Big Crash Cancels Road Trip

Discussion in 'Crash Confessions' started by JimN, Jun 27, 2024.


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  1. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Not sure if this is a trip report or a crash confession, but here goes:

    So, my wife and I have a goal of mountain biking in all 50 states. As of two years ago, we had completed 40 including Hawaii and Alaska. The last 10 were mainly upper Midwest with Oklahoma being the one sort of outlier. So, we took off from our home in Sedona on June 11th for a planned out two-month road trip to knock off the last 10.

    Drove to Amarillo the first day and spent the night there. Before getting on the road the next morning, we did a quick ride at the Canyon Trails at Buffalo Hill just south of Amarillo. Fun little janky trail system. We had already ridden in Texas in years past, both at Palo Duro Canyon as well as some trail systems in Austin. Anyway, after the ride we got back on the road for the drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Next day we rode at Turkey Mountain in Tulsa, which is a fantastic trail system. It's very Bentonville flavored. We rode pretty much everything out there, but you could definitely do a couple more rides there by mixing things up and focusing on certain areas. Highly recommended!

    Next day we planned to visit some family in Stillwater, Oklahoma, so we did a ride on the Lake McMurtry trails. These trails are much more primitive/old school, but great fun. We did the red and yellow trails, and I think there are two more that we didn't have time for. After that we had a nice visit with my wife's cousin's family.

    Next day we did an urban ride in Tulsa on the River Parks East Bank before getting back on the road. Really neat path system along the Arkansas River with nice parks and even a concrete bike park to play around on. Gotta say that Tulsa is a very cool city. Whole lot going on there. After the ride, we drove to my wife's brother's place in Saint Louis, Missouri.

    Took the next day off to spend time with my wife's brother and his family, since it was Father's Day.

    Next day we headed out to do a ride at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) trails. We had already ridden in Illinois in the past, but wanted to check this place out. It's usually overgrown with poison ivy in the summer, but word on Trailforks was that things were recently trimmed back, which was true even though the trail tread is generally a foot wide max. This was looking to be a really fun ride as we were getting into it. While it was super hot and humid, the trails were under a very dense canopy of trees that completely blocked out the sun keeping the temps quite comfortable. Seemed to be a nice mix of flow and moderate tech.

    At some point, my wife was a bit ahead and I was cruising down a straight, smooth section of trail. It was a descent, not very steep, but allowed you to pick up some decent speed. Suddenly, I went from riding my bike to hurtling through the air and landing hard on my left side. Hit my helmet hard on the ground and my left shoulder/upper back took a hard hit. I guess my bike came with me because it ended up in front of where I landed. I remember it all very vividly. Definitely wasn't concussed or anything like that. My initial reaction was to sit up and exhale aggressively over and over again.

    When I was able to finally get up on my feet, I walked up the trail a bit to try and figure out what the heck happened. I discovered an embedded rock that was about 15" tall right on the very edge of the trail tread. Guess I must've clipped it with my right pedal, which sent me and my bike sailing. Very likely I did a full forward rotation in the air with my bike still attached. It was so dark in there that I didn't even see the rock, which was a good 50 feet or more up the trail from where I hit the ground.

    My wife eventually backtracked and found me. She had assumed I must've had a mechanical, so she was surprised to see me all messed up. Adrenaline gave me enough umph to push my bike the half-mile or so back to the car. Called friends and family to find out which hospital to go to, and then we headed to the ER.

    CT scans showed that I had a left distal clavicle fracture, clean break in the middle that is fairly well aligned. I broke seven ribs (4-10 in the back). And, they found spinal compression fractures in my vertebrae (T3-T7). My lungs had also been bruised up, or whatever they call it, due to the broken ribs. ER doctor admitted me to the trauma center so that they could monitor my breathing overnight and get an MRI done as soon as possible since I might need a custom brace for the spinal fractures.

    Got a MRI done the next day, and the spinal compression fractures turned out to be older, existing injuries that are stabilized. So, that was great news! No need for a custom brace. Looks to be just time to allow the clavicle and rib fractures to heal. Got released from the hospital later this day, and spent a few days at my wife's brother's place before driving back to Sedona. Found AirBnBs in Oklahoma City and Albuquerque with power recliners, since I can't sleep in a bed. Worked out well and broke up the drive.

    It's nice to be back home. I've been able to do walks up to two miles so far, although they're slow and every step hurts. Figure it's best to keep moving as much as possible without overdoing it. Still in constant pain, but hoping that things will start improving within the next week or so. Broken ribs are pretty miserable. Put over 3,500 miles on the minivan and only knocked off Oklahoma. Still have nine states to go to complete our goal.
     
  2. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    PRESCOTT!!!
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley 90% of the time
    Yikes, heal up well and we can knock off Hangover.

    I had my first crash in months today. After feeling fantastic on yesterday’s hero dirt, I went out today to ride some chunky Mint Wash action. I wasn’t feeling it today but was going to get my 15/1500 in no matter what. I got lazy thru a janky rock garden section and cleaned the worst of it but the last, rounded 6” rock that I was the least concerned about caused my fork to compress and OTB I went. Luckily it was slow speed and was asking “are you kidding me” as I went over. I got my hands out so no harm to anything but my ego for the day.
     
    Walleye, Mikie, Oaken and 8 others like this.
  3. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    Wow, that's a lot of damage for a pedal strike! Hope you heal up wiuckly and can know out the last 9 states soon!
     
    Mikie, OTHRider, Tom the Bomb and 5 others like this.
  4. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Front Range, San Gabes
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Sssnake"
    Current Bike:
    YT Izzo
    Yikes. :eek: This reminds me of my worst ever crash. :bang: Heal up Jim. :) The trails will be waiting... :cool:
     
    Mikie, OTHRider, Tom the Bomb and 5 others like this.
  5. Dr. Wellington Yueh

    Dr. Wellington Yueh Member

    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    Name:
    Tom Kenney
    "Gotta go to Tulsa
    First train we can ride
    Gotta settle one old score
    One small point of pride"

    GLTY
     
    Mikie, Oaken, OTHRider and 5 others like this.
  6. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Thanks, Mike! Happy to hear that your crash didn’t result in any injuries. If my memory serves me well, didn’t you ride those SIUE trails about a year or so ago? Thinking maybe you were on a trip for a graduation or some such thing?
     
    Mikie, Tom the Bomb, mtbMike and 2 others like this.
  7. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Wow sorry to hear this. Why is it that the simple terrain is what always bites us? Heal well and go after the remaining states, that's a goal I can't even remotly imagine.
     
    Walleye, Mikie, OTHRider and 4 others like this.
  8. TwoWheel Eric

    TwoWheel Eric Member

    Location:
    Orange County
    Name:
    Eric
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley V4
    That's the truth. My worst was on Borrego Trail in Foothill Ranch. Heal up my friend!
     
  9. mtbMike

    mtbMike iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    PRESCOTT!!!
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley 90% of the time
    I have ridden there when my daughters husband was stationed at Fort Scott to the south but he's now at the Pentagon. I took my stuff with me last year to try to get in a ride in VA but no place rented mountain bikes, just road bikes and commuters.
     
    JimN, Mikie, OTHRider and 1 other person like this.
  10. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fallbrook, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    21 SSSSSSSSSlash!
    I get yah. My worst crash was a pedal strike descending Mt. Lowe. I was all padded up and wearing a lot of clothing cuz it was cold that day. Got lucky, nothing serious. Healing vibes.
     
    Walleye, JimN and Mikie like this.
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail,Yeti SB 130 LR
    Sorry to hear about this, @JimN. Like others have said, it's the easiest trails that get you bad!

    I hope you heal up quickly and completely!
     
    JimN and Mikie like this.
  12. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Wow @JimN . Ribs are a beotch! Collar bones not fun either! It's amazing all the things that could happen that don't!
     
    JimN, herzalot and Mikie like this.
  13. blixet

    blixet Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Gabriel Valley
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Transition Scout, TJ Ti
    Sorry to hear this. Broken ribs suck. Heal up quickly!
     
    JimN, herzalot and Mikie like this.
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    @JimN
    You are one tough doood!
    I know EXACTLY what you are saying about easy trails, a little speed, and pedal strike. It got me a free ride in a helicopter.
    You also got it right… Motion is the magic to fast healing. Keeping that healing blood pumping. Lots of water as it’s the bodies lubricant.
    Heal up you Hooligan Trail Warrior!

    Mikie
     
    Walleye, mtbMike, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  15. 3unr

    3unr Newbie with Hope!

    Location:
    FULLERTON
    Name:
    J Lee
    Current Bike:
    Mmmbop
    Hate those sneaky strikes. Hoping for your fast recovery.
    Your goals are inspiring
     
    Danimal, herzalot and JimN like this.
  16. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Thanks, Eric! I'm happy that we were able to fit in a SoCal trip shortly before this one and get in some riding with you. Waterworks was very fun, so big thanks for the tour!
     
    TwoWheel Eric likes this.
  17. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Thanks to everyone for all the comments and healing vibes! I really appreciate it.

    Seems everyone in in tune with the whole bad crashes happening on easy terrain phenomenon. It's so true. Heck, I had a couple really nasty crashes on the darn Fullerton Loop back in the 90s. Also smashed my right shoulder into about six pieces while riding Cherry Canyon about 4-1/2 years ago.

    I will keep doing what I'm doing, and be back on the bike as soon as possible. Managed to walk three miles this morning, and at a faster pace that what I've been doing, so that's a good sign.

    Hopefully, we'll finish up our goal next year. Now that we have Oklahoma checked off, we can plan the drive out differently and see some new things along the way.
     
    Oaken, CBone, Old&InTheWay and 8 others like this.
  18. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Well that's rare at the loop lol
     
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  19. bvader

    bvader iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Hi @JimN Sorry to hear about your crash in the first place, but Glad to hear about your progress and attitude.

    We both know @TwoWheel Eric and he told me of your crash.. we have been chatting..

    And Today I came off the bike hard at Aliso at top of Mentally Sensitive... And landed full weight right side of the back ...

    I was not really going fast just went down a rock and front got in a hole and polevaluted me over.

    It was a hard hit....

    Took me a while to pull myself together... That whole are was in pain and ready to spasms...

    Was pretty confident I broke or dislocated a rib(s)....(Thinking of your crash) Had to ride back to the car at Canyon Vista. (2 times I have done bodily damage and had to ride out)

    Got checked out and miraculously nothing is broke but I am in pretty good pain.

    Little pissed at my self (took a different line and simply made a mistake) but at the same time feeling very grateful that I will only be very sore and a few back spasms

    Glad you are up and moving... I will be too... I will go back and look at the scene of the crime...see what I did wrong...

    Take care everyone! !
     
  20. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail,Yeti SB 130 LR
    Ouchie! Stop doing that!

    Heal quickly and completely, please!
     
    JimN and bvader like this.
  21. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Front Range, San Gabes
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Sssnake"
    Current Bike:
    YT Izzo
    Yikes, feel better @bvader! :eek:
     
    JimN and bvader like this.
  22. Racer X

    Racer X Member

    Location:
    A valid location
    Name:
    B
    Current Bike:
    Kona Explosif
    You’ll make it soon. Great attitude.
     
    herzalot, bvader and JimN like this.
  23. TwoWheel Eric

    TwoWheel Eric Member

    Location:
    Orange County
    Name:
    Eric
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley V4
    Sounds like you dodged a bullet, hope the recovery goes quickly.
     
    herzalot, bvader and JimN like this.
  24. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Ah, shoot! I'm sorry to hear this. Very glad that you got checked out and were cleared of anything serious. I'm sure you're in a lot of pain a day later. Always wish you could turn back the clock after events like this - do an out-and-back on Wombat Ridge and descend Meadows instead. Oh, if only.

    Hang in there, and as you said, get moving around as soon as you can. I hope you're seeing improvements and feeling better soon.
     
    herzalot, bvader and TwoWheel Eric like this.
  25. bvader

    bvader iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Thanks @JimN
    Pain is manageable and yes good advice movement (within reason) good!

    Yes .. I analyze these things and want to turn back the clock...

    And like most of my significant crashes it took multiple bad decisions/ twists of (bad) luck..

    - Missed my original turn
    - Thought I remembered the drop in when I didn't
    - Went in too "Casual" instead of alert / cautious.

    Thanks.. let's all get well ... I will be back on the bike soon which is no worse for the wear other than a lever adjustment etc ..
     
  26. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Troutman, NC
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    Ouch! I was about to make a joke about the impossibility of mountain biking in Illinois, but I know that western and southern Illinois are different creatures than the plains around Chicago. Heck, I even used to go skiing in western Illinois.

    My worst wreck so far (here in NC) was due to a fast descent on a shaded trail where there were shafts of sunlight through the trees that created stripes of shadows. One second I was biking through dark bars of shadow, the next second one of those dark stripes was a small tree that clipped my bars and launched me into a ravine. I remember thinking "if that stripe is a vine I'm ok - but if it's a tree I'm screwed". Then I woke up in the ravine. I remember hearing someone groaning and then realized it was me :) Fortunately there was a log to break my fall :)

    Heal up soon!
     
    CBone, JimN, scan and 5 others like this.
  27. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Yeah, southern Illinois does indeed have some really legit riding, as does the Saint Louis, Missouri area, particularly near the Meramec River.

    Wow, that sounds like a really nasty wreck you had, and the suddenness sounds much like mine! I know what you're talking about with the shafts of sunlight through trees creating shadow stripes. Combine those with photochromatic lenses in your sunglasses and things can get weird. I trust that you were able to heal up fine?

    So much great riding in NC. We really enjoyed our stay in Brevard a couple years ago.
     
  28. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Troutman, NC
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    I got shaken up pretty bad - but nothing broken other than the camera I was carrying in my cargo pocket and which got wrapped around my thigh muscle. I had a huge bruise the size of a grapefruit on my thigh where I hit the log. My bell was rung so well that I started walking out, and then my leg hurt too much to walk, so I rode gingerly, and was getting confused because the trail was looking strange - like I had never been on it before. Then I realized it was because I had lost my polarized bike glasses in the fall and was looking at everything in real light :)

    I sent photos of my poor leg to my biking buddies and they were very supportive. "Oh! Nice one!" is the best I got. But I was able to go back on the trail two days later and find my bike glasses. Seems like not many people go down into that ravine on a regular basis :)
     
    herzalot, bvader, JimN and 3 others like this.
  29. JimN

    JimN Member

    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Name:
    JimN
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Switchblade 29er
    Nice! Glad that you were able to get back on the bike so quickly and find those glasses.
     
    BonsaiNut, Obsidian and herzalot like this.
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As a former Amazon Associate I continue to get screwed trying to stay qualified as an Amazon Affiliate. So I quit!


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