Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr. Unlucky's bad day.

The day started out good. The rain had quit. The sun was out, and 4 of us were ready to ride in some brand new single track trail.  The trails we were going to ride were easy, except for one steep leaf covered downhill near the beginning, which I promptly crashed on. (nothing like deep wet leaves on a steep slope). My get off wasn't anything spectacular, but not so much for our fourth guy. The bike went sideways, hit a tree, and flung Mr. Unlucky heels over head. I saw the whole thing, but couldn't tell if he landed wrong, or hit something while in mid air. 

When he didn't immediately  get up to pick up his upside down scooter, we suspected it wasn't good. Something about the way he said "My leg's broke!" was convincing. That, combined with the fact that his foot was pointing in the wrong direction, and he couldn't even lift it off the ground sold us on his self diagnosis.

We weren't too far from the truck (less than a mile), and were within about 300 feet of an ATV trail.  His obvious pain let us know that if we were going to move him, we had to somehow stabilize his fu-bar'ed extremity. So in our best duplication of the scene from Apollo 13, we dumped out all we had to work with and figured out a plan. I had a small folding saw, so I cut a small tree to make a splint, but we had to find some way to attach it. What we finally ended up with was two freshly cut green limbs attached to Mr Unlucky's crooked right leg with Zip Ties, nylon straps, bungee cords and safety wire. ( A roll of duct tape would have been wonderful). This was very likely the first splint the hospital had to have removed by their maintenance department. It wasn't pretty, but it seemed to do the job.

After several hundred feet of sliding, lifting, and carrying Mr Unlucky, we finally got him to the truck, which we had managed to get within an 1/8th of a mile of the crash scene, but of course it was uphill the whole way. Later, we transferred him in the back of my truck which has a camper cover for the ride to the Broken Leg repair shop. Here they confirmed what we feared. Broken Tibia and Fibia. New internal hardware needed to piece it all back together. Next to making a splint, the best thing we did was not to take off his boot.

So, what have we learned form this lesson? #1, When something happens out on the trail, you have to figure out a way to deal with it. #2 A grown man is a hell of a lot heavier than you think. #3 You don't have to be going fast to break stuff, and #4 No First Aid kit is complete without a Folding Saw, Zip Ties, and Safety Wire!

Get Well Soon Mr Unlucky!(note: not his bike shown in picture)