2009 Came Crashing In

We decided to celebrate New Years 2009 by taking the family out, suiting up in protective gear and ride the multiuse trails on dirt bikes.  With four families of friends, we set out to bring in the new year; little did we know 2009 would come crashing in! A series of unrelated dirt bike accidents have etched that memory onto our brains; this is second of the dirt bike crashes and the beginning of my journey with a bum knee.

Our family loves to be adventurous and we love outdoor sports.  In the heat of summer and the coolness of winter, we enjoy camping, water skiing, dirt biking, hiking and mountain biking.  Sometimes we invite (drag) others into our adventures; other times we get dragged (go willingly) into their adventures.

On this trip, we had fun teaching the newbies how to ride; riding the trails with mud, sand and tree roots. Three days of riding during the day and sitting around the campfire at night with ooey-gooey ‘smores made for some fun memories. If we had stopped then it would’ve been a great vacation. But no, we couldn’t just stop with that.  We had to add another day.

8 of us line up, ready to ride the trails in Sam Houston National Forest.

It was a beautiful day, the sun coming through the tall trees, the whine of 5 (that day there were only 5 of us) dirt bikes warming up, the smell of 2 and 4 stroke engines.  Oh yes, a good day to ride the trails. I was riding a Honda 150 dirt bike through the Sam Houston National Forest with my bestie, Angie. We were riding along trying to catch up with our faster halves who had sped through the forest. Angie and I did not speed. You might even say we were more like the “Pokey Puppy” rather than “Speed Racer”.

We came to a part of the trail that was mud; wet, soggy, mud. Angie was leading and kind of washed out a little so slowed down, I was following too closely and hit both front and back brakes which caused a mudslide I will never forget. As the bike was sliding through the mud, mud flying everywhere, I knew I was going to fall over and I stuck my leg out to stop it. I ran into Angie, she fell over; I fell over, the bike fell on me and I knew instantly I had broken my leg.

There we lay, in the mud, laughing so hard at what had just happened. Angie says, “are you ok?” “Yeah, I’m good,” I responded. After our laughter, she said we should get up out of the mud and off the trail, other riders might be coming; but I couldn’t get my leg to move and when I picked it up to move it, pain shot from the tips of my toes to every nerve in my brain.

After a trip to the ER and a visit with the orthopedic the following few days, turns out I had fractured my femur and tibia, torn both my ACL and PCL in two pieces, sprained my MCL and tore the meniscus. I thrashed my knee. And I had no one to blame but myself. I could hear Billy and J in the back of my head, “don’t put your leg down, just fall over.” Well, I had not followed that advice and required surgery to repair the ACL and time to heal the bones; the meniscus couldn’t be repaired.

 The lesson from this story? Be adventurous, but follow the advice of someone more seasoned than you in your adventures! Don’t stick that landing, just fall over!

This is J’s bike……not the bike I crashed….notice I can barely touch the ground, I didn’t ride this one for long. 

Find out next week what I decided to do about my bum knee.