Friday, June 10, 2011

Busted Up

Well, it finally happened. I crashed hard on the rocks of El Paso, Texas, and the rocks won. I will be okay, first of all, so don't worry about that, but my bike riding is done for a bit until my knee recovers. Details? Read on...

I went for a ride on the Big Mama and hit the Lower Sunset trail first. There is a pretty tame downhill section to start out with, then a sharp right into a ravine/arroyo area with some switchbacks. The first is okay, the second one is tougher. Its always been one I've walked. This time it was really eroded and blown out from riders skidding around it. I still attacked it and cleared it for the first time ever. I was stoked.

Some rollers followed with a steep uphill. Then I came across a split in the trail. You can go left for a more difficult route, or stay right. I'd never done the left route, so I took it.

Well, there was a very steep down hill over exposed bedrock. My front wheel went left and I went right and....

 Things happened fast, and when I quit tumbling I was in a seated position. I looked at my left knee, as I felt pain there. I saw a flap of skin sticking up. A thick one. Not good. I looked closer and saw a 5mm wide by 8mm long hole in my knee that I am pretty sure was exposing my patella. (It's not like it mattered what I saw at that point!)

Right about then I started feeling really dizzy and everything was getting more brilliant and washing out to white. I couldn't see. Ghostly shapes, dizziness, and extreme pain were all I knew for several long minutes. I don't know how long I sat there. I knew I had to focus to keep my consciousness. I didn't want to pass out, since my car was the only one in the lot there, and I saw only three sets of old tire tracks on the trail. I fought and prayed, and managed to keep it together. Note, all through this, I hadn't moved from where I had landed.

Finally, I decided I had better dig out my emergency bandages. I always carry them. I still wasn't bleeding, but I knew I would be sooner than later. I bandaged it, put a bandanna over that, and decided to try standing. My head was swimming. I did stand up. My vision cleared somewhat. Still, I didn't push the issue. I ate and drank some water. I rested until my vision cleared some more, then I haltingly started walking back up the trail I had come down.

I stopped a bit again, assessed the situation. Feeling better. I actually soft pedaled a bit, but couldn't climb without sharp pain. I finally got back to the easier beginning section and managed to pedal it back to the truck.

Well, Mrs. Guitar Ted wasn't too pleased, I must say, but she got me patched up, being an R.N. and all, so I'm in good hands. Needless to say, I won't be back on a bicycle for a bit!

18 comments:

Wally said...

Jeeez dude. Plug that hole and heal up! Stuff happens when you venture forth in the outdoors where not so many do, so its important to keep your wits about you and act sensible when it does.
Now kick back with a cold cerveza (or two) and make the most of the vacation!

Doug Idaho said...

Ouch!.....glad you were able to pedal out and get patched up.....heal up quick!

Captain Bob said...

Yeeeouch!

Doug said...

Sorry to hear about that...reminds me of the time...
Alloy Ed and I did a ride called "Full Moon to Midnight". It starts in Laws, CA at 3000+ feet and climbs to the top of White Mountain. (I know every state worth beans has a "White" mountain, but this one tops out at over 14,000ft) We started at 4AM. Thank goodness it was dark, because had I seen all that climbing it wouldn't have been possible! We climbed Silver Canyon, an unrelenting ascent to over 10,000ft. I had some rediculous 24x34 gear and I was determined to ride all the way. Alloy Ed just got off and walked, and got to the top of that first climb a while before I did. Oh well. We finally got to the peak that afternoon and I wasn't feeling too bad. Then came the descent. For the first time ever, I was descending faster than Ed! I flew down the first few miles of babyheads no problem. That was an unforgettable few minutes. However, like you who had cleared that section for the first time, soon afterward the front wheel went one way and I another. The back wheel was pretty well potato-chipped. The descent I worked so hard for was taken with no back brake, at considerable less speed than I would have liked. No regrets, though.

Courtney said...

Ouch! Heal up I know personally the worst part of injury is when you feel better and still cant go do stuff, but hang in there.

S Sprague said...

Heal well GT. Glad you got out and got help. Now it's a recovery vacation for you. Take Care!

james said...

How about a picture showing the gory details.

james said...

Banged up is a bummer! Do you have any pictures showing the gory details?

Nathan said...

Sorry to read about your tumble. Take it easy and heal up! Another new scar for Mrs. Ted to "dig", huh buddy.

Guitar Ted said...

Sorry All! I've been on the road all day, and only have just gotten on the ol' innerwebs.

For those wanting pics, well I stupidly shot a few, but nothing too revealing. I really needed to focus and get my self extracted from the mountain first. Taking shots of my injury and all was a luxury I probably shouldn't have taken.

Look at tomorrow's post for what I did get. Nothing gory though, sorry!

Guitar Ted said...

Oh! And a big Thank You! You guys are great.

Jon said...

Hey, man, take care of yourself and get healed up. I've experienced the brilliant white, out on the trail, and it is not fun.

Glad you got out, okay.

gearedup2go said...

Ted, that was one big zinger your knee took! Ouch! In thinking about your gash, there's a product that will quickly stop moderate to severe bleeding. Quik Clot works as a fast acting chemical tourniquet and is available at REI, Campmor, and other sporting goods stores. Your pharmacy may also have it. I've packed it in my first aid kit and feel better prepared for when life throws a curve.

SS:Mtn Biker said...

GT,I'm SO sorry I didn't see this and wish you well/send prayers and thoughts sooner! I hope you're healing fast,my friend :)

Steve

Guitar Ted said...

@SS Mountain Biker: Hey, thanks man! I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Things are looking up for me and the knee. Check out the post for 6/14/11 for an update.....

Tex69 said...

After having taken a header/faceplant the other evening, I can commiserate and empathize with your need to maintain consciousness. Crazy things, these 2-wheeled contraptions. Good luck in the recovery.

MG said...

Wow... I actually started sweating reading your story! That's some scary stuff when you're out riding all alone. I'm glad you were able to get yourself out of there.

Heal quickly and I'll talk to you soon.

Guitar Ted said...

@MG: Funny you should mention sweating. I had forgotten that bit, but the pain was so severe, I was literally sweating bullets out there, and the relative humidity in these parts is around 10%. So, that was really odd for me.

Even now, if I hit it just right, it hurts bad and I start sweating. Weird.

Thanks for the kind words!