After returning from the Pisgah stage race, I enjoyed a great spring winning every race I entered. Despite my ongoing battle with arterial endofibrosis, I was riding as well as I had in many years and life seemed stable and predictable. My shop Ridge Cyclesport was turning a corner in its second season and I was putting on a sweet charity mountain bike event, the MISSION: GranDuro.

It was a beautiful spring day in the mountains as I rolled out to check course markings and remove a downed tree on the course before the riders reached it. I was riding a borrowed dual sport and despite the technical trail conditions had only been on the floor once.

Thumb fixedAs I rode uphill on the course, my mind wandered away and suddenly I hit a whoop a little fast, bottomed out the bike and sent my right foot flying off the peg. As I reached out to regain balance the combined weight of the bike rider and a pack full of chainsaw and other tools all came crashing down on my outstretched leg. I felt a pop and a sharp pain and held up my injured leg as the bike toppled over to the right.

In the process of protecting my leg, my left thumb got tangled under the bars and was badly broken as well. I instantly saw that my leg was fractured severely so I keyed up my radio and called for help. My ever positive mind figured I’d be back to help finish the event that night or the next day.

ScarsInstead, after a four hour EVAC and trip to the local hospital only to be transferred three hours to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle I realized I was in real trouble. My tibial plateau was shattered in the worst possible way–a six on a scale of 1-6. My thumb also required surgery so after a week in the hospital and several surgeries, my long recovery began.

My team of doctors cautioned me that the best case scenario was that I could put weight on my leg again in three months. My thumb about eight weeks before another surgery to remove the pins holding it together. It was a long, hot, painful summer of reflection to say the least.

I closed the shop and did my best to keep some cash flow and sanity as the clock slowly ticked away. I wondered if I’d be able to walk or run normally again let alone ride my bike as I’ve done for the better part of 30 years. I set about sleeping as much as possible, eating as as well as ever and abstaining from anything that might hinder my recovery.

After eight weeks I was cleared to ride my trainer so I did–30 minutes every single day. The X-rays looked good and my hope was buoyed and soon my left hand was sort of useful again but how I missed a fully functional thumb!

After 12 weeks I visited Seattle again and my doctors gave me the green light to proceed with normal activities but to do so in a modest progressive way. So I hopped on my road bike as soon as I got home and rode to the top of tt nearest canyon–1500ft in five miles! The next week I hobbled around Interbike for three days and from there it had been downhill ever since!


Comments are closed.


  • Xpedo Logo Neu
  • Kali Protect
  • Squirt Lube
  • RIDGE Logo Final
  • Squirt Rotate
  • Rotor Systems Rotate
  • Ritchey Rotate
  • Ridgeline Rotate
  • Ridge Rotate
  • Magura Rotate
  • Kmc Rotate
  • Kali Rotate
  • Ibis Rotate
  • Garmin Rotate
  • ESI Rotate
  • Diadora Rotate
  • Brl Rotate

Recent Posts


Follow Me