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Old 11-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
MartinPetren OP
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Last weekend I had a bad crash.

Last weekend I had a bad crash.

I would not have been able to write this text for you to read if it wasn’t for my helmet. My lovely helmet did not quite survive the crash but it sure protected me as it was supposed to do. More to that and the damages later on.

It was on Friday the 26th of October that I crashed. When I woke up that day it was a beautiful morning and I had a great night’s sleep. I study to be a mechanical engineer at Uppsala University, which is located about 600km’s from home, and I was home for the weekend after one of my exams.
I arrived home in Gothenburg the day before the accident.


I had some things to do with my bike before it was ready to ride, such as fitting a new kick starter and a new side stand bolt. The repairs didn’t take me long and I also greased up the chain as well as all the joints in suspension etc, you know the small regular maintenance. When finished it was time for a warm up ride, which took me deep into the forests and then out in the streets of the central area of Gothenburg. I enjoyed this great view over the city, a view I had not seen in a while.


At about three o’clock I rode to my old job where my father also works. He had his bike with him as we had planned this for quite some time. We took off north to a place called Svartedalen which offers kilometer after kilometer of gravel roads. We spent a couple of hours there and the riding went smoothly. It was a nice ride and my riding skills seemed to be where I had left them.



Now back to the day of the crash. It was a beautiful morning indeed, not too cold and not wet all. I ate some breakfast and geared up before taking off at approximately 10am. The plan was to head south, way south. About 140-150 kilometers along the coast down south to a place called Laholm where one is allowed to ride on the beach. I was supposed to meet up with a friend who recently got an old, yet in immaculate condition, Yamaha teneré there but my plans changed when I came to Borĺs. The sky went black and the rain was starting to pour down. I took a quick decision not to continue and turned back to Alingsĺs to meet up with my girlfriend and enjoy the great weather there. The time was now around noon.

Between Borĺs and Alingsĺs is a country road which offers endless of slip roads which turn into small gravel roads that usually don’t lead into nothing. I knew my girlfriend wasn’t home yet so it meant there was some time to kill. I rode perhaps five or ten of these roads before stopping and taking a couple of pictures.



Bike took a small nap.


Here I took my first fall.. I ignored a very important rule; do not use your front brake on wet grass, ever. But both me and the bike was fine. I heard some strange noises in the woods nearby so I took off again, I think it was a moose that got upset by the sound of bike or something..


After the first small crash I decided to take it a bit slower and not to cross the line again. Worth to mention is that I had a bit too much self-confidence since the day before. I explored a couple more of the previously mentioned gravel roads. And then I found one that was very twisty and hilly. It was so fun I decided to speed up a little, just to get a better flow in the turns when power sliding around them.

It was just an ordinary turn. Nothing special, nothing hard. I had just let off the throttle to slow down before the turn and when I was about to hit the gas again, to get my rear wheel spinning, something happened. My courage disappeared and my mind went blank. I understood within a second that this ain’t happening, no way in hell I could take that turn. I started focus on my escape route, it didn’t look good. I saw a small tree and stub ahead, so I decided to steer between them. Just as I left the road and went out in the bush I discovered the ditch. I had not seen it and now it was too late. The front wheel disappeared and I went over the bars and then slammed into a big stone. My shoulder took the first hit and then my head.

When I heard the helmet crack I knew this wasn’t good. I’ve fallen before, several times, but it had never been serious. The first thing I could think of was how damn cold it was lying in that ditch next to the stone. The ditch was all filled with cold water from this autumn’s damn rain and then I felt the smell of gasoline. I managed to get out of the ditch and discovered my bike a few meters away, it was upside down and was leaking fuel. I sat down on the road calling my girlfriend to tell her I had a fall. I started having a real bad headache but had not yet discovered the pain in my shoulder. I told her my estimated location, which I can tell you wasn’t very accurate, just in case I’d pass out or something. After hanging up I focused to get my bike out. The first attempt of lifting the bike made me realize that my shoulder was a mess. I suppose the adrenaline started to go away.. The pain was intense.

I snapped a photo of the bike, I apologize for the blurriness but I wasn’t really prioritizing a good picture before getting out of there..


It took me half an hour to get the bike up. Remember the thing I said about water in the ditch and the bike leaking fuel? I learned that day that water together with gasoline gets really, really, slippery. I tried to drag it up but it was impossible, so I figured I could push it all the way down the ditch and start it and then ride it out along the ditch. It worked.

I was barely able to drive the bike but I managed to get all the way back to Alingsĺs. I went straight to the hospital when arriving. After a couple of hours in the E.R, which was extremely crowded, I got to the x-ray waiting room that was empty.

I snapped a picture there as well while waiting, it was nice to be in a calmer room after being in the E.R.


I got out of the hospital sometime around dinner time, with due to the circumstances good news. Nothing broken but severe muscle damage in the shoulder, a small crack in the collar bone and a slight concussion. In some strange way all I could think of was food. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast!

I really enjoyed the great dinner I had with my girlfriend and her family in Alingsĺs later that night. It was not until I got to bed that night that it struck me, my helmet saved my life today. I’ve been asked to quit riding from my family and friends now, but they now it and I know it, that’s not going to happen. I have for sure learned my lesson from this and I won’t be able to ride until sometime next year. But I can’t stop riding my bike.

Last weekend I had a bad crash, but that’s not going to ruin my next ride. Whenever that is going to be.

I think recovery is going to be hard. Real hard.

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Old 11-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
daveoneshot
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If you have five or six of those massive mugs of beer then recovery will be easier......combined with some pain killers and some good food, WOW, no problem. Heal fast.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #3
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What brand of helmet and how much damage to it?
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
MartinPetren OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwantabikesobad View Post
What brand of helmet and how much damage to it?
This is the one I used. An Uvex Enduro. I think it's a really good helmet and I will order a new one! I have noticed that they come in several different colors now... Just have to pick my new favourite! Regarding the damage, it's still in one piece but the right side of it has a few cracks and scratches.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
Charlie Gary
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From the looks of that picture your shoulder has all necessary functions. Anything beyond ensuring your supply of beer won't be hindered is bonus, right?
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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From the looks of that picture your shoulder has all necessary functions. Anything beyond ensuring your supply of beer won't be hindered is bonus, right?
No kidding. My last crash left my right arm completely useless for over a month. If he can hold a beer or raise his arm high enough to operate a tap... I'd say he is good to ride tomorrow!
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Glad you're okay. It is scary to think of being injured in the woods, all alone. You must have a very high tolerance for pain to have gotten your bike out of that ditch and ridden to the hospital!

Don't hold me in suspense, You said you'd learned your lesson but you didn't say what the lesson was. Any pearls of wisdom?
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
MartinPetren OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Gary View Post
From the looks of that picture your shoulder has all necessary functions. Anything beyond ensuring your supply of beer won't be hindered is bonus, right?
It's functional in most ways I'd say.. But in some angles it's insane how bad it hurts.. The first day's I couldn't raise the arm any higher than that in the beer picture, any movement above that almost made me cry like a little baby. Now it's much better and doesn't hurt in everyday movement such as drinking, eating and putting on clothes etc. But it is in some of those angles I just mentioned, like having the arm straight and slightly backwards, that really hurts. I still cannot sleep lying on my side to the right, which is the side AWAY from extremely warm girlfriend in bed So I have to put up with the heat she radiates!

Oh, and regarding the beers.. I have plenty to keep me satisfied after long days in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLV2NON View Post
No kidding. My last crash left my right arm completely useless for over a month. If he can hold a beer or raise his arm high enough to operate a tap... I'd say he is good to ride tomorrow!
Seems like you had an even worse crash than me. Unfortunately I won't be riding anytime soon though, doesn't matter if I get healed up or not, the bike will still be around 600 km's away from my current location anyway. And since the snow is around the corner all I can do is wait for spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cale_Kat View Post
Glad you're okay. It is scary to think of being injured in the woods, all alone. You must have a very high tolerance for pain to have gotten your bike out of that ditch and ridden to the hospital!

Don't hold me in suspense, You said you'd learned your lesson but you didn't say what the lesson was. Any pearls of wisdom?
Next time, don't chicken out! For real.

edit: don't want to sound cocky or anything.. but I think it's the reason why it all went as it did. Sure, I could have gone slower into the corner.. But my aim is to master the gravel techniques and you don't do that at a slow pace, unfortunately.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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Just happened upon this thread. I'm happy to see you're well, and will be riding again with warm weather.

Which brings up my questions. I'm in Uppsala on a visiting professorship at SLU, about done for now, but return again in May / June, and continuing to return for a few years. So, I need riding in Usspala area. And, my bikes in the USA. ADV biker scene in Uppsala? Bike rentals?

End hijack. Get well.

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:46 AM   #10
MartinPetren OP
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Originally Posted by invicta1 View Post
Just happened upon this thread. I'm happy to see you're well, and will be riding again with warm weather.

Which brings up my questions. I'm in Uppsala on a visiting professorship at SLU, about done for now, but return again in May / June, and continuing to return for a few years. So, I need riding in Usspala area. And, my bikes in the USA. ADV biker scene in Uppsala? Bike rentals?

End hijack. Get well.

invicta one
HI, there are quite a few riders here and in Stockholm I reckon.. I haven't had a chance to bring my bike here due to the apartment I have at the moment. But I will move to a new place in January where I might have access to a locked garage..

Anyway, I know that there's a group of people that arrange meetings and rides here.. Just can't remember their name now. I am a member of a group (on facebook that is..) called "Adventureriders Sweden" which is a closed group, but if you wan't I can invite you to that group. That might open up a couple of possibilities for you to meet people.

Regarding rentals, I don't think there is such a thing anywhere around here.. Best case scenario might be a scooter in Stockholm.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
Ren20
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Do you need to see PT? How long will it take you to recover?
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Do you need to see PT? How long will it take you to recover?
No I don't actually.. The doc said no exercise for a couple of weeks and then slowly start with the regular workouts I do. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I'm a professional biketrials rider, I guess since the facts that nothing is broken and everything is in the place it should be, he trusted that I could set up the muscle recovering exercises by myself.

Time is very individual apparently, he didn't want to promise anything. I don't now much about this kind of injury so I have no clue at all either..
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
MartinPetren OP
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Opinions

Hi, I need some opinions regarding my new helmet. Please have a look HERE.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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I had a spill back in march that kept me out of work for 4.5 months and off the bike for 3. found it kind of funny how anything else besides a bike wreck and people tell you to get back on the horse and try again. seems like they assume that you're gonna give it up after a spill!?? glad to see you're not giving it up. my wrist will never function normal again but I make do well enough. also, like the new helmet. john
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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Me too!

Was riding on the outer edge of some railroad tracks and because I was going too slow I got the front tire to hit wrong and fell over to the left where there was a huge ident in the side road causing me to fall about 10 feet down.

I landed on all the rocks typically found along side of railroad tracks...with the tires facing the sky and the bike on one leg. Glad I had on my helmet or I would have kissed those rocks pretty hard (based on the gouges in my helmet).

Took me a while to drag the bike back so I could grab it and turn it over. Broke the clutch lever and all the plastic on the left side is marked up too.

Got her started and rode on down the tracks to where I was going. That's when I realized how much pain I was in.

Got the xray back and my hand isn't broken, but I got some great pain pills for it. Replaced clutch lever, did oil change and am ready for my next trip.
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