We’ve begun work on a documentary tentatively titled “Free Riders” here in Hood River, Oregon. The documentary will follow our friend Douglas as he builds trails and rides the forests here in the pacific northwest.
Greg decided to give proper mountain biking a try. Having not been on a bike in quite some time, some minor difficulty was to be expected. I mean, even the pros have trouble from time to time. However, something bad happened.
Read on, but be warned if you’re squeamish – graphic pictures ahead
I was guided up to a trail and things seemed easy enough. Douglas had a few technical difficulties right at the beginning.
Here’s the demon I was set to ride:
Soon after some tinkering, Douglas was ready to ride.
The ride began innocently enough. I noticed that the bike was surprisingly easy to ride and handle. When I was younger, I never properly understood gears for bikes. I didn’t need to because I always rode on pavement. I wish I knew more before going on this ride.
After riding down the trail for about five minutes, the bike began to pick up way too much speed. Having almost slipped on a few patches of snow, I quickly lost control of the bike over an area with some wet rocks. I hit the brakes a little too hard, and over the handle bars I went – directly on to the rocks.
I lifted up my shirt and saw a massive abrasion on my right side. Douglas said he had never seen anything like it, and he’s seen plenty of people wipe out like I did. My whole right side, from my chest down, was in pain. Check the pictures below to see why.
Douglas and I walked back up the trail with the bikes, so he could ride downhill and grab his truck. I waited a total of 30 minutes before we were able to get out of there. The pain wasn’t getting worse, so that was a relief.
We went and checked with a medical friend of Doug’s, and she recommended cleaning the wound and putting it on ice. I was able to walk and felt OK, so I figured I was in the clear. This is what it looked like when we got home:
So it had been cleaned, I put on a bandage and we went on business as usual. We watched part of A Mighty Heart when I decided to go get some water. This was around 11pm. When I got to the fridge, I collapsed.
Water from the glass I broke went all over me. It felt really good to be on the ground though, so I stayed there for a little bit. Not like I could have gotten up if I wanted to anyway. Douglas got me into a chair, and this was the status:
We discussed a possible trip to the ER, but decided against it. We all had a long day, I thought maybe all I needed was rest.
So I went to sleep shortly after. Well, around 2am, I got up to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, it is hard to take a piss when you start blacking out. I made enough noise falling in the bathroom three or four times that I got Douglas and his girlfriend Heather to wake up and come downstairs to help me out.
The ER trip followed, and they set me up with an IV and a catscan. After about 1 hour of waiting, they let me know the catscan was clear and none of my internal organs were damaged. I did lose 2 pints of blood though (internally), which explains the blackouts. I was told that my blood sugar levels were low and that was how the body regulates that. I can say now I know what life for a diabetic might feel like – it isn’t fun. They pumped me up with some juicy fluids and sent me on my merry way.
I’m a firm believer that in this particular instance I’m lucky to be fat. My fat was what saved my innards against those treacherous rocks. I’m grateful that I was wearing a helmet too, or the accident would have been much worse.
Moral of the story: if you’re going to be dumb, make sure you’re tough.
Post accident – Day 1:
If you look closely, you can see how not only is my leg underneath the main injury also badly bruised, but the bruise itself is spreading across my stomach. PS: gross
Day 7 (final day of pic updates – yay!):
As you can see there’s a nice scab over the abrasion now. I let it air out all day yesterday and slept for the first time without the bandages on. Hopefully the swelling and the bleeding will begin to stop now. Please make it stop. For the morbid group, I hope these pictures have been enjoyable.
I’d like to thank Douglas and Heather for taking care of me during the accident and while I am recovering.