Crash on New Year Day 2020- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Crash on New Year Day 2020

    Hey Guys,

    A quick story about my crash on NYD this week. I was riding with 4 others local to where I live. I little about me; 58 Years old, ride about 2100 miles plus per year. I ride mostly XC stuff and some mildly technical riding too. I rarely crash and in the last 13,000 miles of dirt, this was my second crash requiring a trip to ER or Urgent Care. I do not ride with knee or elbow protection, just gloves and helmet. I have an XC helmet for most riding and occasional race and a more substantial one for more epic or technical stuff. On this day I was wearing the XC helmet and finger-less gloves.

    This ride is not technical, but there are tecky sections. The trails are fast, decomposed granite, with loose coarse sand and rock on top. We dropped in to a steep extended downhill section after the climb. It is fast and flow. The trail is flat side to side, even off-camber, so there are not really any berms to assist with speed. I was #2 and chasing a young buddy who was on it hard. The other three were behind us a fair bit. as I sped down the trail there were high spots (not really jumps) where you can get a little tiny air at speed or a little whip. At the very least your suspension becomes unweighted. As I hit one of these at speed, it was immediately followed by a gentle turn but as speed at required me to gently lean and search for tire grip. I was on Fast Trak 2.35 front and rear, a good loose over hard tire.

    I probably had more air than I should have even with my 220lb weight. I can run 23/25 or lower with 30 mm ID wheels. I may had had more than that in there. I remember feeling the bike unweighted and get light, beginning to negotiate the gentle turn, then instantly, I was down on my right side, sliding in the granite trail. No OTB, more of a low-side slide. I remember immediately getting up for fear of being run over but the chasing group. I moved to the side of the trail, and I took inventory of my body. My leg, knee and elbow hurt pretty bad. The first rider whom was behind me finally came upon me and asked if I was ok. I said calmly I don't think so. As the others arrived, I took some reflection that they were all in the medical field.

    I had lost a lot of skin on my R Knee, R leg R arm and R elbow. I was able to stand but was feeling a bit queasy so I laid down. They flushed the wound sites with water and the #1 Don finally had turned around and came back up. He had gauze and bandages, and he and the others took great care of me. I wanted to keep riding but they all know I'm pretty intense and insisted we get me back to my car as I needed to get looked at. My bike had the dropper cable ripped out totally, grip was toast and there is still cool blood all over my Intense Primer. There was even a blood train in the dirt. I had a hole in my elbow that you would put your finger in and super deep. The road rash so to speak was pretty bad, not a light grazing at all. Lots of blood.

    I ended up getting 8 stitches, have a concussion, a trip to ER and severe loss of skin. I had a CT scan. X-Rays, and a brutal session of deep cleaning the wounds that I'll not soon forget. I am feeling better today and can walk ok and the pain is lighter, The first two days were pretty bad. Yes, the bike is mostly ok save the grip and dropper.

    So what did I learn? What is my advise or suggestion to those who care to listen? That for me, I just cannot afford to lose more skin. Regardless of riding buff XC or smashing rock gardens, shit happens. Even on a smooth trail, a loss of traction when you ride this much is inevitable. When you go down with no pads at all, you may still have a serious loss of skin, or in my case, a rock partially impale you. At speed, these seemingly non-technical rides can still have serious consequence. I dislike bulky gear and yet I ordered some light weight elbow and knee protection. They are both impact rated, yet hardly ready for Red Bull Rampage!

    My hope is when (not if) have have another slide or OTB, at least a fairly light version of knee and elbow pads will minimize my injuries, at least in those protected areas. When I have had several less serious get-offs, it almost always is my knees or elbows that lose skin. This time is was much worse punching a hole in me.
    As I sit here and type this, I'm dying to get out and ride, but my new pads are not here yet, and I need to replace my dropper (already had a new one on order). I'm back to work tomorrow and hope that I can at least jump on my indoor trainer this week to avoid any lost fitness.

    I hope you can all ride safe, not worry about how you look with pads on (even for XC), and live to ride another day rather than being taken out by something avoidable. Happy New Year to each of you and your Families, and let's here your stories of how pads may have saved you (or not). I have some bloody pictures to upload if you guys think that may be helpful in illustrating my injuries.

    TRMN8ER (Ken)

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about your crash. I'm 56 and still recovering from a crash 8 weeks ago, broken clavicle, scapula and 4 ribs and a few stitches in my head. But mine was on a CX bike on gravel, slammed into a ditch. I had minimal road rash though some, I was wearing tights and long sleeves.

    I was sent to the ER from a mtb crash about 12 years ago. I always thought my next trip would be another mtb crash, never expected it to be on a road bike. I've been thinking the last few years that at some point, I should probably wear some protection; maybe that time is now. I'm going to really try to ride more conservatively so that I can keep riding well into the future. But as you said, crashes happen. I would say I crash fairly often, but usually at low speeds and fortunately in the dirt and not in the rocky sections. I've been good at landing right and just rolling or sliding. Our trails here are more hardpack, sounds like your trail was more like the gravel I crashed on, though I was off the road before I went down.

    Hope you heal quickly!00
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  3. #3
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    Crash on New Year Day 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Sorry to hear about your crash. I'm 56 and still recovering from a crash 8 weeks ago, broken clavicle, scapula and 4 ribs and a few stitches in my head. But mine was on a CX bike on gravel, slammed into a ditch. I had minimal road rash though some, I was wearing tights and long sleeves.

    I was sent to the ER from a mtb crash about 12 years ago. I always thought my next trip would be another mtb crash, never expected it to be on a road bike. I've been thinking the last few years that at some point, I should probably wear some protection; maybe that time is now. I'm going to really try to ride more conservatively so that I can keep riding well into the future. But as you said, crashes happen. I would say I crash fairly often, but usually at low speeds and fortunately in the dirt and not in the rocky sections. I've been good at landing right and just rolling or sliding. Our trails here are more hardpack, sounds like your trail was more like the gravel I crashed on, though I was off the road before I went down.

    Hope you heal quickly!00
    Thanks chazpat. Appreciate the input. Oh and yes this is the time to get you some pads!


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  4. #4
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    Glad to hear that you are recovering! I am a big fan of knee pads, and even wear elbow pads on more downhill oriented trails (both are made by POC). They don't hinder my performance at all and i don't even notice them. Even on easy trails I wear the knee pads because it's always the easy trails where something unexpected happens.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoaD009 View Post
    Glad to hear that you are recovering! I am a big fan of knee pads, and even wear elbow pads on more downhill oriented trails (both are made by POC). They don't hinder my performance at all and i don't even notice them. Even on easy trails I wear the knee pads because it's always the easy trails where something unexpected happens.
    Agreed. It can happen at any time, and even if not super chunky, sliding over DG, loose over hard, or even dirt is gonna leave a mark at high speed.


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  6. #6
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    This happened to my wife back in July of 1993. I remember going to the ER with her and watching the doc's clean out the deep cut/gouge in her elbow. That still gives me nightmares. She ended up in the hospital for 10 days with a blood infection.

    On the flip side, check out G-Form pads. Fairly light weight and breathable. To quote Jesse of Coyotes Shuttles: "there are two kinds of riders in Moab: those with scars and those who wear pads/armor". Words to live by.

    I hope you're feeling better.

  7. #7
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    Crash on New Year Day 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by bingemtbr View Post
    This happened to my wife back in July of 1993. I remember going to the ER with her and watching the doc's clean out the deep cut/gouge in her elbow. That still gives me nightmares. She ended up in the hospital for 10 days with a blood infection.

    On the flip side, check out G-Form pads. Fairly light weight and breathable. To quote Jesse of Coyotes Shuttles: "there are two kinds of riders in Moab: those with scars and those who wear pads/armor". Words to live by.

    I hope you're feeling better.
    Thanks so much. Rode the trainer a couple times then did dirt Sunday and again today. Covered the wounds carefully and wore pads. Feeling better each day! Slightly off my normal pace on one of my 22 mile rides but I actually felt pretty good.

    [URL https://strava.app.link/xNGmCKYyh3][/URL]


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  8. #8
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    Sorry to hear about your crash OP. I wear knee and elbow pads for every ride. My one word of advice is to be realistic about the protection offered by minimal XC style pads. Most are very fragile and will rotate out of the way in the first 0.5 seconds of the crash leaving you sliding along the ground on glorified leg/arm warmers that will shred instantaneously.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  9. #9
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    Man that's not a good way to start 2020...glad to hear you are on the mend. I know all about 'sh*t happens' and I'm a perfect example of a rider that should heed your advice regarding protective gear.

    Recently turned 60 and have been riding for 30 years clipped in with no pads in fairly technical terrain with sections that have consequences if you go down. In fall/winter throw in the added challenge of night rides, slippery, icy/snowy, etc. Had lots of nasty scrapes, strains, bruises, a concussion or two, and most recently a separated shoulder which happened at 58 on a night ride when I went OTB.

    Experience has increased my chances of success and even though I still love the 'A' line, I'm not too proud to occasionally take a 'B' line. It's very rare that I go down but there's a fine line between confidence and getting hurt. You really have me thinking about pads.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...:thumbsup:

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys. I too have heard the light pads offer minimal protection. I got the San Hill Lite and they had good reviews. They do not seem to rotate easy so hopefully will offer some protection.

    As for A vs B line, I too will occasionally bypass a section if it looks beyond my skill set. But itís not just technical sections we need to be wary of, its speed. At over 20 MPH on real dirt and rock, the penalty for a mistake or simply loss of traction can be steep.

    Here is So Cal we have lots of exposure too, and if one goes off the side in some areas itís not going to end well.


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  11. #11
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    Sorry to learn about your crash trmn8er! Healing vibes+++ . Your wounds will heal but you're likely to having scarring... a bummer but inevitable

    I haven't crashed since my doozy in 2015. My broken bones have all healed and my range of motion is back. The only visible reminder is a plum size divot scar on my left shoulder, caused when I slid, bounced and tumbled (not necessarily in that order!). I was wearing the protective gear required : FF, elbows+ forearm, knee/shin and back protector. Somehow the ground found a missing area!
    F*ck Cancer

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