What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

by 18

Whenever you hear the words ‘watch this’, ‘let’s have one last run’, or ‘look at me’, you should get your camera out. And your phone. And your first aid kit. Because that’s when it’s all going to go wrong.

The flat pedal riders among us quite possibly draw blood on every ride – small amounts, pedal pin sized droplets. Elbow and forearm grazes just about heal between deep exfoliation treatments. Many of these things we can deal with at home. Some of us have come to the conclusion that there’s not a lot to be done for certain fractures, so what would be the point in seeking medical attention? This is not necessarily wise, and no doubt there’s a few wonky fingers and deep scars that might have been a little less Halloween had we visited the professionals.

It doesn't always go to plan. This was a slow OTB on a loose berm

And then there’s the proper damage. The rides where you make it home, but the swelling continues and you ignore it until your housemate comes home and nearly faints. The crashes where we have to be rescued by friends and driven to the hospital. Do not pass the pub, do not collect your scattered GoPro pieces, go straight to A&E. Or the ones where you wake up in a hospital bed with no idea how you got there, and a blood alcohol level of zero.

We want to know, how many times have you had to go to A&E this year? Feel free to tell us why in the comments section too, because who doesn’t like a good crash tale!

[poll id=”652″]

And if you can’t see the poll, click here to cast your vote.

Man Down! Matt in hospital after Kona Stab testing Fail!

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Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Comments (18)

    If you think I’m tempting fate by answering that survey you’ve got another thing coming.

    only 2 this year. 2015 was a daft one though and the doc knew me by name at the end.

    I’ve not ridden an MTB at all so far this year and I’m going out on one tomorrow. And you publish this. Screw you guys.

    Been three years since I’ve been in casualty from a mountain biking mishap. That last one was a broken ankle that I waved off as “it’ll be fine”, and even managed to limp to the pub at the end of the ride on it. It was three days later when my my mother-in-law saw it and nearly freaked that I ended up being driven to casualty. This year though I surpassed myself, but on the snowboard. Had I actually completed the pathetic little pirouette I was trying I would have instantly been catapulted to the ‘fat middle-aged snowboarder’s hall of fame”. Unfortunately, I was actually catapulted into a dirty, poorly staffed and frankly quite terrifying Bulgarian medical system with a broken back. Somehow though, I still managed to get up after the accident and make it to the mountain bar about 20 metres away, waving it off with a “it’ll be fine”, before I apparently went into shock and was rushed off the mountain, then transferred through five different hospitals to the one in the capital with the ‘top spinal injury unit’. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up. They dropped me three times that first night! My holiday insurance company eventually managed to rescue me after five days totally on my own there. My wife didn’t come out because the insurance company kept saying I was coming home, only for the Bulgarians to yet again lose the paperwork (whilst X-raying and Cat scanning me till I glowed), and the ‘mates’ I was with watched me get put in the back of the ambulance then went home the next day, leaving me on my own. When I did eventually get rescued by the air ambulance crew though, they flew me home in an 8 seater Lear jet! That was cool, as was the morphine they kept pumping into me….even at one point when all I wanted to ask for was a sip of water! Holiday insurance folks! Never leave home without it!

    Phew! Feel better after all that now! 🙂

    No visits to A&E but in hindsight I should have gone in June when whilst a BPW the bushing on my rear shock mount failed. My GP buddy said I was fine but he was wrong 🙁 shoulder is now buggered and I’m waiting to here exactly how bad it is!

    Deore myself with a broken leg, in hindsight…..should’ve unlocked the shock on the downhill……

    Broke my hand this year and my elbow about 3 years ago.

    Elbow needed surgery. Finger needed time and strapping (i was back on the road bike and out in Mallorca a week later).

    Broken Collar Bone.

    Ooh, you’re a superstitious lot! (Touches wood, strokes rabbit’s foot, kisses lucky medallion and heads out for a ride).

    None this year, but broken ribs and dislocated finger last year

    Cracked rib.

    I can’t recommend it, though I can recommend a small doctor in Switzerland now!

    Where’s iainc?!

    Once this year – first ride back after a long period of illness was the Southern XC series. On a singlespeed. Inevitably, it ended within a mile when two riders came off in a bombhole. Cue poor positioning by me and braking into the transition, with the inevitable over the bars and two fractures of a vertebra in my neck. The 12 hours on a trolley in a brace in A&E surrounded by the noises of bodily functions of various people was a good time to reflect on my stupidity.

    Where’s iainc?!

    here I am, touch wood doing ok this year, must only whisper that though…..can’t temp fate 🙂

    None this year. Few OTBs & plenty of scares but nothing broken. Been VERY cautious since an OTB on a fast descent 2 years ago left me unconscious for a few minutes. Concussed, couldn’t remember where I was or how I’d got there, tho interestingly the tracklog shows I walked home by shortest possible route so something in my head was working. But learned the lesson.

    None so far for last 2 years – did the OTB rock kiss combo a few years back that cost the thick end of a grand to the dentist to sort out. Think my brothers left arm Titanium plates and artificial elbow is still in the Consultants portfolio as well.

    I guess it had to come, 25 years of riding with nothing more serious than cracked ribs. I’m now recovering from displaced and undisplaced rib fractures that led to a lacerated spleen (emergency procedure to stem internal bleeding), also ended up with pneumonia. This was on a familiar trail ridden 30+ times. It’s not a tricky trail but gets harder with speed. Lost it on two of three rollers then landed heavily on side/back. I’m watching plenty of mtb videos now and Martyn Ashton’s stuff is giving me the inspiration to continue in a few weeks. I’m going to get a pack with a back protector!

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