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Thread: My turn to get hurt...not the ZX's though!

Created on: 09/02/21 09:42 PM

Replies: 7

ManiZ


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Location: Denver, USA

Joined: 06/16/19

Posts: 67

My turn to get hurt...not the ZX&#x27&#x3b;s though&#x21&#x3b;
09/02/21 9:42 PM

Last summer, I tripped in the garage and a hard bump pushed over and damaged the 14 while nothing happened to me. Five days ago, I fell taking a dirt bike class while the ZX was safe at home.

It happened during day 1 of American Supercamp Riding School (https://www.americansupercamp.com/) here in Colorado, their home base. They teach dirt track racing to everyone including sport riders as the techniques are applicable to all bikes and surfaces. Got to meet and learn from AMA champs Jake Gagne and Cam Peterson who were the two primary instructors for this camp. Jake demo'd static drills in the classroom and both he and Cam showed us slides out in the training arena before we got started. Great guys. Down to earth and very eager to teach. They were there with us in every session, yelling instructions and doing lead follow. Seeing these AMA-ers reinforced my thought behind attending the class though I am not an off-roader and had never been on dirt before. It was my third school this year (YCRS and Total Control were the first two).

You start each riding session making left-hand drifting turns and switch to right-handers mid-session. First two sessions went great and I was really getting the hang of it but right turns were a serious struggle. By the third session, I started doing much better with going right too though still not fully at ease.

There were a few pile-ups in the first two sessions, but none for my group. We were all doing ok. And the riders in those other groups who fell had no injuries...just got up and got going again. Bikes are Yamaha TT-R125 so very low on weight and power.

In that third session, I came around one right-hander and was straightening the bike when I felt it slide more and I was suddenly down. Even at 10-15 mph, it seemed to happen lightening fast. I distinctly remember my neck violently snapping back and pushing the helmet into my upper back. My mouth had several spoonfuls of dirt. I never blacked out and remember everything. I was sitting on my knees, in pain and could hear the bike engine running next to me. Jake was the first to reach me (Cam was doing lead-follow) and turned it off. Then other instructors came running. They were all shouting what happened as none of them saw me (the eyes are usually on those approaching or in the corner, not past it). I said I didn't know. They laid me on my back with legs straightened and asked what was hurting. I said my left ankle...it was on fire. I remembered I needed to wiggle my fingers and toes to make sure my spinal cord was ok. It was. The neck hurt bad though.

I was being asked to stay down while my goggles were removed. Then helmet. They instructors said they will bring the truck into the arena to take me away. I said I could probably walk with help. Jake helped me off the track, telling me he has been hurt too many times and I will be ok.

They put me in a chair and elevated my left leg. Danny, the camp owner/founder, kept checking in with me. He and another instructor took my boot off a few min later. Lots of swelling on the ankle and it couldn't take any weight. I knew I needed an x-ray.

I had to assess my options. I was 100 miles from home and my car is a stick shift. My wife could come get me but there was no sense in it as she doesn't drive stick. I looked up nearby ERs. Several options, but I knew that even if I didn't break anything, I will need an immobilizing boot so driving my car all the way home would be impossible.

Called the wife and calmly let her know. Kept her as calm as I could and off the thought of driving to me. Then hatched my plan. I was going to drive the 100 miles using my right foot for all 3 pedals as much as possible and end up at the ER by my house. That meant avoiding as many traffic lights and PRAYING there are no traffic jams on any highway. So I picked a toll road and connecting highways.

Danny pulled my car to the door and I hopped to it and left. With sheer luck, the path was clear the whole way and I only needed to use my left foot a handful of times over the 100 miles. The rest of the time, right foot worked all 3 pedals.

ER staff took me in immediately. X-rays showed 2 breaks (I didn't get to see them). ER doc said the ortho surgeon on call has reviewed the x-rays and wants me to come on Monday to discuss treatment. They put me in a splint, gave me crutches and sent me home. Wife had come there with her cousin who can somewhat drive stick to drive me home with her following us.

Nothing but a dull pain over the weekend. Didn't need painkillers.

Surgeon dropped some knowledge on me Monday morning and showed the x-rays. I broke two bones next to each other on my ankle...fibula and posterior malleolous (the bumpy bone on the side of the ankle). Fib broke entirely while malleolous shaved one side. Surgery was the only option.

So yesterday (Wednesday) was surgery day for me. Had plates and pins put in on both breaks. My first surgery since an appendectomy 32 years ago as a kid. The last time I broke a bone was in 2nd grade (hairline in arm). So I suppose it was all overdue, especially after surviving 11 years and 45K miles of street riding.

Today was the first day I've experienced post-op pain since all surgical drugs took 18 hours to fully wear off. It was bad sometimes. I have an Oxycodone prescription filled but do not intend to use it unless pain gets unbearable or makes it impossible to sleep. Tylenol will have to do most of the time.

So there go the rest of my plans and those of my wife and kids. Was supposed to enjoy three glorious mornings of canyon riding this upcoming long, warm Colorado weekend, with family hikes following those. Early AM riding would've continued well into October as is always the case in Denver. Plus we were supposed to go on a Euro vacation mid-October which also can't happen now as that's when I will be coming out of the splint/boot and starting PT. Surgeon and O.R. nurses seemed FAR sadder about that aspect than I was, LOL!

Life is crazy sometimes.

Lots of things to be happy about though. Despite landing face first in dirt and snapping my neck back, all x-rays show zero damage to the cervical...just muscular strain. And despite a packed oval, no one ran me over. The crash caused no broken collarbone or arm injuries so I can continue to work from home as I have for over a decade. Super lovely wife and kids who are caring for me. Plenty of blessings indeed.

So the 14 and my cruiser will have to wait until my left leg can take their weight again while dismounting and ankle regains its dexterity to operate the gear lever...probably around mid-to-late-November. I ride year around, so I will make up for lost time.

For the next 6 weeks, I will be styling on a rented knee scooter around the house and outside. Fun times!


* Last updated by: ManiZ on 9/3/2021 @ 2:18 PM *



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yannih


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Location:

Queenstown New Zealand

Joined: 11/08/12

Posts: 1998

RE&#x3a&#x3b; My turn to get hurt...not the ZX&#x27&#x3b;s though&#x21&#x3b;
09/03/21 12:24 AM

Bugger!!!

Very sorry to hear this Mani.

Really great news the neck and back are okay!
And good luck with that ankle recovery.
Not much fun but over all a fixable issue which in the end is everything.

Unfortunately when it comes to our love for riding, for the vast majority it really is a matter of when and not if.
Taking your mind off the job for a split second can be all it takes.
And thats not to mention others being responsible for our mishaps.

We've all had our offs.
It's just a matter of if luck is with you on that day or not.

I wish you the very best Mani.
And hopefully you heal up as fast as The Rookster is doing...

Plus always look at the bright side.
Your 14 is still A1...


* Last updated by: yannih on 9/3/2021 @ 12:26 AM *



2012 Metalic Spark Black Kawasaki ZX-14R.
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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20048

RE: My turn to get hurt...not the ZX's though!
09/03/21 5:50 AM

Isn't it just wild how things happen? That's a pretty serious injury but I am glad to hear the rest of you is in good shape after the crash. Off road crashes are often a lot rougher than street crashes. Hang in there and get well soon, Manni. Keep us informed on your progress.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE Now Deceased

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cruderudy


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Location: AMR

Joined: 08/15/12

Posts: 1901

RE: My turn to get hurt...not the ZX's though!
09/03/21 12:29 PM

So sorry to hear this - seems like a tough year for our people. Sounds like you did all the smart things to get home - must have been a challenge for you but glad to hear it ended ok and you got home safe.

Wondering what boots you had on? I just bought my first real dirt/dual bike a KLX300 and have been planning on this type of dirt riding school in the future. I do have the AStars Tech 7 Enduro Ds boots but only my street gear for jackets and pants.



Perfectly Set up '06 dead and gone
New BBW '14 14R

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ManiZ


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Location: Denver, USA

Joined: 06/16/19

Posts: 67

RE&#x3a&#x3b; My turn to get hurt...not the ZX&#x27&#x3b;s though&#x21&#x3b;
09/03/21 2:13 PM

Thanks for the wishes, everyone.

Unfortunately when it comes to our love for riding, for the vast majority it really is a matter of when and not if.

Right you are Yannih. TBH, I had been getting a sneaky suspicion all summer that this is the year I will finally get hurt. I am very cautious on the street and can go years without someone trying to change lanes right into me or try to turn in front of me. In the past two months, it happened three times, each incident a bit closer than the last. I have also come across more wildlife this summer out in the canyons than ever before...one deer missed the car directly in front of me by about 1.5 seconds last month. Call it sixth sense but I had a feeling that something wasn't right. All coincidences I know, but a very strange confluence of them.

Taking your mind off the job for a split second can be all it takes.

Also true in my case. One student at the dirt school told me he saw my crash. As I was pulling out of the drift past the corner, my front end was choppy and apparently I killed the throttle too abruptly. The front knobby grabbed traction and I went face first over the bars, my neck taking all my weight on impact. The guy looked a little shell-shocked that I was as ok as I was...he expected worse. Had I been more conscious of throttle use, I would've been ok.

Off road crashes are often a lot rougher than street crashes.

Yeah that was the surprising part because I had always heard the opposite. I was barely going 10-15 MPH at the time and am athletic as well, yet my ankle self-destructed. Dirt is very hard to tame and I needed to be more careful on my first outing. So you see Rook, I wasn't going to let you hog all the "recent crash" space here on the forums, LOL! But seriously, when it comes to safety, 130+ MPH runs on the 14 in YCRS track classes were a lot safer than these slow ones on dirt.

Wondering what boots you had on? I just bought my first real dirt/dual bike a KLX300 and have been planning on this type of dirt riding school in the future.

Hi Rudy. They were an Alpinestars model, full calf boots (3-buckles) used for dirt racing. The school provided them. Dirt track racing boots cannot have a knobby sole or it would catch when you go to skim the dirt with your inside foot while drifting. If you are taking a similar-style class, do bear that in mind. For ADV-style classes, regular off-road boots will be fine. Just make sure they have good ankle coverage. These boots did or my case would've been far worse.


* Last updated by: ManiZ on 9/3/2021 @ 2:14 PM *



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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20048

RE&#x3a&#x3b; My turn to get hurt...not the ZX&#x27&#x3b;s though&#x21&#x3b;
09/03/21 5:44 PM

So you see Rook, I wasn't going to let you hog all the "recent crash" space here on the forums, LOL! But seriously, when it comes to safety, 130+ MPH runs on the 14 in YCRS track classes were a lot safer than these slow ones on dirt.

Glad you joined the club too! Sounds like you beat the odds even though you busted a couple bones. Man, you might have ended up paralyzed or at least stuck with years of recovery. Being a no-neck paid off for you! You might only live a few years longer for being an exercise enthusiast but this goes to show, you're a lot more likely to live better for a lot more of them.

I have the same feeling about deer on the street vs track riding or drag racing on a drag strip. I feel safer going really fast and possibly crashing in a closed course race setting more than I do going 65 mph and possibly hitting a deer. Of course, when it comes to LSR, I believe you're chances of living through a 200 mph crash are almost nil....but but so are the odds of being taken out by a deer.


* Last updated by: Rook on 9/3/2021 @ 5:48 PM *



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Daddyrabbit


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Down the rabbit hole

Joined: 05/13/20

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RE&#x3a&#x3b; My turn to get hurt...not the ZX&#x27&#x3b;s though&#x21&#x3b;
09/05/21 5:00 PM

They let (encouraged)you drive 100 miles with a broken ankle after crashing on their property? That's insane, glad there wasn't any neurological damage.


* Last updated by: Daddyrabbit on 9/5/2021 @ 5:02 PM *



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ManiZ


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Location: Denver, USA

Joined: 06/16/19

Posts: 67

RE: My turn to get hurt...not the ZX's though!
09/07/21 10:06 PM

They let (encouraged)you drive 100 miles with a broken ankle after crashing on their property? That's insane, glad there wasn't any neurological damage.

It was my decision. They didn't stop me but I wanted to get the foot checked out ASAP. I banged my helmet but didn't have signs of a concussion...speed was probably too low for that and dirt must've helped.



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