Endo, OTB, flying W

January 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

It was a simple problem, really. And one I had encountered many times in my years of mountain biking. It was a small ledge – maybe 10 inches high – with a nice smooth lead-in on my side. There was some water at the bottom of the ledge, but nothing troubling.

The normal way to ride this type of obstacle is to approach the ledge straight-on, pedal hard and lift the front wheel while transitioning to a standing position on the bike. Then land the front wheel on top of the ledge and then power the rear wheel up. So what happened? My front wheel never left ground. The ground at the edge of the water was very soft and the front wheel just sucked into the water and came up against the ledge. As the bike abruptly stopped under me, my momentum carried me over the bars and face first into the ground.

I hit the ground hard enough that I expected to have gotten the wind knocked out of me, but I didn’t have any trouble breathing as I sat up and  began checking systems. I looked at the Road ID I was wearing to see if the names on it made any sense and I was relieved to find that I knew who everyone was. I sat quietly for a minute or so (could have been longer) before I began my most important task: checking my bike for damage. Other than a rotated bar-end and slightly bent derailleur, I was in business. Personally; just a bloody lip, scratches on my chin and upper lip, and a very sore couple of fingers on my right hand. I could still bend all my fingers and straighten them out, so it didn’t seem like anything was broken. OK, I can ride out of this then.

I went ahead and finished the ride I had planned mostly because it was easier than going back, but also because I wasn’t really hurt and the bike was fine. The only problem I had on the ride back came on uphills; when I needed power, my right hand hurt to the point that I picked all the easier uphill lines and even rode along the tracks for a while (which I try not to do if there’s a trail available.) Here’s a shot I took along the trail home.

Post crash pic

The most important part of any mountain bike injury assessment comes during and after the post-ride shower. Once the dirt and blood was washed off all I suffered was a bit of a fat lip, some facial scratching, and some swelling on my right hand down by my pinky finger.

A long time ago a sports medicine doctor prescribed RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for a similar injury, so that’s my plan for this afternoon.

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Entry filed under: Mountain Biking.

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