Guest Article: Suffering Abuse (by TrailAbuse)
Guest post written by G (aka. Trailabuse). He’s a mountain biking dad from Nottingham and organiser of the 2016 Sherwood Pines Meetup.
Back on the 8th of January I was involved in an accident due to my lack of skill on the trails…
I shall take you back to give you a brief insight to how I came about breaking my shoulder. It all started on a local trail, which has recently been given the heads up from the council for a local mtb group to build some trails. Due to it being a non-funded trail build, the group put out announcements on social media to gather as many hands to help put spade to mud. On this occasion myself and one of my closest friends, Rich, decided to head up and lend a hand, and to experience a real dig day. Not shy of a bit of graft, we loaded up with bikes, spades and grub we headed over that Sunday morning to get dirty and to do some riding.
Tagging along was my youngest son, Brandon, was also up for it… mainly to give him an excuse to ride. Who can fault him?
After a couple of hours digging and cutting back the vegetation, my boy was getting thirsty to ride some of the already built trails. To keep his interest alive we decided to take him for a spin. Wow! The first line was epic, short and rollable. We did a few runs down and my lad was loving his new found hobby. On the way back up there was a bowl, and on one side there was a step up ramp. This is where my luck started to change. Rich was kindly explaining his views and thoughts of the project and I sat back on the bike, thinking “I can do this.” Anyone who knows me will tell you I am the sort of person to push my own limits. Maybe that’s stupid or brave to some people. Either way, I look at any trail I am riding and will try to up my game at any opportunity without of any thought of the consequences.
In that spilt second I decided to attempt the jump, and as I rolled off the edge I flew down the trail heading straight for the step up, thinking that it would shoot me up in the air… how wrong I was.
I hit the ramp and, the next minute all I know is that my front wheel disappeared, and I went over the handle bars leaving me with several dents in my helmet, after taking a blow to my lid, and a sore left shoulder. After jumping to my feet, and alerting Rich and Bran I was OK from the other side of the bowl, I gathered my bike and slowly walked back round the other side of the bowl. Of course I let out some moans and winces along the way.
As the day progressed I could feel my shoulder really starting to stiffen up. My first thoughts was just that I had suffered bruising, and looking forward to having some new trail tattoos to show off for my efforts. Eventually we headed home and by this point I was holding my arm against my side, the pain really had started to kick in. So there was nothing else for it! Off to A&E I went.
After an X-RAY, and eventually being seen by a doctor, it turned out that I received a fracture down the inside of my left arm from my shoulder down, and a small piece that had been chipped off. Not only that, but there was possibly a hair line fracture down my left shoulder too.
After 36 years of living I had finally broken my first bone, and in an epic way to I like to add. I can not complain too much really, I have been extremely lucky when it come to all my fails. I’ve got away very lightly other than a few repairs needed for my bike. On this occasion though it was me that needed the repairs.
After finishing at the hospital and picking up a large Big Mac meal and strawberry milk shake (WHAT?! All the poorly kids get a Mac D’s to cheer them up don’t they?) it was home to rest. I think it was at this point it started to sink in what I had actually done, but what was worse? The fact I broke a bone or the fact that I had just been told I would be unable to ride for up to the next 6 weeks? I’m pretty sure for anyone that rides will now be shouting at this post and holding there head in disbelief!
“No way man! 6 weeks?!”
Yeah! I’m pretty sure there is some of you that would be feeling what I was feeling when that information hit me to.
So there I was sat, now with 7 days in front of me to be a drama Queen over the fact I can’t ride. I knew I would be climbing the walls in no time at all, but I had to refocus my mind some how? Twitter was my saviour. Being able to chat with friends was one of the bonus things, and to watch copious amounts of MTB videos on telly was good. Once the kids were at school I could have the music up as loud as I’d liked. In that first week I had to adapt to only using one arm which turned out to be so frustrating. What I actually mean is that even spreading a slice of toast was such a task in its self: chasing it around the work top to the point I just gave up. So, to sum it up: I was feeling a little under the weather for a few days and dwelling in my own pity. But how could I be? It was all my own doing! No one forced me.
After drinking some milk, I refocused the mind on getting on the mend ASAP. I never thought to this day that MTB would get me so hooked. It’s a little different to the other hobby I used to live for which was fishing. Talk about one extreme to another.
It has been 4 weeks now and it’s only just now I’m able to get my arm out of the sling and be able to move. I still suffer with slight, sharp pains shooting across my collar bone, though I know I am on the right track. After my visit to the fracture clinic and a visit to physio I was told another 3-4 weeks until I can ride again but another 6-8 for the trails… again! I could’ve cried! (Although I’d like to make you aware I didn’t!)
Leaving the hospital and walking back to work I was milling over what I needed to do, apart from the obvious of course. That was to wear that godforsaken sling for another 7 days and, when I could, I was to bend over (stop sniggering you child) and let my left arm hang. And then with a circulation Motion I had to move my arm around.
To be honest have I done that yet? Maybe twice, three times if I’m lucky. To be fair, in my line of work I think I get alot of natural physio so by the end of the day I do feel like I have a heavy weight on my shoulder. I also noticed that I am not taking as many painkillers or anti-inflammatories with in the last week and half, so that has to be a good sign right? Either way, I have tried to lay off them and only take them when the pain gets a little to much.
What have I learnt from this?
- Breaking a bone isn’t as much fun as I first thought.
- Don’t be such a numpty and fall off the bike.
- Walk the trail if you are unsure of what you are actually shredding.
- Don’t fall off.
- Remember the little skills you were taught to tackle any technical challenge.
- Oh yeah! Don’t fall off.
- Falling off hurts.
- Always wear a helmet (it’s a good job I did).
- Falling off is not a skill to have.
So, yeah! At this present time I am still in recovery and being sensible isn’t one of my strongest talents, but I think you may of picked that up fairly early on? I am still tweeting and moaning about not being able to ride, so I think in the next couple of weeks I may try to get my bike back out and take it one step at a time.
Watch this space.
Until next time
Shred some brown pow for me.