Saturday, January 26, 2013

Down and Out

The family took advantage of some dry single track and milder temperatures up in Smithville today.  We all really like the trails up there and usually have a very fun ride.  I know the trails like the back of my hand and at times I seem to push the pace and ride on the edge because I feel so comfortable out on the trails.  Today I went over that edge.

Things started off a little slow for me today, maybe my age is starting to show.  Christopher on the other hand was out of the gate and attacking Lakeside Speedway like it was a race.  His new Anthem 29er was just floating over the rocky sections of this part of the trail.   He actually had to wait up for me a couple of times.  Once we got through Neal's we took the pavement back up to join into Posson Trot (basically we were running the old Bone Bender course).  By then I was really warmed up and passed Christopher and started to pace us.  I wanted to do a tempo ride anyway.  Once we crossed the paved trail and bombed down to the creek bed Christopher got a stick in his rear wheel and had to stop.  I continued on and actually picked up the pace because I really enjoy this part of Posson Trot.  Well, I guess I got carried away and ended up going down really hard and hitting my head.  I do not remember everything, but I do remember wheeling over the large log and beginning to lift my rear tire over to clear it.  I guess I started pedaling a little too soon and clipped the log which catapulted me into the air and over the bars. I hit the right side of my head really hard.  I have a nice big dent in my Rudy Project helmet to prove it.  Luckily the helmet did its job and protected me from serious injury, but I was unconscious for about 20 to 30 seconds.  I think the last time I broke a helmet  and was knocked out was during the Branch Oak 12 Hour Mountain Bike race up in Nebraska.  You can see the results from that crash below.

Back to today.  Christopher catches up to me after he removed the stick from his wheel set. When he gets to me I am laying flat out on the ground.  He thinks I am playing around and asked if I was "Taking a break"  I am starting  to come to at that point and slowly get up and check to see if I have any serious injuries. I did not, but what if I did.  I asked Christopher what would he have done if I did not get up.  He said he did not know. He would most likely move me to the side of the trail and then go get help.  What if I had a broken neck I said?

What do you do?  Heck, I do not know either.  It has been many, many years since I attended any CPR/First Aid training.  As I started to feel a little better we continued on with the ride.  We met up with Shane and Cliff and stopped for a few minutes.  Cliff asked me if my eyes where dilated.  Cliff is a Trail Patrol member so he knows a thing or two about first aid.   After we left them I decided that I was going to become a Trail Patrol member this year.  With some of the stuff we do I need to be able to handle emergency situations and be able to administer first aid to a fallen rider, especially if that fallen ride happens to be a family member.  


Anonymous said...

The effects of a concussion can be long lasting. When we saw you. You were mostly you're normal self you had your balance and and were thinking as clearly as you ever do. (JK) I will be happy to work with you both on some basic trail-side first aid. and get in touch with you when we set up our spring patrol class.

I will say the good thing is you were doing at least some of the things right you were not riding alone.(I brake that rule half the time) The person with you has a clue about your medical history,always good but I still recommend using some form of "Road-ID" cheap and could save your life. I hope at least one if not both of you had a cell phone in your pack.(yes you don't always have signal but most of the time you do) What I would tell Christopher or any untrained rider is if this happened again or you found another rider in the same predicament you only move a downed rider if you think they will die if you don't. The best practice in my opinion is check for dangers if you find none, then check that the person is breathing followed by bracing their neck with a jacket or pack or something. Then up turn their bike so that it is standing up on its seat and handlebars with wheels up perpendicular to the trail as a signal to other riders that there is a problem. After that its cell phone time call 911 you may even need to abandon the person and get on your bike and ride to the top of the nearest hill to get signal but 911 is the riders best hope without a trained individual on the scene.

Safe Riding

Kevin said...

A quick addition to the "ride to the top of the nearest hill" -- carry a roll of trail marking tape so that you can easily and quickly find your way back to the downed rider. Plus, if you need to ride to an exit or access point, you can mark trail on the way back to the rider for emergency personnel to follow.

Rubber side down,

Kevin said...

Quick addition to "ride to the top of the nearest hill" -- carry a roll of trail-marking tape with you so that you can easily and quickly find your way back to the downed rider. Plus, you'll have an easy way to mark trail for the emergency personnel to follow to get in to the rider.

Rubber side down,