Crashing 101

I read somewhere there are two sorts of mountain bikers ………….one who has had a big accident and one who is about to. Having had my share of unplanned earthward excursions, I thought I could pass on a few tips that may preserve your good looks.

Protection:

Helmets: Often when you hit the deck, a tree or rock can become between your face and the ground …result messed up face, cracked or broken teeth. I had a bash with a full face DH helmet, but I needed a rugby players neck to support it for a few hours so I went looking for an alternative. Met Helmets in Italy make a standard MTB helmet (much like their “Kaos “ model)  but with a chin guard called a “Parachute”. Can't buy them in Australia or the US for a few nonsensical reasons but can get them in the UK or throughout Europe. I ordered one on line, it cost $200 A$ landed and took a week to get here. Not heavy nor causes you to overheat or freeze, I’ve used it on 35 deg days and in the snow – never a problem. Comes in medium or large, I have a large, and its perfect for one with a big head.

 

Gloves: Made the mistake of swanning around with a pair of fingerless gloves…idiot, had a big off, skidding knuckle first down a sandy / rocky track. They were as useful as a chocolate teapot. Couple of loose fingernails and deep skin removal over second knuckles. The knuckle skin grew back BUT took a year to look normal and not so lumpy. Now I don’t venture out without a pair of 661 Gracia gloves with carbon fibre knuckle protection – they feel no different to wear and when I have bitten the dust, a bit of bruising, but no de-gloving of skin.

Touchdown:

Many magazines / articles suggest you roll, go into a ball etc to reduce damage …hello… it happens so bloody quickly, avoiding the biggest tree is usually my priority. Dust yourself off, do a function check of your bits and pieces, if in doubt get to Hospital. If your wounds are pissing blood that usually bumps you up the triage list. First thing the nurses seem to check when you wander into A & E looking like a smashed crab, is collarbones, being bike related. Mine has been broken arms, wrists and ribs. They all hurt and take a couple of months to stop giving you grief BUT arms and wrists hurt long term particularly as you become an old fart. Every winter they ache. If you do an arm/wrist, request a “back slab” if possible, you can take it off after a while and clean up the mess and have a scratch.

Repairs:

Fixemol: A brilliant little invention which is an adhesive pinholed dressing for bad grazes (or road rash as the lycra boys call it). It comes in sheets you cut up. You have to scrub out the whole graze completely clean, gently dry, then stick this stuff on. After seven to ten days soak it in olive oil for a couple of hours and gently peel it off. Guess what …...bright pink new skin and NO scabs. Last little visit to A & E, they told me that Wound Management? don’t recommend it anymore. What they put on didn’t work as well, so I bought some fiximol and it was all good. (You can get it from the chemist or a friendly nurse)

Bio Oil: The new pink skin is great but some other chemist type invented this stuff for skin damage, stretch marks. Not being an authority on stretch marks, I know if you slap a bit of this on every night on the new skin there’s little or no scarring.

PS: Couple of things a Neurosurgeon told me :

“What do you call a MTBiker without a helmet ?? … An Organ Donor”

“Every time you smack your head and lose consciousness you have suffered some brain damage”

DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice nor am I holding myself out as a medical expert in any shape or form, this is personal experience that worked for me and hopefully may assist you in damage control. If in doubt see an expert.

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