Tuesday, August 21

A Day At The Races

Sunday was Erik's first mountain biking race. He had been training hard and was looking forward to having a really good race. He was riding up a category for this race (Cat 2 - single speed) because that was the only open single speed category aside from Cat 1/Pro level. The Cat 3's took to the course first, with about a hour separating the races. Cat 3's were completing 1 - 8.5 mile lap and Cat 2's were completing 2. It had rained the night before and the course was a bit wet, but mostly we heard that it was a fast ride. It was mostly single track with fire roads connecting sections and really the only room for spectators was near the start/finish. I had walked a bit of the course but the mix of bugs and lack of seating that didn't involve sharing space with ants was limited so I spent most of my time near the entrance to the woods.
Beginning of the race.

The race was a bit confusing from a spectator point of view because I had assumed all single speeds would be grouped together for the start but actually they were grouped with another age group of geared bikes. When I saw Erik leading a group of riders with derailors I thought maybe he was in the wrong group - but I guess they just grouped certain categories together. 

During the time in between laps I kind of wished I had brought something to sit on and maybe a book because my only entertainment was a kid who had rode the previous race and spent about 30 minutes after puking. 

I wandered a bit down the trail and was able to snap this shot of Erik at the beginning of his second lap.

By this time he was in 3rd place and looking strong. The other riders were just ahead of him and I knew if he road hard he would be able to catch them.
Erik finishing the race- I know my photography skills are killer.
After he crossed the finish line he continued down the fire road and then made his way back up to the finish line. He was riding side-by-side with another rider and since I was able to keep track of the single speed bikes finishing I knew he was in 4th place. I walked towards Erik's direction and he was just standing to the side looking a bit dazed. I asked him how the race was and I noticed he was bleeding from the side of his face, knees and forearm so I figured he took a tumble. Our conversation then continues like this:

Erik: Where am I?
Steph: um...what?
Erik: Where are we?
Steph: Why are you asking that?
Erik: What are we doing here?
Steph: You just raced...
Erik: I need water, do you have water?
Steph: No...you said you had plenty in your CamelBak for before and after the race so we didn't bring any.
Erik: (He then dumps water over his head which he NEVER does from his CamelBak)
Steph: What happened?
Erik: I need to sit, where are the chairs?
Steph: We didn't bring chairs...lets sit in the grass.
Erik: Where are we?

So at this point in my head I am freaking out and I call my mom who is a RN because I know obviously he must have hit his head. The whole time he keeps asking where we are, what we are doing here and who are all the people around us. I tell my mom what is going on and she agrees that he definitely needs a Cat scan and medical attention. There was a group of emergency personal near us so I figured I would have them check him out quickly and then I would drive him to the nearest hospital. They continue to quiz Erik who knows nothing, he barely knows who he is or what day it is while I get directions to the hospital. They had wanted to take him themselves but Erik was fighting it and I knew if I took him personally he would go. We were able to get a ride down to my car and we headed to the ER (about 10 minutes away). During this time I started quizzing Erik on everything and anything  I could think of...how we got here, what we did yesterday, what he does for work, the names of his siblings, coworkers, friends. At this point he was barely remembering a thing and it was one of the most frightening moments ever. He seemed so calm and like himself yet he couldn't tell you anything.

When we arrived at the ER we filled out a sheet that told the triage nurse your reason for being there. All that Erik writes is that he has "some memory loss" so I advise  him to put "head injury" and we were quickly seen and he was taken into the trauma area where he was put in a neck collar as a precaution. The whole drive over he kept trying to stretch his neck and crack it and I would yell at him each time to stop until he got checked out. 

Post neck brace removal - happy as a clam - just has no idea what happened.
Luckily everyone at the ER was great and he was quickly assessed. After a CT scan of his head, face, and neck and a 3 hour mandatory waiting period he was released. During the 3 hour wait his memory started coming back and the answers he didn't know in the car ride he could quickly answer again. 

He still doesn't remember the race or anything up to the ER but it could be worse, alot worse. 

I guess this is my PSA...always wear your helmet folks...seriously. I couldn't image what would have been the outcome if he hadn't been wearing one.


  1. oh gosh I would be scared to watch mountain biking, so many obstacles!

  2. That is SO scary! But I'm glad he's okay!! :)


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