How not to introduce your wife to dirt biking

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by sp4ce, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Small warning: This report includes some semi-gnarly injury pics. Nothing life threatening or permanent, just ugly. You've been warned. Also, it might seem a little weird for me to post my wife's face plant, but she has been nagging me all week to write it up after I told her about the face plant forum. :dunno

    First, a little background. My wife, referred to from now on as Bean, took the basic course from Bay Area Motorcycle Training a few years ago and got her motorcycle license. She rode on the street a little and then for a variety of reasons didn't ride for a year or so. After last winter she really wanted to start riding again, but was having problems getting back in to it. Her bike (81 KZ 550) was a little too big and heavy for her and she was having confidence problems. Additionally, the damn crackheads in the Mission kept stealing her spark plugs to fashion crack pipes when she rode to yoga (not even kidding.)

    I had always been a little freaked out by her learning to ride on the streets of San Francisco, and in a moment of 'inspiration' hatched what I thought was the perfect plan. For her birthday I bought her a Yam XT-225. It's a nice light bike, easy to handle, street legal and I figured we could have fun for the rest of the summer building her skills safely on the dirt.

    I took her out to a parking lot to familiarize her with the new bike and she loved it immediately. Score! It was much easier to handle than the KZ and she warmed up to it right away, overcoming her hill start problem the first time out.

    So I started planning a dirt weekend. After much asking around I settled on Stonyford as a good place to go ride with lots of mild fire roads and easy jeep trails. Stonyford is located on the southeast end of the Mendocino National Forest in northern California:

    forest service map

    Friday afternoon we packed up and headed out. We got to Stonyford after dark and camped at Fouts Springs. We woke up the next morning and unloaded the bikes and set off. For those familiar with the area, we rode up the M5 to Letts lake. It was about a 20 mile ride on nice smooth graded fire road. Bean did great and had a blast. Here's a shot from the lake:

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    #1
  2. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    On the way back we took a different route and headed on to some trails/jeep roads. I was a little apprehensive about how Bean would handle this so I went really slowly and kept checking on her. She was having a blast and seemed to be doing really well. We were almost back to camp when disaster struck. The trail we were on crossed a paved road. I pulled up at the stop sign and waited a second for Bean to catch up.

    Intersection of doom:

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    #2
  3. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Bean came down the hill and saw me stopped and gave me a funny look. She says she hadn't seen the stop sign and didn't know why I as sitting there stopped. She came over a little bump/drop, figured out why I was stopped and panicked. At first she gassed it a little and then she got on the brakes hard, slid past me with both wheels locked up and went down in the road.

    Intersection of doom (reverse direction):

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    #3
  4. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    It didn't look like a bad fall and I jumped off my bike quickly to haul her out of the road and get her brushed off. When I got to her she was already standing up, but she was making "I'm really hurt" noises. I got her picked up the rest of the way and started moving her out of the road and thats when I saw her knee.

    Ouch:

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  5. RAW

    RAW Long timer

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    HOLY HELL!!
    That's ugly!

    Your wife looks beautiful though! :evil

    Is she doing alright now?
    What's the rest of the story?

    Sure makes me want to invest in some riding pants instead of jeans.
    #5
  6. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    I got her set down on the side of the road and moved the bike out of the way. She wasn't bleeding much and didn't seem too panicked or in shock. She didn't seem to have any other injuries and camp was only about a 1/2 mile away so I made sure she had water and jumped back on my bike and hauled ass double time to get the truck.

    I got back with the truck and was in the process of cutting her jeans away from the wound so I could move her without hurting her too much when a car came by and stopped. The guy driving the white van was more than a little freaked out initially. I had passed him with the hammer down on the way back and I think at first he thought that I was some lead-footed moron who had blown through the trail crossing and hit a biker. He was really helpful getting her loaded into the truck, though. Thanks man in white van.

    After getting directions from a ranger we headed to the hospital in Willows, about 40 minutes away. I pulled an excellent bone headed move and used the GPS "just to be sure." Garmin kindly routed me via county road 330 which includes some 8 or so miles of dirt. Undoubtably the fastest road...if it wasn't DIRT. Sorry Bean. :umph

    We got to the hospital safely and that's where this (and the previous pic) were taken while waiting for them to come with the gurney.

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    #6
  7. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    After a little morphine and some professional attention Bean was feeling a little better. My stomach was still doing loop-dee-loops.

    Turns out that's knee cap you can see back there. Turns out that is a "bad thing." The nice folks at Willows decide that Bean needs an orthopaedic surgeon and they don't have one so she has to go to Chico. We decide that I will go strike camp and load the bikes and meet her in Chico.

    When I finally got to Chico they told me she was just going in to surgery. That freaked me out pretty good. As it happened they were just cleaning out the wound. For a wound that bad she got lucky. No ligament damage, nothing broken, the wound didn't penetrate the joint. The surgeon in Chico patched her back up, put a drain in and sent her upstairs for the night.

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    #7
  8. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    Sorry to hear/see Bean's crash.

    It kills me to see an injury that could have been prevented by proper gear

    As both of you must know, Levis are no match for tarmac, or even dirt.

    Let her heal and buy her some proper gear.

    Sorry to lecture, it is the dad of two daughters in me come'n out :nod

    Here's hope'n Bean heals up well :thumb
    #8
  9. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    They kept her in the hospital 2 more nights for various reasons. At first they wanted to leave the drain in a little longer. Then they wanted to keep her on IV antibiotics a little longer. Then they needed to have a physical therapist evaluate her mobility. Then the doc had left for the day and couldn't sign her out. I didn't care. The longer the better as far as I was concerned and the hospital in Chico rocks. So much cleaner than any of the ones I have been to in San Francisco. They had plenty of staff and everyone was really nice and helpful. I recommend it if you ever get hurt in the area.

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  10. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Finally I got to take her home. She didn't like the ride much, but Hydrocodone helped

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  11. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Last Thursday we got to take off the bandages

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  12. Gerg

    Gerg Gergy Bear Supporter

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    Agreed,

    Ridin' pants with knee protection would have prevented that COMPLETELY.

    Heal well and heal fast Bean... and don't let that scare you off motorcycles!!!

    Gerg
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  13. beemer boy

    beemer boy Oh no, he's gone Asian

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    That is one nasty looking scrape....... Give me a good old fashioned ligament injury any day of the week. I really hate the sight of blood, especially my own. Sounds like your wife took it well though, showing they really are tougher than us. Sorry it happened to her, and hope the injury heals well. Think I will start to wear my riding pants.
    #13
  14. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Yikes! The ortho doc sure seemed nice. Who knew his last name was freekin Frankenstein! Hell, this looks like Frank let Igor close.

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  15. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Ugly

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  16. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    And one more for the road. Oooh, that'll leave a mark.

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  17. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    So there you go. Wish it had been a ride report. Bean is healing nicely and actually flew to London today against my advice. She's stubborn. Which is a bad and a good thing. She's also stubborn about riding and this little scrape hasn't in any way put her off.

    As has been pointed out, this would have been a non issue or a bruise had she been wearing riding pants and knee protection. I had been half heartedly badgering her to let me buy her both and she had been putting me off until she decided if she liked dirt riding. I let her put me off because, well, I grew up riding dirt bikes in ranch gloves, levis, and work boots. Seemed safe when I was kid. I should have known better. I have made her promise that before she gets back on the bike she'll let me buy her serious knee protection, padded shorts, riding pants and a dirt specific armored jacket.

    Something to think about next time you go out. This was a sub-10mph crash. Her gloves weren't even scuffed, neither was her jacket. She just happened to go down all on one knee on the only 10ft of asphalt we rode over that day.

    Ride safe.

    sp4ce
    #17
  18. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    Yup, something we all have done :nod

    She looks like she is gonna heal up well :thumb

    Keep us posted
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  19. Pep

    Pep Banned

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    Get her to keep that wound soaked with liquid vitamin E and it will greatly reduce scarring...

    Gonna get her some riding pants? :ear ...

    BTW: Yer a lucky stiff... The wife's a babe :thumb ...

    George
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  20. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    Riding pants? Riding pants are just the start. She doesn't get back on the bike w/o full gear.

    I'm leaning towards full knee braces like the EVS RS7 braces, but may go with plain knee guards like the Thor Force Knee Guards or SixSixOne Pro DJ Knee Pads. Also looking at a SixSixOne Pressure Suit or EVS BJ2 Ballistic Jersey. Probably also some kind of padded short with hip projection.

    Chime in with personal equipment experience. I'd love to hear what sucks and what doesn't.

    sp4ce
    #20