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Interesting observations

Black Flash's picture

By Black Flash - Posted on 23 January 2011

An interesting observation - from my perspective.
Saturday morning a mate and i went scumming (road biking) out to West Head (his bike was being rebuilt, so it was the only option for a ride). Just like a few others over recent months, i had an off - at around 70kmh going around a corner. The carnage trail was 25m long and quite obvious. My current state was also quite obvious - totalled bike, and i was a tad messed up to say the least (lycra doesnt tend to be compatable with the road...), so acres of skin missing.
Now again to set the scene - Saturday was extremely busy with other roadies and i was actually surprised that given my current bloodied state not that many riders offered assistance. So during my 30 minute wait for transport - which eventually ended up at Mona Vale hospital, i decided to do some counting.

Close to 120 riders went past (some in large club groups, some individuals)
Around 15 asked if everything was ok - as they kept riding past
Only 3 slowed down and offered assistance to call someone
Only 1 rider actually stopped.

Now i found this a little disappointing because if these kind of injuries were received on a MTB trail, i could almost bet my life on the fact that 95% of MTB riders would have slowed to ask if i was ok, the vast majority would have stopped to offer assistance, and many would have offered to stay until help arrived - or possible help me back to wherever i needed to be. Most MTB riders carry 1st aid kits, so im sure riders would have been jumping over each other to help out.

Now for those roadies reading this and thinking what a load of garbage - remember - you are reading this on a MTB thread, so you obviously must dabble with this fantastic sport of Mountain Bike Riding, which predisposes you to being a different type of rider with more concern for your fellow man.

Other observations:
Yes it really does hurt. Even more when you have a shower to scrub out lycra pieces and gravel etc
Pain killers dont work.... Bugger.
Day 2 hurts even more - the endorphins have tapered off, the bruises come out, the rest of the body seizes up. You also come to the conclusion that your bike is a write off and you need a new one. This is also a possible upside...

Actually the best outcome for me was that i didnt require plaster!!!!! This will mean that i should be able to get back on the bike sooner!
Things are looking up already!
Take care - look after your fellow rider.

Rob's picture

Yes, well observed - right on the money for whatever reason: MTB riders stop and talk, roadies do not.

I would say that is more to do with the way one road rides (zero or few stops, constant workout, etc) as opposed to MTB (lots of stops for fun and playing on technical challenges, etc) than the disposition of each type of rider (@rsehole 'v' nice guy). I'm sure there are plenty of @rseholes and plenty of nice guys in both camps. Sorry, what I mean is that MTB riders regularly stop so what's one more break to say hello? You can't really expect a massive bunch to stop unless you are clearly in distress. I assume if you're up and walking around although you look bad, you're not 'distressed'.

You probably know this but when your wounds begin to heal I would suggest you don't let them scab over on flexible parts of your body. Last time I tried this (let them dry and scab) found that the scabs then broke and had to re-heal and were more painful. I now recommend putting loads of Savlon on a large wound and dress with Telfa Ouchless pad held on with tape or whatever you find suitable. This lets the wound heal but prevents it from scabbing and thus keeps it flexible.

Black Flash's picture

Thanks Rob, wifey's a nurse which means other than getting no sympathy, it also means i have someone at home to change my dressings! That is actually the type of dressing regime we are doing, fingers crossed - less pain, quicker healing.
Back to the observations - i wasnt looking too distressed, ive been injured before, and was actually counting my lucky stars -could have been soooooo much worse. But you're right - for whatever reason, pure roadies are different from MTBers. Whether MTBers are acustomed to seeing more injuries, like to stop for a breather (pant point) at the top of a climb, wait for the slower rider etc, who knows. I have a foot in both camps - but my big foot is in MTB world - sooooo much more interesting/enjoyable/social.

hawkeye's picture

Sorry to hear about the off, BF. +1 to Rob's advice. No doubt with wifey being a nurse your road rash has had a good scrub to get all the foreign material out. Chicks may dig scars (or at least that's what we tell ourselves Laughing out loud) but I'm not sure that extends to dirt tattoos.

What happened? Just came into the corner too hot?

I must admit I sometimes don't stop if the injured person is up and moving and has someone else in attendance. But I think it's important to ask, always. When I got hit by a car last year, one of the guys from work who rides a roadie rode past, and there was no way he could have failed to know it was me, as my commuter is pretty unique and I was wearing work bike club strip with logos all over it. Did he stop? Guess... Sticking out tongue

I think the difference with mtbers is the "no one gets left behind" ethos. Roadies, on the other hand, are all about putting their riding buddies in the hurt box and dropping them off the back of the bunch...

Pratters's picture
I think the difference with mtbers is the "no one gets left behind" ethos. Roadies, on the other hand, are all about putting their riding buddies in the hurt box and dropping them off the back of the bunch...

I plan to use the phrase "the hurt box" on the trail too. I've emailed a few of my friends to let them know they'll be in the hurt box when I am back on the bike.


Fatboy's picture

Ouch, get well soon.

Very disappointing to hear about the lack of concern from other riders. Definitely wouldn't be the case off road. Rob could be right as we tend to be going slower and can pull up quicker than roadies but it's really not a good excuse. It's not hard to sing out on the way past even if you are on a hot lap.

Hop fiend's picture

spot on Hawkeye-hope your recovery is quick Black Flash-day 2 is always the worst,every move usually sends pain.

Black Flash's picture

Thanks everyone for your comments. Man have i got a collection of scary photos... It's funny to think that now ive been badly injured - again, that it gives me greater motivation to help out any injured rider or rider in distress - road, MTB or otherwise. Maybe if you find an injured roadie you can identify yourself.... "it's ok mate, im a MTBer" ; ) I might even stop for the motorbike rider that saw me spread out all over the road - and kept on going (it's fair to assume i was looking a little distressed then - he even had to swerve around some of my bike...)

looking fwd to Day 3!!!!

philberesford's picture

Sorry to hear about your 'off', it's a shame because your riding sounded like it was really in form too. No broken bones tho so that's good Smiling just a pain in the arse, probably quite literally.

FWIW when I broke my shoulder 2 weeks ago pretty much every rider stopped to ask if I was ok. The ones that didnt saw i had assistance, smiled and carried on. But the best thing of all was… even 2 cars stopped. One offered a lift, not sure where she was going to put my bike though. Still it was a nice offer. Sorry you didn't enjoy similar friendliness.

Good luck with the mend, day 3 will be the worse then it's all good after that. And buy stronger pain killers. Surely the missus can help get some professional grade stuff for you?

Here's to a speedy recovery.

Black Flash's picture

FWIW i did think of you and your shoulder and that im probably better off than you... No Breaks - no plaster. My last major off was on Xmas day 2 years ago - that resulted in 4 broken bones and obviously a trip to the hospital - an arguement with the hospital registrar and finally plaster - i hate plaster!

As far as the pain killers go - ive come up with a cocktail that works for me.... wow man im floating... i can see my house from here...

Hopefully i wont lose too much form, and will be back on the trails again soon - i still have a few hot laps to post... They may just be a few minutes slower than desired.

How are you mending?

ps's picture

Firstly bummer about the crash, hope your back on the bike going just as fast soon.

Was it the corner at the end of west head? I can hit 70 down that hill but don't think I have been round there without a touch of the brakes?

And also leave us motorcyclists alone as were not all bad. I stopped and helped a roadie who got tboned on the terrey hills roundabout a few months ago. A few cars drove past but I think that was because they had nowhere to park. I just parked on the roundabout and helped him and his bike of the road. Again luckily no broken bones but he had a deep cut on his chin. While taking him round to the shops so he could sit down on the chair a couple of roadies asked if he was ok while they road past. I guess thats where an MTB rider would have stopped.

D-on's picture

Sorry to hear about your stack. That's super bad news for someone who was chewing out the Hot Laps as fast as your good self. I hope you are back on a bike (a newie) real soon. I can't farking believe all those riders wizzed past without stopping. Shame shame shame. I too have been upside down @ Manly Dam and every one that rode past stopped to see if all was well. I don't care if you are a roadie or just ride MTB, if one of the brotherhood is 'down and out' then help is required. Mend fast bro.

Black Flash's picture

Im also a motorbike rider -we tend to have a bit more road sense... Only because we have to. But stopping to help out - thats coz ur a MTBer!!!! ; )
Keep going with your hot laps too ps, hopefully i'll be joining you in the next couple of weeks... i hope..

Noel's picture

The only road riding I do is on my mountain bike. I just can't get past the "Lets all dress up in matching logo covered clothing." Whats with that? Is that trendy or are they (you road riders) all sponsored?

Logan's picture

Man, sounds like a pretty bad stack, hope your getting better soon. I am both a roadie and a MTB but always ask people to see if their all right, I have seen a few people be a bit surprised about that lol.

Wish I had known the Savlon trick as I want to ride tomorrow and i know its gonna hurt like buggery, due to my off on the weekend as well. I did the scrubbing brush trick on my elbow as well and my god did it hurt.

As for the all in the same clothing, well if your riding with your club you all ride in club strip normally.

CharlieB's picture

I have had a few too many gravel grazes to patch-up from time to time. All nasty. I assume, given your missus is a nurse, that you have those dressings that keep the wound moist. They are amazing and are the way to go. Super fast healing process, and none of the breaking up of dried scab issue.

Worst part for me was the grief I get at home. The usual routine is ‘what have you done this time?’ Followed by complaints that the latest wound will weep onto the bed at night. Sympathy is not high on the agenda!

Black Flash's picture

Thats hillarious!!! It's the same in my house! Definately no sympathy from the "home nurse". And yes - at this stage the moist bandages seem to be the way to go. The bruises have all come out now and are starting to recede... None of the pain killers are doing their job - but its a hard ask when my main patch of missing skin is 30 cm by 20 cm and right on the flexible part of ones bottom cheek (was keeping it rated G Rob...) I have found this area of the body flexes - when you sit, stand, lie down, breathe or just exist... But i didnt need a graft and i didnt break anything (bike excluded)
Have bought a lotto ticket for tonight - but i feel i may have already used up all of my luck for a while...

Just need to heal up fast, get back some riding legs and back to my hotlaps... My wife is appalled.

Many thanks to those wishing me all the best. I'll buy you all a beer when we install a fridge at the bottom of the 19th hole...

Logan's picture

Have switched this afternoon myself as yeah I was getting weeping from the broken scabs etc.

Definitly a lot more comfortable now with the moist bandages even if I had to endure 30mins of peeling off dried bandages and using saline solution to soak the bandages. However now I have had some antibiotics, I have some cream with silver in and burns victims cream on my wounds which should make it heal nice and quickly.

philberesford's picture

What are these? I've never seen them. Enlighten us please Smiling

Black Flash's picture

My supernurse is using 2 products - Jelonet (parafin gauze) and Allevyn Dressing (very hard to get - unless you're in the game) The Allevyn dressing only needs to be changed weekly. It's a soft pad that collects all the ooze, yet keeps the wound moist. IMO - Its a little like having a thin memory foam matress stuck to your behind.

Day 4 - it all still hurts, more bruises are coming out ( like the one that starts at my hip and continues down to my calf...) But there is obvious healing going on.

What irks me - the fact that it's Australia Day, its hot, and my family and close friends are all playing tennis and going swimming and drinking alcohol....

Must be the bad luck karma from that bloody Bandy Bandy... I shouldnt have stated that i need a Bandy Bandy bandage....

Logan's picture

Mate I hear you, my leg swelled up yesterday from my crash on sunday and the abrasions on my elbow got infected, so today all I can do is sit on the sofa with my leg up in the air to try get the swelling down and occasionally go to the shops.

Cant ride atm, untill I go back to the docs tomorrow to see how it has started to heal.

Fortunatly Tennis and Cricket on today so that should keep me occupied.

pancakes's picture

From the un-abridged wiki...

Bandy-bandy (Vermicella annulata) is a species of snake in the Elapidae family. It is endemic to Australia.

Individuals are marked with alternating black and white or yellowish bands, which give the species both its common names and the Latin name (from the diminutive form, annul-, of the Latin anus, meaning "ring").

The species possesses a weak venom and is generally considered harmless due to small size of mouth and inoffensive nature.[1]

Other information:[1]

General description
Smooth scaled, glossy snake with distinctive pattern of sharply contrasting black and white rings that continue right around the body. Snout black, rounded. Short, blunt tail. Small eyes. Midbody scales at 15 rows.
Average Length
Special Powers
Class 9 karma entity. Responds with disproportionate meta-payback to any perceived dissing.
General habits
Nocturnal, burrowing snake, found beneath the soil surface, under stumps, rocks & logs. Emerges at night to forage, especially after rain. Unique alarm posture of holding braced loops of body off ground.

Logan's picture

I could be wrong, but I think Black Flash wrote that with a bit of tongue in cheek....

philberesford's picture

We sound like a right bunch of pensioners complaining about our ailments. I managed to put an hour on the trainer this morning, but it's no substitute for the real thing.

Logan's picture

Ettalong Loop ride this morning, am gutted to have missed that.

pancakes's picture
I could be wrong, but I think
Logan's picture
Submitted by Logan on Wed, 26/01/2011 - 10:56.

I could be wrong, but I think Black Flash wrote that with a bit of tongue in cheek....


Logan, just checking you read the bit between Average Length and General Habits. Eye-wink

Logan's picture

Clearly I paid no attention to that, which I should of lol.

philberesford's picture

'Class 9 karma entity' - eat your heart out Ghostbusters, love it! lol

philberesford's picture
Fortunatly Tennis and Cricket on today so that should keep me occupied.

Tough choosing what to watch at the moment, Plucky Poms on Nine or fellow Brit Andy Murray on Seven - thank god for picture-in-picture Eye-wink

Logan's picture
Tough choosing what to watch at the moment, Plucky Poms on Nine or fellow Brit Andy Murray on Seven - thank god for picture-in-picture Eye-wink

Agreed, I am flicking between the two currently, wish England had played this well when I went to the ODI on Sunday when I went.

Tennis is proving very entertaining for sure.

Black Flash's picture

I must be getting better - i now have a Class 9 Karma Itch all over my wounds!!! Bruises still coming out - they dont hurt as much as the bits with no skin... All things going well - im aiming to get back on the bike next weekend - very gently.. Will put off my sub 30 Dam lap till the week after ; )

Yep - we do sound like old pensioners.... No disrespect to them either.... Im going to be a crazy pensioner when i get there. None of this "when i was your age sonny jim...." it's going to be "well sonny jim - i'll meet you down at the gate, i'll bring my Hi Mod Carbon, kevlar, titanium, ultralite quad suspension Cannondale..." complete with walking stick holder...

pancakes's picture

When I'm a pensioner I intend to be posting some killer times for the Aldi-Donut King-Medicare-Post office loop with my titanium walker with XTR grips and Ritchey carbon wheelset.

Black Flash's picture

We'll rule the streets with an iron fist - wait - i mean a titanium prosthesis...
Imagine the hotlaps every tuesday fortnight...

pancakes's picture

Imagine the moves...rolling off the escalator BEFORE it levels out, going down stairs WITHOUT HOLDING THE RAIL!

After all that I'll need a bex and a good lie down....

hawkeye's picture

... a titanium prosthesis, and it's in my hand

Can I join in the fun? Smiling Those escalators sound scary - nothing like a good hit of adrenalin to ward off a heart attack! Eye-wink

Logan's picture

How are the wounds now?

I had my dressings changed on mine yesterday and the wet wound dressings have really done a amazing job, healing has begun after 2 days and they gels they put on really lifted the crap out of the wounds which is excellent, I reckon I might be able to ride by the middle of next week. They are using gel with silver in on mine which they use for burns victims, its like miracle healing cream almost!

Only concern for the doctor is the swelling in my left leg, have been told to take today and keep my leg elevated. My doctor is concerned about Septicemia which I know is dangerous so currently on 9 Antibiotics a day at the moment.

Rob's picture

@Logan.... don't mess about with infection like that.

When I ripped up the arm the docs put me on antibiotics... or rather, they said there was a 'slight' chance of infection and did I want any? I was like... WTF, look at all the crap in there, give me some! Anyhow, pills didn't cut it and after couple days there was a lot of redness spreading real fast. I went to ER and they put me on intravenous antibiotics for an hour or so which had a massive and immediate affect. You could literally see the redness (infected area) shrink in the time I was there.

If you can see any redness or swelling spreading quickly I suggest you head down to RNS and get similar treatment. Just remember it's Friday and they'll be busy this arvo/tonight Eye-wink

Logan's picture

Yeah I am keeping an eye on it, the redness had really gone down yesterday so I think the drugs are doing the trick and the swelling has gone down overnight which is good, but yeah I am not messing about, I have the doctors mobile and he is ready to make the necessary arrangements if it goes to shit which is good.

Yesterday the swelling was causing a loss of feeling in my left leg which has now returned which is good, so yeah getting there slowly but surely.

Times like this I am glad I have full health insurance which covers literally everything, cause already its getting expensive but as opposed to having to go to a bulk billing place, I can go to my preferred Private Doctor who is very good at handling this stuff. He diagnosed my back problem 18 months ago and predicted I would need surgery.

Rob's picture

Ironically before you become a permanent resident the health cover offered by Australian insurers is actually better than that you can get as a PR/Citizen. Go figure!

When I was temporary resident it was a condition of my visa that private health cover was arranged. From what I recall it wasn't particularly expensive. This cover was as Andy describes, it would literally pay for anything. I recall having an MRI back then and not having to shell out for it. I also saw a number of specialists before having a distal tendon repair in a private hospital without any cost to myself.

Contrast that to when I recently had another MRI and had to pay myself. Apparently Medicare will pay for MRI but only if referred by a specialist. Cunningly the cost of the scan was less than the bill such a specialist would have presented in the first place so was more economic just to cough up.

This is despite having 'super extras' (ie. the maximum cover my private health insurer offers). Would be interested to hear if any PR/Citizens out there have private cover that would have paid for an MRI - the staff at the centre said they didn't know any that did.

ps's picture

Good to hear your starting to get on top of the injuries. I must be getting old and boring as I have to mention that the leg would have healed faster if you started the RICE treatment ASAP.

Black Flash's picture

Well, its been 7 days now - and i can finally sit down without too many issues - walking still a prob tho. The Head Nurse has done a great job so far, its all healing much quicker than anticipated, no need for ABs. My left side has now a small covering of fixamol, my right has some funky dressings and a topper of fixamol. Seroiusly contemplating sitting on a bike Monday... I said SITTING... If ll goes well - i will do some rehab laps of centenial park next weekend (might have to be on the Rize - it will soak up the bumps a bit better...)

The thing that annoys my private little nurse is the fact i have demanded daily photos to log the healing... Some find it disgusting, i call it scientific research...

Brian's picture

Look after yourself Andy. Lucky the Mont is in April as that is now 3 of team mates out injured Eye-wink

Black Flash's picture

Things have healed enough to go dressing free today!!!! I wish bones healed as fast as this.

Black Flash's picture

Well the bandages all came off mid last week. Wounds have healed very nicely! Well so i thought. Thursday i went for a gentle ride up my short street and back - all seemed good, did the same Friday - all good. Decided to do a few laps of Centenial Park Sat morning - well that never happened. Severe fever took hold and acute pain in my main injury site developed - and was getting worse. So if i went in the ambulance to A&E at Mona Vale... Managed to pick up an infection along the way - severe cellulitis. The Docs thought i may have meningacoccle or meningitis on top of that - but no thankfully. Anyways, i went in for surgery yesterday to clean out the wound (read - drain masses of crap out of my quad), massive amounts of ABs so all is going ok at the mo. Should be discharged Monday or Tuesday....
Puts the brakes on an otherwise quick heal... So unfortunately will probably have to stay off the bikes for a couple of weeks yet.

On a side note - MV hospital needs more funding for air con on level 5 (the level im on) On Saturday arvo someone measured the temp on the ward at over 50 degrees C. It finally dropped below 40 this arvo with the cool change! Its 10pm at the mo and around 32-33 degrees. People have started to ask for sheets stating theyre feeling chilly!!

When people find out that all my injuries and subsequent developmets were caused from falling off a bike - they ask if im going to stop riding now?
I tell them hell no, i love it, i'll get back on the bike as soon as i can. See you all out there soon.

hawkeye's picture

That sounds like a near miss! Glad you're still with us Smiling

My physio was a bit concerned about the redness of the site of the smack on my leg that I sustained at Manly Dam weekend before last, and mentioned cellulitis as a risk. Seems to be sttling down OK now, but your little story has given me a right fright! Shocked

Glad you're on the mend.

Black Flash's picture

If its red and its hot to touch - something is going on - might need some AB's. I went down like a sack of potatos in just 6 hours. From walking around - hey its all cool, to OMFG the pain!!! One idea is to draw a line around the wound to measure its spread - if its getting bigger youre going to the drs...

philberesford's picture

The fever
The pain
The hospital
The temperature

So many levels...

Glad to hear you're going to be ok though and riding again soon enough. Hang in there.


Black Flash's picture

Good to hear you're getting back in the saddle. Im looking fwd to it myself in a couple of weeks.

ps's picture

Have you been discharged yet?

Black Flash's picture

Was discharged Monday night. I now have a large hole in my leg.... from where the fluid and gunk was removed. I think the infection has attacked a lot of the tissue as well. The positive side is - more room for muscle build up later... : ) Not the most pleasant of experiences really. My biggest problem is that im losing form fast - muscle tone in the legs and upper body (wrist injury prevents the use of most traditional excercises).
BUT - none of this is a concern. I ride because i love it. I'll get back to being fast here and there, but until then, Im going to enjoy just riding around. Im thinking about joining you guys for the Willo in March, but will have to make that call a little closer to the date - spaces permitting.
Another update - the 6 hourly antibiotics im on - for the next week... taste disgusting! Enough of a reason not to hurt yourself too much in future. Smiling
Thanks for keeping in touch.

hawkeye's picture

Glad to hear you're out of hospital. Too many sick people there for my liking. Sticking out tongue

Saw the quack for my issue midweek just out of caution. Turns out it is a simple oedema. The body had reabsorbed all the red blood cells, leaving a straw-coloured fluid. Treatment was to drain the swelling with a syringe (about 5cc's worth Barf!) and firmly wrap the area to stop it from re-filling. No infection.

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