Crashing Bikes, Breaking Bones
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ripping around Suzuki’s ’10 RM-Z250 moments before breaking my shoulder at Milestone.
I’m so depressed right now... While out at Milestone Motocross Park testing the 2010 Suzuki
RM-Z250 and the Honda
CRF250R last week for an upcoming motocross bike comparison I crashed—smashing my left shoulder to bits in the process.
The crash occurred on one of the jumps I had been doing all day. So what went wrong? I hesitated for a moment on the face and ended up coming just a few inches short from a perfect landing. Instead I landed on the front wheel totally out of control with my legs flailing on either side of the bike. I thought to myself ‘I got this’ but obviously I didn’t as I went over the handlebars landing on my head and shoulder.
Fortunately I was wearing Shoei’s new VFX-W helmet
—a helmet that I’ve taken a few big hits to the head with and like before, I was able to get right up. Based on the pain, I Immediately knew that I separated my shoulder, but I didn’t think I damaged anything else.
From the track I stopped by the urgent care center for an x-ray. So there I am sitting in one of the little examination rooms when I hear the doctor say to the nurse: “Melissa you got to see this.” Right away I knew I was screwed.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with a fractured glenoid, which is the socket cavity of your scapula bone that connects your arm to your shoulder. They originally thought that it might be displaced, which would require surgery but my doctor called me today and said that everything is in place all now I just need to lay low for the next few weeks.
The way the doctor explained it to me was funny, basically comparing it to a glass picture frame that was dropped and smashed to bits but the shape still intact. That’s what the inside of my left shoulder looks like now.
So now I’m supposed to just sit around and heal up for the next few months. No hard core dirt biking, racetrack shredding or jet skiing for 3 to 4 months. I should be able to ride street bikes casually in about two, but I’m aiming for one. It’s only been seven days and I’m already starting to feel better so we’ll see.
Some might assume that I was riding all whiskey and out of control like a maniac, but honesty I was barely breaking a sweat, plus the track was freeway smooth and in perfect shape. In fact, I’ve been riding and racing dirt bikes in way more sketchy situations lately without incident (check out our Troy Lee Design’s Day in the Dirt
feature—now that was sketchy!) But this in essence is the nature of riding dirt bikes. No matter how much you ride, what your skill level is, crashing just happens—usually at the worst possible time. Just ask Neil Hodgson, who recently retired
due to the lingering effects off a big MX crash at Milestone.
Sure you can throw in the towel and walk away from the sport, which I’ve contemplated many, many times. But in the end I just really enjoy riding dirt bikes. There’s something so raw and macho about bouncing around at the controls of a 200-pound piece of rolling metal. You’re dodging obstacles, railing around corners, and fighting the laws of gravity—it’s the ultimate test of man versus machine. And when you finally figure it out and do it right, there really isn’t anything else in motorcycling that compares.
So that’s it for now. I’m back to full-time desk jockey status for the upcoming weeks but rest assured as soon as my body is 110% healed I’ll be back on my dirt bike.
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