Monday, October 22, 2012

When you least expect it... Snap

Back on Wednesday October 3rd I was out on my weekly Wednesday ride. Pretty much my only ride during the week this fall given the demands at work and the wedding planning. It rained cats and dogs on Tuesday of that week. Bob, Bruce and I felt it was still okay to ride mountain bikes Wednesday so we tried. Whit stopped by on his road bike thinking the trails were too wet. We told him a Mazzwy ride can be done on a road bike but he opted to not join us for fear of ruining his tubulars.

Staying high in elevation the trails were perfect. Not 'hero dirt' but tacky. Leaves started falling (it is Oct in New England) so the trails were changing. This is my favorite time of the year to ride. The trails are different from what you remember thanks to the leaves. Keeps you on your toes. So I thought…

First 30 to 45minutes was fun. Very technical trails without any issues. The SF100SS was amazing. I wasn’t even hot dogging anything either. Just riding along getting a feel for the fit on the bike how it reacts on the terrain. Since the previous ride, I added a longer stem to open up the cockpit some and also replaced the worn rear shock DU bushings with needle bearings for a silky smooth operation.

Next section of trail is what we call Two-Hill. A short little up and down over a knoll. On the descent there is a chicane where you make a quick left around a big rock and then a quick right around a tree to avoid another rock. Earlier this year I learned to wheelie drop off the big rock and straighten the trail out rather than riding through the chicane.
On this day I did the same thing. One hour into our ride, I came up over Two-Hill and on the descent rode up and over the rock with a 1-2ft wheelie drop off the backside. Exactly like I have been doing all year on my hardtail, only this time I did not ride away from it.
The fall line points towards the right, in the direction the chicane directs you. Coming up and over the rock places you a few degrees off the fall line in a partial traverse setting. Not a big deal. You work the bike into the trail as you come off the rock. Not a big deal. Brand new Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.35 with 18psi of air in them. The caveat this day was the wet leaves.

I still do not know exactly what happened because I went from wheelie droping the rock to sitting on my ass in the dirt in a split second. So fast that if you blinked you would have missed it. So fast that all it takes is one snap of the fingers.

Snap indeed. Not my fingers though. My Fibula and Tibia in my right leg just above my ankle. Add in a dislocated ankle for good measure too.

That is right. What appeared to be a simple crash turned out to be probably the worst crash I have ever had from a bodily damage standpoint. My faceplant a few years ago could be comparable but this one will be much harder and longer to recover from.

When I came off the rock my front tire washed towards the left. The whole bike went down on the drivetrain side. My handlebars twisted around completely (almost as if I was doing an X up) and I went down. I am not entirely sure of the sequence of events but I think the angle my bike was falling down at versus where my body was position was enough to snap my leg in half. Somehow after that my right foot clipped out of my pedal. I then landed in a seated posture in the dirt with my legs straight out infront of me. Bike to the left of me about a foot (ie: I was not tangled in my bike). No head impact. No upper body impact. In fact, not a scratch anywhere on my body except my right ankle/foot/leg…

So there I am sitting in the dirt feeling tremendous pressure on my right leg. Pressure I’ve never felt before (never broken a bone before). My kneecap is aligned with my hip but my right foot is pointed out to the right about 45-60deg when it should be vertical up towards the sky.

“This is not good.”

I felt my shin and there was a huge bump just above my ankle. No skin punctures though. Just a huge bump. I couldn’t move my ankle either.


I heard Bob and Bruce coming so I yelled at them to slow down for I need help. Not a scream. Just a casual yell to alert them I am on the ground infront of them.

I then felt myself going into shock.

Spun myself around with my feet uphill from me and then I laid down so the blood would flow to my head and I would not pass out.

“What are we going to do? I think I just broke my leg. I can wiggle my toes but it hurts and I can’t move my ankle. My foot is not where it should be. Freaks me out!”

Bob and Bruce took one look at me and immediately knew I could not ride and needed medical attention.
“Where is your cell phone?”

“In my Jeep.”

I said while tipping my head down knowing I just destroyed all immediate chances of getting help.

Stay tuned... There is more to this coming....


Blogger eastwood said...

Holy shit. I'm over here cringing at your description of the injury.

10/22/2012 6:45 PM  
Blogger aumiller said...

So sorry to hear that. I sympathize. I broke my clavicle at the end of August doing the Ronde on my cx bike. Hit a loose board on a raised boardwalk...a place I've ridden hundreds of times. I laid in a ditch til Chip pulled me out...then took an ambulance ride.

Please get better! I was hoping to see you at one of the CT cx races this fall.

10/22/2012 7:06 PM  
Blogger dougyfresh said...

Chip told me about your accident. I remember riding those boards back in the spring during the Ronde. Hope you are healing up!

I am healing up. Been on the couch with my leg elevated for almost three weeks now. Hoping the Doc will let me start putting weight on my leg tomorrow so I can start PT.

Sadly no CX this year for me.

More coming. I have a lot more I'm writing about this now that I finally have time to write.

10/22/2012 7:36 PM  

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