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The Crash!

In July of 1998, following the week after my roommate Bill's death, I felt that I needed to get away from Boulder for the day. My friend, Brian Harwood, and I met two other friends, Paul and Chip, at Keystone Resort to ride the Xterra bike course just for fun. The course (what I saw of it) was beautiful. We climbed for 45 minutes and had beautiful views.

Five minutes into the descent, I was flying down the mountain trying to stay behind Paul. Now if any of you have ridden a mountain bike, then you realize that the more you mountain bike, the better your handling skills. This year, I had only ridden my mountain bike three times before this ride. Still, I was feeling good and in my competitive spirit, I wanted to descend quickly....wrong move. In hindsight, I should have gone slower since this was the first time I had ever been on this course and the downhill descent was two thousand feet on rocky single track. I also should have realized that my skills were not advanced since I hadn't ridden the mountainbike much. Mom and Dad always said I was stubborn.

I assume I was in the speed range of 20-25 mph when I hit an off-camber drainage ditch the Forrest Service makes to divert water from the trail. All I remember is that my back tire flew higher than my front and that's not good. Next thing I knew, I was standing with the wind knocked out of me ten yards from the trail. Immediately after the fall, my "involuntary" subconscious told me to get off the trail because two more guys were right behind me. After ten yards, I collapsed to the ground.

My friends quickly assembled and after a couple of minutes, I made the mistake of feeling my collar bone. Paul would later be blunt and say "I thought for sure that bone was going to break the skin." It was sticking two inches off my shoulder.

Another nightmare transpired as I am near the top of the mountain, on a single track with broken bones and no way for transportation to get me. With the help of Brian, I walked twenty minutes to a Keystone Suburban that had come up to where the road ends to assist. My eyes rolled up into my head a couple of times during the walk, but I thankfully stayed conscious.

In retrospect, I learned many things after this accident. A few which are:

1. Wear a helmet. Mine cracked and without it, I might be paralyzed right now.

2. Be thankful for family and friends. At times you may feel alone, but in times of need, they will be there for you.

Everyone please stay healthy.

© Wes Hobson Performance Inc.