Editors Note: The following is an account of an accident which took place recently on a trail in Steamboat. We are posting it here to encourage cyclists to be mindful of the risks involved in bike riding. We urge all road and trail riders to be sure their equipment is in safe, working order, always wear a helmet, ride terrain that matches your ability, and be familiar with the rules of the road and trail etiquette.
Please Ride Safe and Enjoy Bike Town, USA.
My friend took a “flight for life” to Denver today. I know this is a harsh topic to discuss on a happy bike riding blog, but I feel that the lows of bike riding need to be addressed as well as the highs. It doesn’t matter if you are riding cross-country trails on Emerald, down hilling on Mt. Werner, or cruising along the back roads in Routt County — safety is something about which we should all be aware.
My friend was riding Pete’s Wicked Trail in Steamboat Resort when she wobbled and hit a tree. Thankfully, she was wearing a helmet but that didn’t help her collapsed lung or the clot she later developed on her cerebellum–the reason she was sent to Denver. She was riding with a partner, who was with her when she went down, and she had emergency contact details on her person. But many people aren’t that lucky.
We all say “I have my cell phone, it has my contact details.” But what happens when the cell phone is in the back pack that we have just placed under your head to support your neck when you decide to go a little off course on the Bluff’s Loop on Emerald? Or what about those silly passwords that allow your cell phone to be safe, but are not useful when we are trying to access your details?
Two years ago I bought a fishing license. I don’t like fishing much, but purchasing fishing or hunting licenses contributes to the CORSAR fund (Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue). This fund supports the people who come out and help you if you get injured off the beaten track. It is well worth it. The CORSAR card can be purchased online (visit https://dola.colorado.gov/sar/orderInstructions.jsf) or you can go into Steamboat Flyfisher for the fishing/hunting license.
During our Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare Women’s Clinic, one of our girls crashed and became unconscious. No one knew her husband’s contact details, and her phone wasn’t accessible. Luckily I knew the husband had gone into the bike shop for a rental and we were able to contact him that way. But what if I wasn’t that much of a know it all?
Last year, after witnessing the crash on Emerald, I obtained a Road ID. It is a little black band on my wrist that has my name, all my contact details and any medical issues I may have. If I am taking medication I can place or remove an additional tag with those details. Again another cost but well worth it, plus the Road ID bracelet has become an integral part of my wardrobe!!!! (Visit www.roadid.com to order).
For my final lecture about safety, lets discuss the DON’TS of helmets. Don’t cheap out on a helmet. Don’t wear the helmet you bought second-hand at a yard sale. Don’t wear a helmet that doesn’t fit. And please don’t wear a helmet after you have crashed on it because it has lost all its structural integrity and is no longer protecting your head. I am not advising you to go out and buy a $200 helmet but don’t compromise on your brain. It is not worth it.
All this isn’t because I am girl, or because girls tend to crash more. Boys crash too and I think we all need to be prepared just in case.
Keep the rubber side down …
Links to safety: