No, not Britney Spears on a coke & cock bender, instead its me deciding to once again finish the year off early by fucking myself up worse than the Greek economy after they decided to binge on the Olympics and epic wholesale corruption.
Those reading around this time a year ago may recall that 2014 pretty much ended on the shit hole roads of Matabungkay. I had boasted at some stage that I had done 20 odd years (emphasis on ODD) of riding without major injury, but surely being well cunted there that was it for the next decade right?
So then, what the actual fuck? If you’re looking at the header pic and muttering “WTF has that bearded fuckbag done now?“, then allow me to bring you up to speed with how we stumbled drunk with stained pants and boxers around our ankles through a mine field to the end of riding bikes in 2015.
To start with, this was supposed to be a glorious report laced and laden with superlatives and gushy platitudes about shredding Mount Victoria to wet bloody rags with its very own Mayor/Benevolent dictator – the Rodfather:
Its not every day you get to roll with a 90’s MTB legend, and the Rodfather puts even the Hoff into the shade with some of his historic efforts. I can still remember seeing him on Mt Vic in the Mid 90’s on a Specialized FS Stumpjumper with a Titanium linkage that you could only normally see in a Mountain Bike Action magazine. Women wanted him and Groms wanted to be him. The only difference these days is I’m no longer a Grom. Who better to have along as a Dirty hometown tour guide then?
But before we dive head first (literally) into the calamity to come, its worthwhile taking a moment to appreciate the Rad/Rodness of Mt Vic. Starting with a mix of the two:
I wouldn’t normally say that I’m the most superstitious person, but this ride definitely had some bad vibes about it right from the get go. I had already hit the deck twice on the way to Mt Vic when I decided to go down a trail that whilst it was fucking legendary in the dry, once a drop of moisture was added, it became scarier than your boss accidentally suggesting that facilitating oral sex would be an expedient way to secure your bonus.
That theme continued on once we hit Mt Vic, when the Rodfather offered up his Brother in law as a sacrifice to the forest, in an impact that made me wince given I had front row seats to it. If we had been playing rugby it would have been a yellow card for no attempt to use the arms, Mark instead using his upper torso as a punching bag for the dipper to enjoy:
I can’t even remember the last time I smashed trails on the Vic, and I certainly didn’t remember it being as good as this! Mind you, that was probably before the days when you had the Rodfather roaming the badlands cutting sick lines, berming the fuck up and path finding trails down steep rad shit that at times made you look up and think “Where the utter fuck do I go now?“. That feeling coinciding with realising you’re going quite fast and its a few percent steeper than your starfish is comfortable with.
Loose radness right on the doorstep of the city? Ragged root infested steepness with variable grip levels? Jumps that make you look cooler than you really are? Not a bad climb back up for more? You know this shit deserves a good fisting don’t you? Probably not the first time a couple of dudes have done this on Mt Vic to be fair:
Yet, the omens continued to stack up… The overnight rain had left things moist enough to get yourself in trouble (story of my life) and even with my post EWS Ninja skills sharpened I was coming undone trying to keep up with the landlord in his backyard…
I’m massively glossing over this ride to be honest, but lets all cut to the chase as to why and also why I’ve been absent from ramming my randomness into your inbox. Stand by to roll out any myriad of cliche’s, as fuck me with a horny honey badger if this situation isn’t overflowing with them.
It was the last run of the ride… The last little feature… File under ‘one more lap’, yes, all the things we know from the history of cycling that all seem to end up having an irrational level of danger attached to them. Take this as the example in question, approaching what appears to be a simple roll over you’d be happy to send your kids over on their trikes. The Rodfather of course already cleaning it better than the Welsh Assassins sock draw:
Yes, just a tame little dirt roll over that we’ve all done thousands of times in 25 years of mountain biking… Zero fucks given that there happens to be a stump sticking out, don’t need to worry about that. Even at the final moment of ramp up all lights were green… Challenger Shuttle styles:
I think that in this next shot however the brain had a few milliseconds to work out that perhaps shit was a bit whack after all. Popping out of a bowl of loam, to my horror I found that not only was this not just a mound of nicely sculpted dirt, but most importantly it had a plank that you really needed to plant that front wheel on, assuming you hadn’t just jumped the whole thing. Oh, plus I may have figured at this point that I was totally fucked:
Whilst the video is still to come… Assuming you want to watch it and hear the rather dramatic aftermath, here’s the point where you really want to have your arms a lot higher up if you are attempting to save yourself from being pile driven head first into the floor. Who knew that the Nomad 3 makes such an effective missile launch system?
At least I had a few moments to admire how fucking awesome my Fox coil shock is before I started to register the fact it felt like I had been hit by a train after being beaten up by Jason Bourne while he was drunk and pissed off about some cunts stealing his life:
So it definitely hurt when I broke my collarbone and elbow a year ago, but no BS here, this was Nek Level over that. The only similarity was when I hit the ground I once again heard the one thing you DON’T want to hear: A crack.
Worse than that though, I heard that noise just as my head and neck were hitting the ground and taking all the impact of 80kg of ENDURO fury being catapulted at full gas into surprisingly hard ground. Throw in suddenly being winded as fuck and wondering if I had broken my neck and as you can imagine, a little bit of panic was setting in.
By a little bit of panic, I mean actual fucking terror. I suspect that the only thing that stopped me from epic plot loss was how hard I had to concentrate on trying to get a breath in as well as the Rodfather being calmer than Yoda after narrowly avoiding Clonetrooper rape.
One thing was clear – I’ve never taken a hit like this and I wasn’t about to get off the hill without a real Evac. Pop that smoke Rodfather, shit is real up in this motherfucker. At least the Paramedics didn’t turn up in an old Mitsi L300 Van with a T Shirt on that said ‘Medic’ hand painted on it like last year:
Are you thinking what I’m thinking at this stage? Aside from me being a dumb cunt yes, join me then at looking at all the Gnar I have wrestled with this year:
- Perth and Sam Hills personal trails
- Mt Buller
- Rotorua and an EWS round
- Sospel, Finale, Roubion and Trans Provence
- Spain and Finale EWS rounds
Yes… Spent a fair amount of time smashing that stuff and Enve’s and then somehow managed to come unglued on what most people would consider pretty straightforward trail feature. My helmet wouldn’t seem to agree:
Yes, that dirt mark tells the story. Which is? Well, after numerous X-rays and a whole lot of RAD pain killers that made me more giggly than farting in a packed lift and blaming your female boss, it became pretty clear that things weren’t so straightforward after all. Here we are playing hospital shenanigans before I got the news that I sort of expected but still never thought I would get:
Here’s something you don’t hear every day from the doctor:
“So, yeah, you’ve broken your neck eh“
What the actual fuck. Even typing this up now without moving my body and it still doesn’t feel real. Growing up you’re told many freaky stories about such an event, so much so the mere concept is one that fills you with utter terror. It was only a week ago I was reading about a Red Bull Rampage athlete that had done such an injury and thinking “Fuck, I’m glad I never have to worry about that sort of thing“. Well, the CT scan would beg to differ:
And with the presentation of that little picture, shit changed pretty quickly… Casually cruising around the hospital higher than Lindsay Lohan was quickly replaced with medical lock down and ward arrest. Dirty Tip – Having a camelbak with you when having a neck brace on is absolutely gold, I highly recommend it.
A broken C2 Vertebrae being the final result. Its day 2 post event by now and I still haven’t got my head around it (fuck, NO pun intended), but suffice to say that any further radness is all over for 2015. Somehow I have managed to go from no injuries or major gear melt downs in 25 years to an absolute avalanche of shit in the last 18 months. Not sure if I am working through some sort of cycling Karma, but its definitely a massive downer. But don’t worry, I totally get how oddly lucky I am in a massively unlucky situation. Yes, I am rather grateful and thankful that this wasn’t a whole lot worse and permanent. Lotto tickets are on me this weekend gang.
The only upside to being in Wellington Hospital is that I got to see all 5 of the Rivet Racing Doctors all in one hit, #Legends #GCcrew, thus not only saving me around $25 in coffee, but meaning I only had to recite my ridiculous story once. Which reminds me, a massive Dirty Thank you to the Doctors and Paramedics that rescued me and didn’t mind me putting my dirty ENDURO gear all over your beds. Walking to the CT scan also a great gag to play!
Whilst on the topic of thanks, a huge shout out to the Rodfather who exhibited calmness under pressure that makes me wonder if he will be the new James Bond given DC has turned into a hater. He didn’t even get flustered when it took him 5 minutes to explain to the 111 Operator where ‘Majoribanks Street’ was. If you’re going to fuck yourself up massively, then you want to do so on a ride with Rod, as he will sort shit out like no other. Massive Chur bro.
Reports may be a little slow in coming as I adjust to life in the Darth Vader brace for the next 6 weeks, but the good news is that I don’t have to have surgery as its a stable break, who knew there was such a thing. The only thing left to do now is sit back, chill the fuck out and start planning the Road to Dirty Recovery – The Sequel. Fuck.