. You can read it here.

    Also there is a blog you can follow here if you're interested. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  67. #67
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    thanks for the update, I really hope that he recovers!!

  68. #68
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    Sending some more good healing vibes his way.

  69. #69
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    I'm pushing some karma your way from Chicagoland.

    We went though this with a local bmx rider last year. He wrecked himself real good on some ramps in the back yard and was told he wouldn't walk again. Basically bent his back the wrong direction. We kept up the positive vibes and he's not only walking but riding again.

    Prove that Doctor wrong, side by side 2 wheel action is only temporary.
    CAMBr West
    Gives us a couple bucks and we'll give you some trails with sweet jumps and stuff.

  70. #70
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    This article - another one and a crazy wreck from my buddy - who came out of it fine. Made me pucker up and get a leatt brace. It took a bit of time to get fitted but now its pretty solid.. I'm going to be testing it this week (well hopefuly not "testing" it but I will be riding with it on). Will try and have some pics.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan_daugherty
    This article - another one and a crazy wreck from my buddy - who came out of it fine. Made me pucker up and get a leatt brace. It took a bit of time to get fitted but now its pretty solid.. I'm going to be testing it this week (well hopefuly not "testing" it but I will be riding with it on). Will try and have some pics.

    saw so many people wearing the leatt in NorthStar....was amazed
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  72. #72
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    Man this sucks. Hope he gets better. I dont know much about this type of injury so I dont know if its possible but hopefully he can get more feeling back. I can't imagine how hard it is for you and your other friends (and obviously the guy who got hurt!) to go back out and ride hard.

    My motocross leatt neck brace may be around my neck mountain biking from now on.

  73. #73
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    I broke several vertebrae while riding home from University at age 20. It still hurts 13 years later, but I can walk. I wasn't riding anything radical, but I was going quick and playing a little because I enjoy riding and was in a good mood.

    Life is difficult and there are no easy answers. I deeply wish your friend the best, Cliffy.
    ~ Downride and Freehill, nothing else ~

  74. #74
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    vibes?

    ..............................
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  75. #75
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    vibes to your buddy

    i just ordered my Leatt today. had to put in some weekend hours at work to scrap the cash, but it's worth it IMO

  76. #76
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    Thread bump.

    This past Friday, there was a benefit raffle for Matt at a local pub. I went and was amazed at the amount of support he has from friends and family. I heard one of his doctors even showed up! Matt was a huge Kayak enthusiast before the accident, and some pretty sweet paddle swag was handed out. When it was all said and done, they raised around $6500 dollars to help him out. (He had no insurance due to unemployment at the time of the incident.)

    It was standing room only! I hadn't seen Matt since the accident, so we talked (yelled)briefly. He was in good spirits under the circumstances. He is confined to a motorized wheelchair and has good movement in his arms, but dexterity in his fingers and hands is absent.

    I've since become aware that Matt was only wearing an XC lid when the accident happened. I'm pretty gun shy about wearing anything but a full face now and see a Leatt on the horizon for me if I'm jumping, DH, ect. I'm a family guy with two little boys and work two jobs to keep everyone healthy and warm. Do I still ride? Yes. Will I quit? No. Bikes are in my blood and as long as my legs can pedal I'll keep at it.

    If you're interested in keeping tabs on Matt or donating, check out his blog: Matt Never Gives Up. There's also a Facebook fan page.

    Thanks for reading. Cliff.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Cliffy
    I've since become aware that Matt was only wearing an XC lid when the accident happened. I'm pretty gun shy about wearing anything but a full face now and see a Leatt on the horizon for me if I'm jumping, DH, ect. I'm a family guy with two little boys and work two jobs to keep everyone healthy and warm. Do I still ride? Yes. Will I quit? No. Bikes are in my blood and as long as my legs can pedal I'll keep at it.
    Cliffy - glad to hear he has lots of movement in his arms, and there is surely a long road ahead but I am glad that he has such a broad support base.

    In terms of wearing only a full face, I would highly suggest just wearing the Leatt full time as well. Mine is pretty comfortable and not really noticable after a few rides, and if you already have a full face on, why wouldn't you wear it? I wear mine whenever I put on my full face because like you said I have a family at home that depends on me, and I want to be able to walk in the door to give them a hug, not roll. All the best to Matt and his family!

  78. #78
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    I'm 52 and have been reliving my moto cross years as of late out on the bike...after reading this I'm going to pull back a bit,still go for it,but tone it down.
    Best of luck to your bro !!!

  79. #79
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    Bumping again. Matt just wrote this:

    "That First Day"

    It was a beautiful sunny July morning in Ashland, Oregon. I was busy cleaning up after making breakfast when my friend Tony called to go ride. He had an ambitious plan to show his Uncle Jeff, visiting from LA, some of Southern Oregon’s finest mountain biking. The plan was to meet up at noon at the bottom of Chuck’s Chips, shuttle Chuck’s a couple of times, and then go shuttle Mt Ashland a couple of times. If all went well we would get about 15,000 vertical feet of some of the finest single track around. As we made our way down the fire road, I was filling Tony in on the status of my relationship with Beth and Tony was giving me the update about his work. Beth was a girl I had been seeing, which had finally gotten serious after a roller coaster start. In addition, I had found some work after not working for several months. I was feeling high on life and things were looking up. We laughed and joked while we rode along oblivious to what the future held.

    Ten minutes later we arrived at a double jump that signifies the start of the single track. We pulled up to take a look and I decided I was going to give it a go. I rode back up the road turned around and started my approach. The only thing I can remember after approaching the jump is the sound of a helicopter. The next thing I know is I’m waking up in the ER at Providence Medical Center with a nun in my face asking if there was someone they could call. Apparently, after my crash Tony called 911, EMS showed up after using the ‘Jaws of Life’ to get through a forest service gate that was blocking the road. EMS personnel stabilized me enough to allow Mercy Flights to fly me to Providence Medical Center.



    Somehow I was able to tell the nice lady to call my girlfriend, Beth, while fading in and out of consciousness. Shortly after that Tony and Beth were there, the anguish written all over their faces told me things were far from good. Then the doctor came in with CT scans of my neck and then gave me the worst news I had ever heard. He said I was paralyzed from the neck down and I would never walk again. Then he said I had dislocated C6 and he needed to operate immediately or I might not make it. Tony, Beth, and the pastor from the Manor, where Beth works, came in and prayed with me then I was wheeled into surgery. I remember having a distinct thought that I really didn’t want to survive if I was going to lose the use of my legs. The thought of never walking again was unbearable. The last thing I remember before coming to in the Critical Care Unit is the doctor drilling a screw into the side of my skull.



    When I opened my eyes in the CCU the first thing I saw were a pair of beautiful green eyes and as the face came into focus it was Beth. At that moment I was happy to have survived the surgery and just maybe life was worth living after all. Then I saw Tony and I learned there were at least twenty people at the hospital anxiously waiting to see if I was all right. That moment has been forever burned into my memory as the best and worst memory of my life. The worst memory because I had lost the use of my legs and my hyper active lifestyle had come to a screeching halt. It was the best memory because I had discovered that I had an amazing group of friends and an amazing girlfriend.



    Since then life has been a daily struggle. There is no area of my life that has not been affected. The year before my accident, I was exploring the remote peaks of the Trinity Alps looking for new lines to ski, hurling myself off waterfalls deep in the Sierra’s and now a big day is wheeling around a city park. The heartbreak I feel on a daily basis from the loss of my legs, my independence and my very identity is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome to keep pressing on towards recovery and enjoying each day. Each and every day I struggle with accepting my condition and making the most of everyday while not giving up on a full recovery. I’m luckier than most in my situation. I have a loving supportive family and an amazing group of friends that have been there for me from day 1 and are still here 2-1/2 years later. Because of this amazing support I have made outstanding progress both physically and mentally and this support I press on towards the goal of a full recovery.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  80. #80
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    Help your friend to stay positive and keep his life on the right track in the event that he does become paralyzed. it is a MAJOR thing for someone to deal with in their life especially alone. A friend of mine is visiting right now who has been a paraplegic for a few years now due to a skiing accident(60' cliff gone wrong) and maintains a very active happy life, not feeling sorry for himself or making excuses and for the most part keeping up with everyone else in any way he can. pulls more tail then before for sure. I have a lot of admiration for him how well he maintains a positive attitude and a sense of himself.
    +++vibes++++ for your buddy.

  81. #81
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    Keep on keepin on Cliffy!

  82. #82
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    Keep up the positive attitude. Things can only get better from here on!

  83. #83
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    very sorry to hear this, my thoughts and prayers are with him. i bought a neck brace recently and havent even ridden with it yet because my local trails are pretty tame, but after seeing this im going to start wearing it every time i wear a full face helmet. its just not worth it, and apparently the tamer trails that you are used to is where you generally eat it the hardest.

  84. #84
    9 lives
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    Thank you for sharing this story and for the update regarding your friends status. He is incredibly strong and courageous. Hope he continues to thrive and share his story

  85. #85
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    Wow! Heal up fast and lots of Love. Stay positive is all I can say.
    I went through a c5/c6 on teton pass this June. Under shot a medium size jump, thought I was good and held on until the end- but the landing was shaded.
    I saw I was a little short, but thought I would nose tap and roll it out-
    NOPE- the landing was a round and slated the other way- landed and the front wheel went in the hole, and me- on the top of my head.

    I've never been a Leatt fan- cause I have a awesome tuck and role/ crashing skills. But sh#t happens. But my sales guy Sean- did the exact same move- same jump, same result, with a leatt and got right up- Totally fine-
    He's got it on Go-pro.

    Can't say I'm stoked with the thought of riding in one in the future- but the idea of almost having my Mom wipe my A$$ for the rest of my life- really puts thing in to perspective.
    [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canfield-Brothers-Downhill-BikesC2-Components/163956136971393"]

  86. #86
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    Uncle Cliff, thank you for sharing Matt's story. I hope Matt is continuing to fight the good fight and doing well. For the past 8 days and especially after reading your post, my stomach has been in knots. On Friday the 29th, I went OTB on an intermediate SC trail in central IL. I am typing this post with my right hand; left arm and hand completely numb or horrible ache. I got off easy, herniated disk at C6-7. Doing everything I can to avoid surgery. As a father of two, this has really scared me.

    I have read on this forum before (not everyone by any means) that full face helmets and neck braces can be seen as overkill on anything other than DH and other high speed trails. I even read one post that he makes fun of people who go braced with full faced helmets.

    I don't want to stop riding, but you can all image what my entire family is saying to me right now. I don't care how basic the trail, I see a full face helmet and neck brace in my future.

    All the best to Matt! His note above is a true inspiration. Tell him I said thank you.

  87. #87
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    arnott10,

    Wishing you a speedy recovery my friend. And to Matt as well wherever he is right now.

  88. #88
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    Very sobering read indeed. It should be required reading. As others have said, thanks for sharing and Godspeed to your friend.

    Arnott, having my C5-C7 fused, I have to say don't avoid it if your doctors are suggesting it. It's not nearly as bad as the possible consequences of not getting it stabilized. In fact, my life was improved by having the surgery performed.

    If you want to hear the extended version of what I went through, feel free to contact me.

  89. #89
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    Man so terrible. This scares me because like some said here i also got a wife and son. I really feel terrible for any circumstance like this.

  90. #90
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    Sorry I haven't post on here in a while. Life gets busy, and other than having Matt on my Facebook, I've lost contact with him in real life a little. For anyone interested, his blog is here.

    He also has a Facebook group you can join to get any updates.

    Here's a documentary recently completed about him:

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/o4T0CjXj7B4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

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