The Hand of Fate.

Posted by on 6/21/2015 to General Stuff
The Hand of Fate.
A theme in adventure riding is things going wrong, and having a better time because of it. We have all been there…broken bikes, getting lost, even minor injuries are all part of the ironic fun. As we ride more and more, we develop our technical, mechanical, and situational proficiency, which leads to increased confidence, a sort of “I got this” state of mind.  But occasionally, things can very quickly turn, putting you way beyond feeling like “I got this”. Saturday, May 30, 2015, was one of those times.

My friend Pat and I were getting in some seat and bike prep time, getting ready for a 2 day event we entered the following weekend. The plan was to put in a long ride, over a variety of terrain, and to shoot a few product reviews along the way.  Early on we picked up another friend Jamie, and invited him along. Weather was great, early season dirt was tacky, and all three of us were having a great time. Typical riding day in Bend.


Shooting video early in the day.

After 5 hours we were all tired and working our way home. Taking the familiar way back, we took down a two track that was nice initially but quickly became technical, lots of loose rocks, sand, and quite rough. I was second out of three, and taking it very easy because I was pretty worked. Jamie was waiting at the bottom when I popped out, and we both properly waited for everyone to show up. After only a couple minutes, I said aloud “this is not a good sign” and headed back to check on Pat.

After a few minutes of backtracking I spotted him on the ground, with his 2012 WR250R partially on top of him. No big deal, happens all the time.  But, in other than his usual tone, he sternly instructed me to get the bike off him, and not to move him. I moved the bike out of the way and asked him if he was hurt. He replied “I can’t move”.


This rock likely caused crash. Stump is on the upper left.

“You can’t move what? Because you’re in pain?”

“Brian, I can’t move anything. My hands or my feet. Only my mouth.” He raised his intonation on the word "anything" for emphasis. Neither of us said anything for few seconds. I asked if he was kidding me, and he repeated the same phrase with the same intonation. The second time it sunk in. We are way out in the woods, Pat crashed, and is paralyzed from the neck down. Pat is a quadriplegic.

Two comments on this: first, hearing that was just fucking awful. Second, saying it is unimaginable. I keep toggling between thinking about how hard it was to hear, and feeling pathetic because I had it easy compared to Pat.

He had been coming down the left side of the two-track, probably at about 30 - 35 miles an hour.  I think he hit the large rock in the photo above, about the size of a loaf of bread. I picked it up, by my guess about 50 lbs. It was really dusty, he never saw it and does not remember what he hit. My guess is that the bike bucked up front first, then rear, likely very high. After about 15 feet there was a deep plow mark where the front came down, dug in, and turned to the left. A few feet past that was a large pine tree stump, freshly uprooted, that Pat says he remembers hitting with his head.  A few feet past that was Pat, with the bike on top of him, facing the wrong direction. Beginning to end was about 30 feet.


Pat remembers hitting this stump with his helmet.

By our best guess, he went headfirst into the stump, and his head was bent down and to the left, This drove the chinbar into his chest making a slight bruise. His visor was broken off downward, as the screws holding it were metal, not break-away plastic. He continued to fly or tumble, but we could not determine how. The bike was on top of him, sprocket actually touching his torso. (note: if it had been the other side, the rear disc or exhaust would have burned him badly).

Pat was wearing mostly full gear, but he was not wearing a Leatt Brace. He had asked me if he should purchase one months earlier and I did not push it with the same urgency as the rest of his gear. He and I are good friends, if I told him to get one he would have, no questions asked. There are a few reasons I did not, none of them good ones, and in hindsight this is painful. I have enough information to form an opinion on whether they work (I think they do) and enough people that I trust who have weighed in (they think they work also).  Going forward we will be recommending them, period. I don't care if you disagree, but I also do not care to debate it with you.

A few years ago, I had read my friend Kurt Windisch’s firsthand account of a medical evac in the Alvord desert. While riding up in the Steens, his friend crashed, breaking his pelvis and a couple vertebrae. Kurt's actions were textbook examples of what to do: stay calm, organize your team, get help, get evacuated, and don't make any mistakes. Upon reading that story, I immediately recognized it was not a story, rather, a lesson. I studied it, and memorized a few key takeaways. I am glad I did.

For a few minutes, I was hoping that Pat would just sit up and be fine. I think this is a natural response, but NOT a good one. In some situations, this hesitation can have consequences, so crisp, quick decision making is critical.  I will never forget how jolting it was when Jamie said the words “I am calling 911”. Once he did, I knew I needed to focus, and began running through what we needed to do, starting with getting someone who could sit by the phone and act as a communications hub, then conveying where we were.

Jamie was on the phone with SAR, to his credit he was calm and clear. I got our GPS coordinates, passed them on to Jamie. My T-Mobile phone was out of range, so I used Pat's Verizon-based iphone to call my wife. Cell service was spotty but I was able to give her our location and get her prepped in case we lost battery or service. She has a list of people to call in case I am out riding, and something goes wrong. I asked her to begin reaching out to those people. Of course I downplayed Pat’s situation.

One small thing occurred that I count as a lesson. I wanted Jamie to get on his bike, ride out to each end of our road, and hang a jersey as a marker. The 911 operator wanted him to stay on the phone, and give her directions for how to reach us. This was absurd; and I started getting kind of pissed off at asking something so stupid. I asked Jamie for the phone and briefly began arguing with her. However, I quickly realized that a calm flow needed to be maintained, and I was jeopardizing it. I gave the phone back to Jamie and refocused on Pat.

Pat asked me to keep talking with him. Frankly it was hard for me to stay focused; I cannot imagine what was going through his mind. Anyway, we began a conversation that was a stream-of-conscious mix of encouragement, problem solving, and some typical guy humor. Random stuff, block the sun for me, help is coming, you’re killing my Saturday, etc. I remember feeling kind of pathetic, he held down that conversation more than I did, he knew it and I knew it.

As we chatted, I was trying to assess just how bad his situation was. He repeatedly said that his arms and legs had the numbness / pain one gets from “sitting on the toilet until your legs fall asleep”. Yet, there were a few signs that were positive. He could feel poking in the palms of his hands, arms, and lower legs. He could feel ants crawling on his hands and wrists. As a joke, I poked him in his privates, and he told me in no certain terms ONCE IS ENOUGH, breaking the tension a fair bit. He had actually regained the ability to – just barely - move two fingers on his hand.  But he also kept telling me that his leg felt like it was on the right side of his body, an indication that his spinal cord was not working correctly.

By now, about 45 minutes had passed. Jamie had hiked to the main road and was gone.  A white Chevy Tahoe from the Deschutes County Sheriff started coming down the road toward us. Sergeant Eric Kozowski, a BMW 1150 GS rider and customer of ours got out. I have never been so happy to see those flashing lights; the fact that it was someone I knew was superlative.  Eric was calm and professional, and ran through the usual questions, what happened, how are you feeling, etc.  This, plus the fact that he had a radio took things down a notch. 


Sheriffs Officer Eric Kozowski, a moto guy.

Things began to pick up. An Airlink helicopter appeared and began circling overhead over head. They made several passes, at one point dropping so low that I had the crazy thought the medics were going to rappel down. Once they verified there was nowhere to land nearby, the went to a spot about a half mile away and landed.

From the other direction, a huge Ford F350 Quad Cab rolled up, driven by Sergeant Ronnie Dozier from the Deschutes County Sheriff Search and Rescue Division. I had come back up this “road”, it had all sorts of rocks and camber, and was rough for a dirtbike, let alone a long wheelbase pickup. It was also grown in quite a bit, and must have made a mess of the paint. Officer Dozier was as relaxed / funny as Officer Kozowski was relaxed / professional.


Sergeant Ronnie Dozier.

From the other direction, two Lifeflight Medics, Kathy D. and Jason C., came walking down the trail with supplies and a backboard. They set up, began cutting his clothes off, and started evaluating his condition. Pat was talking and joking with the responders, and his mood was good considering what had occurred.



It was now time for the most important part. Several people gently rolled Pat onto his side, keeping his helmet aligned in the same position, and gently slid the backboard under him. Even doing this as carefully as possible, it caused Pat to lose movement in his left hand again. His helmet was taped in place, and his arm was taped to his chest. It was decided that they would put him in the back of Officer Dozier’s truck to transport him the half mile to the helicopter.


Prepping for helicopter evac.

An important point: I knew Pat’s helmet would need to be removed, potentially exacerbating his injury. The cheekpads of most helmets hug the jawline, and usually pull your head, ears, etc. when you take them off. Pat was wearing a Fly Racing helmet, and I knew the cheekpads were removable, held on by three small snaps.  I was not going to touch it, and you should NOT do this yourself. But I explained it to the medic, and he carefully removed the left side pad, leaving the right as it was supporting Pat’s head. I made sure that Pat knew to instruct whoever removed his helmet at the hospital to take the other one out. This is worth remembering.

Pat and I had decided I was to call his wife when he was on the way to the hospital. I knew that I had to strike the right tone, to get her to act but not become too upset to drive. I called her, explained that Pat crashed, was hurt, and was being flown out. Of course she initially replied that I was "full of shit". I told her I was not kidding, that he was hurt but now in good hands, and that she needed to get to the hospital immediately. I did not tell her he was paralyzed.

A few words about helicopter evacuations in Central Oregon: first, they are not covered by insurance. No joke, the bill for an evac is approximately $25,000 - $30,000 (!!!). You can actually sign up and buy insurance to cover an evac for about $100 per year, BUT, there are TWO different companies here that do them, Airlink and LifeFlight, each taking turns. If you have insurance for LifeFlight, and your number comes up Airlink, you lose. That is not even the crazy part…. get this…..the two providers are owned by the same parent company! In Pat’s case, he had Airlink, and he got lucky.

Once at the hospital, he was X-Rayed, given a CAT scan, and an MRI. He had fractured the pedicle area of cervical vertebrae #s 6 and 7 (C6-7).  These vertebrae affect the low cervical nerves, controlling many things including the movement of your arms and legs (For reference, injuries to C1 – C4 can be a more severe event, as they can affect breathing).  Any injury to this area is about as bad as it gets, however, his particular injury was about as good as it gets. His C6 and C7 were fractured, but there were no fragments and no displacement. His spinal cord had taken a hit, but his doctor felt it was bruised and not damaged. Most importantly, his injury had just occurred, and he already had some movement of both hands and both legs.


C6 Vertebrae

Some info on this: www.spinalinjury101.org/details/levels-of-injury

He was initially placed in the ICU, after 2 days his condition had stabilized and he was moved to a room. Now that he was safe, his treatment was the focus. For several reasons, there was insufficient confidence in his neurologist, one reason being he had placed him on a very heavy dose of a steroid. It was decided that Pat's team would ask to change to a different doctor. I lobbied to be engaged in communicating that to the hospital staff. I knew it would be difficult for his wife, where I was not going to take any shit. I was right, the nurse initially started to fight me, but correctly followed our request.


3 days in.

At 9 days post-crash, Pat was moved to the in-patient rehab and therapy section of the hospital. They started him on a program of PT that can best be described as reconnecting the wiring in his nervous system, and building strength back. His trajectory was incredible, due at least in part to his boundless will and positive attitude. This pic was at 9 days:


9 days in.

I am not being hyperbolic at all when I say that you do not come any closer to losing everything. For 24 hours, he had been paralyzed from the neck down, one of the most grim situations one can fall into. At 5 days, he could move all his limbs with fair control. At 9 days, he was standing and doing light PT exercises. At 14 days he was home, and supervised a crew of people helping him move. At 17 days, he worked out at the gym and walked home, a mile. At 23 days, it was 6 miles. There are still problems, but they are small in context. In fact, since this event, for him and for I, most everything we can complain about seems small in context. Because, Pat can make a sandwich. Pat can dial the phone. Pat can walk.

Despite the fact that some serious things went wrong, an extraordinary sequence of positive events fell into place. First, everyone involved was well prepared, made no wrong decisions, and a few good ones. We had communication, GPS coordinates, and enough people to manage the situation. Timing, daylight, and weather went our way. We lucked into a perfect team of responders and medical professionals. Nothing else went wrong. Even Pat's physiology seems to have helped, he is as strong as it gets mentally and physically. All the details post crash aligned perfectly. As bad as it could have been, it actually turned the other way, so much so that I struggled to summarize how happy everyone is. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I can do no better than this.


12 days in.

Ride Smart.

BP
Atomic-Moto

COMMENTS

Date: 6/24/2015
wachs
Very glad to hear the outcome on this one. Wish I could've been more help but by the time I got there everything was handled including the extraction of Pat's machine. Thanks for sharing the whole story.
Date: 6/24/2015
Dan Cassidy
I'm grateful Pat has made incredible steps towards recovery, and had solid riding partners. This story really hits home to those who like to adventure out. Theres a lot to be learned from this, thanks for sharing...
Date: 6/24/2015
Justin
Brian - I heard bits and pieces that a buddy of yours was hurt. Thanks a bunch for "the rest of the story". Very few people here in Wyoming wear armor, let alone a Leatt (I am a deviation). My brother won't wear armor because he says he needs "a little fear" to keep from being stupid. No comment on that. Maybe this story will help.
Date: 6/24/2015
BP
Thanks DEM.....1. yes, great outcome....2. the evac insurance carriers obfuscate the fact that buying one or the other insurance may NOT cover you, and AFA taxes, with all due respect Atomic-Moto is a politics free zone....3. It does. It will be a challenge to convince people but it is our MISSION going forward. - Thanks, BP
Date: 6/24/2015
DEM
1. Great outcome, all things considered. 2. Glad to hear the "evacuation insurance" worked in the rider's favor, and it's good he was responsible enough to have the insurance. As motorcyclists, we are all wilful risk-takers to some degree. Should tax-payers be stuck with the bill to rescue us from mostly-preventable calamities? Admittedly a very complex question. 3. Obvious question: Does this event cause you to reevaluate neck brace use?
Date: 6/25/2015
Ace Nilson
Great write up! Sure glad to hear that he is ok and continuing to a full recovery. I want to mention one potentially missed opportunity to educate the masses... Don't ride in dust! Central Oregon is most often dry and dusty... If you are riding in a group, advise everyone to not ride in dust. Use appropriate protocol by waiting at turns and intersections, but advise each rider to not ride in dust. Clear visibility is key to a safe adventure. Most often, this means waiting 10 - 15 seconds (if there is a bit of wind) but may even be up to a minute or two to allow for clear visibility. Just my .02 cents and again, glad to hear Pat is on the road to recovery!
Date: 6/26/2015
John Cornell
A happy ending..
Date: 6/28/2015
Cameron Smith
Glad Everything worked out! Thanks for sharing this story!
Date: 6/28/2015
Don Pizzo
That is a happy ending. New brace user myself and they fit great. Riding buddy bought one from Atomic after he saw mine.
Date: 6/28/2015
Mike Anderson
I love happy endings...I own a Leatt also, even though I am 60 and slow..congrats and good job. Bombers!
Date: 6/28/2015
BP
Someone asked "WTF?" about the title of the post, which is from a Rolling Stones song. There is a small obvious literal connection to one of the lines, where The Hand of Fate "pick me up and it knock me down." Beyond that, my thought is that fate is tied to Karma. In this case Pat's "fate" which went unbelievably well, came from who he is as a person.
Date: 6/28/2015
Cameron Smith
Glad Everything worked out! Thanks for sharing this story!
Date: 6/28/2015
Dan Fitzgibbon
Thanks for sharing...very happy Pat is one of the lucky ones. I'd be very interested in the Leatt brace from this point forward. I believe my TLD roost guard is compatible? I'll start digging...
Date: 6/28/2015
Philip Wallace
Brian, Such a great report of the events!! You all did everything right!! I've had the task of caring for many spinal cord injuries and I'm here to tell you that the mechanism of injury can be so simple and non-violent. To those of you reading, spend the money on a Leatt or equivalent. My father was a spinal cord injured patient and the effects it had on his future, the family, etc was devastating. I've got a Leatt, I never notice it's on! Cheers to Pat and thanks Brian for this report! Philip Wallace, MD
Date: 6/28/2015
JJ
jesus, scary. time to buy a brace!
Date: 6/28/2015
Scott Squire
Really a great write-up of an awful turn of events (and fortunately one with a relatively positive outcome. Glad Pat is on the mend. Keep doing good work.
Date: 6/28/2015
topher young
Damn Brian, that's a hell-ofa story. Thank you for sharing and glad that things ended so positively. We had passed through the area earlier that Saturday.. this hits close to home. So glad he had the right Air Life insurance too, WTF is up with that situation? Two insurances - one parent company?!
Date: 6/29/2015
Jimmy Hollin
We all ride with a bit of (it won't happen to me) syndrome, if have to I guess.. I'm wondering if now that it has (happened) to pat, he might at some point share just what exactly was going thru his mind from the time he hit the ground untill he was told by his doctor he might live to ride another day..? Would also like to hear if he has been "changed" by the experience in some way and if so to the good or bad? I ask these ? As I'm looking at a shop full of high end toys of all type.. Any one of which could kill me at any moment while in use.. Ahh but (it won't happen to me)... Right... Ride and play as safe as you can on that day at that time...
Date: 6/29/2015
shakin_jake
you were in a scary situation, glad to hear everyone with you did everything right. May your recovery improve everyday! ATGATT
Date: 6/29/2015
Rodney
Thanks for sharing this story BP. I just linked to it from my group ride thread on ADV.
Date: 6/29/2015
Backpacker Moto
SO glad to hear about Pat's condition. Great write-up, BP. These kind of honest accounts are invaluable to the community, the sort of thing to be shared on Facebook groups and the like.
Date: 6/29/2015
DR
Wow. I am glad a bad situation turned out well. Goes to show having good riding friends that make smart decisions are critical. Pat keep up the recovery. Thanks for sharing. Last year 20 of us traveled from Florida to Colorado for some serious offroad riding. We put 4 riders in the hospital on the first day. Lots of helicopters. OMG. We had to stop and evaluate what was happening and why. Our focus changed and the next 8 days were incident free. Ride smart!!
Date: 6/29/2015
Basher
Wow.. BP, so grateful Pat is doing well, and hope to see him riding again, if he chooses to. Many of us have had that split second ejection off the bike and found ourselves wondering. how the heck?!? This weekend I had a 3" limb come up from the front wheel, thru the hole in my left side shroud (what are the odds) and stab me in the stomach, ejecting me from my bike, knocking the wind out of me. It was a harmless trail, typical branches laying around, but in a split second it could of be horrifically bad. Luckily only a puncture and slight bleeding, my kidney belt saved me. All that to say, in a split second, it could be so bad. Just as Pat hit that rock, a split second, and things are real bad! Our sport is dangerous, I know I forget that at times because I feel "in control" My goal is: 1.) What are the procedures for contacting parks departments when we are riding in the parks concerning air lifting. I ride with a SPOT tracker, but that's not "insurance" for air lifting. Where can this information be obtained and passed on to the community. 2.) Leatt Brace... Thanks for sharing and get well Pat! Basher
Date: 6/29/2015
Jim Williams
Great insight on the insurance question. FYI, if you purchase a Spot tracker and subscription, you have the opportunity to purchase a special "GEOS" insurance policy at a significantly reduced rate (about $15 annually). But you MUST do it when you first buy and activate the Spot unit. You can purchase the GEOS coverage later, but it will cost approx 10 times more. The GEOS policy covers extraordinary evacuation costs (e.g., a helicopter) which may not be covered as part of the basic Spot subscription. AMA members get a break on the Spot service - - I would urge everyone to check it out.
Date: 6/29/2015
Steve Aronson
Thanks for sharing the story, and the lessons learned. I was so relieved to read the outcome. Just yesterday I was trying to fit my old EVS brace into my new LEATT 5.5 PRO, and after I realized the two didn't fit well together I came to the conclusion to just use the removable race collar without the brace. This story has changed my mind...I'll be ordering a new LEATT brace. The evac insurance needs to be a national policy for obvious reasons...it should not be luck of the draw. Best wishes for Pat!
Date: 6/29/2015
Dr_X
Helluva moving story. So glad to hear that Pat seems to be well on his way to a complete recovery. What happened to Pat is a fear that we all have when we ride and the main reason that I will not ride over my head, especially in dusty conditions. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that is why Pat crashed. It sounds like what Pat experienced could have easily happened to any of us and has happened albeit without the same consequences.Might need to rethink my objections to wearing a neck brace. Hell, I hate wearing a chest protector! And I can attest to the cost of an air flight. Last year in Moab, I was airlifted to a hospital in Grand Junction, CO. My crummy insurance did not cover it and I was hit with a $29K bill for a 30 minute flight. Need to consider the air flight insurance for my CO trip in September. One place to start: www.medjet.com or 1-800-527-7478. AMA members get a discount. Keep on fighting Pat!
Date: 6/29/2015
Tony Denbigh
Glad to hear a bad situation turned out so well. I looks to me that the airlift company is "double dipping" as it were. Can a person not by insurance for both carriers? Fortunately here in Canada an evac flight like that is covered under our MSP at no cost to the injured party. Anyway, some good lessons here- never ride alone, wear the proper attire and have means of communication.
Date: 6/29/2015
Rusty Harrison
Thanks for this Brian, I was the guy ordering my Leatt 5.5 body armour and was considering getting the Leatt neckbrace. This unfortunate accident had just happened and was fresh in your mind, now I understand your considered advice and I'll be ordering the neckbrace shortly. Couple of friends are waiting to see it all fit together. So glad your friend is making such great strides.
Date: 6/29/2015
Craig Powell
Thank you for sharing in detail. 30 mph is fast when things go wrong. I think you talked me into a neck brace
Date: 6/30/2015
Bill Petersen
BP shared this story with me in person when we stopped to by my wife a new helmet.... I just read the whole story making notes as if it were an instruction manual! BP reminded of the story i told him of a good friend of mine ( very adv. and skilled rider) whom is alive today because of his neck brace. Learning as occurred, I left Head Quarters with a neck brace. Thanks BOMBER COMMANDER! Glad for your recovery Pat.
Date: 6/30/2015
Pat
Thank you all for the inspiration and kind words. In the near future I will write about my experience, right now I am focused on healing, family and friends. Super high five to BP, Jamie and the rest of the team that did everything perfectly in a worst case scenario. DFTBA, Pat
Date: 6/30/2015
M Myers
Thanks for sharing Pat's story. (And I agree with Jimmy Hollin, it would be great to hear from Pat, too.) Knowledge IS power. Skin Diver Magazine used to reserve the last page of each issue for a column titled, "I learned about diving from that..." It would be awesome if Atomic started something like that for riding...maybe this post could be the first installment... P.S. It seems to me that the most important piece of riding gear your friend had with him that day was incredible riding buddies!
Date: 7/20/2015
Rod Carlile
First I am glad this event turned out to have a positive ending as it could have been much worse. We all need to learn from these near catastrophic events. I tip my hat to everyone involved for knowing basic first aid and remembering those life saving tips. Now on to other issues, I am personally tired of wondering if I was politically correct in every situation in life. I have the right to subscribe or unsubscribe at any time if I like or don't like the content. I read through this blog twice before I really noticed the offensive words, they were not put in to add shock value or to boost the ratings. They were normal words that people use at times like this. May not be my words but that doesn't mean either of us are right or wrong, Keep up the good work and I look forward to more product reviews and blogs.
Date: 7/20/2015
jamie
Great article, glad things worked out, sounded terrifying. As for the guy who got offended for the language to your life changing/eye opening event; lighten the fuck up. I could care less if someone is using fowl language unless there are children and elderly folks around. Frankly I'm offended that a grown man (who rides a motorcycle) is offended at that. And can we just acknowledge the oxymoron of the statement "powerful KLR group", it might be a group, and might even be big, but powerful? nope. Do they control the market on milk crate distribution or something?
Date: 7/20/2015
Phil
THANK YOU, Brian, for sharing the story! and all the BEST to Pat. As to the Leatt neck brace.......I wear one and the other day did not, while on a short and very "easy" ride. Guess what.....The hydration pack is way more comfortable while wearing the brace. So now from here on out, if the helmet goes on, so does the neck brace. Again best wishes to Pat and thanks Brian for sharing.
Date: 7/20/2015
Dave Penfield
Thanks for the narrative, best to Pat, so how do they remove a properly fitting, I.e. snug, helmet, cut it off? Second the SPOT Locater service, and insurance recommendation. Other benefits to it as well.
Date: 7/20/2015
Rodney
Brian, I read your message about the complaint you received about this blog. Personally, I don't care for the use of profanity, but I was not offended. I think your blog was very well written. As a group ride organizer and leader, I immediately shared this blog with my ADVrider buddies. Thanks for caring enough to share. Mr_McBride
Date: 7/22/2015
Charly
Every moment really is precious. The lesson of impermanence is always available to us. Thanks for sharing all of y'all's story. I am very happy to hear of your astounding recovery Pat ! Gear. Medical Knowledge and Skill. Get Some !
Date: 7/24/2015
Brad
I read this when it first came out and really appreciate the well written article. I'm not sold on the neck brace for my type of riding, however you've made me think about it and will probably re read this next season. I think we all know who this Texas KLR nut is and I commend you for how you handled it. Polite PM's are a waste of time with this idiot and it's his way or the highway. C'est la vie. Anyway, I want to echo the idea M Meyers above had regarding the "I wish I would have" article. I think it would be a great addition to this.
Date: 8/28/2015
Russ Beguelin
I had heard about the incident and got me to thinking about my safety and the safety of those I ride with. I'm so glad to hear Pat is OK. I stopped by the shop on Thursday to pick up some boots and left with a Leatt as well. Thanks Brian!
Date: 9/4/2015
Matt Crawford
Extraordinary story ... because it is extraordinary good fortune. But luck comes from preparation and the moral here is that everyone did everything right. In particular, the emergency services we now take for granted were there in spades. And that really is the issue here ... because Pat's good physical condition, his friend's conscientiousness and general preparedness of everyone would have all come to nought IF our society had not developed exceptional emergency capacity available no where else in the world. What will happen if our economy no longer functions to provide such expendables allowances? Do we as 'adventuresome' types have the right to expect the extraordinary to reinforce our lifestyle? We all need to ponder the inherent danger of our activity as motorcyclists ... and IMHO recognize that we expect too much from circumstance and good fortune. We are not being realistic. We are playing with the devil and sooner or later his bill will become due.
Date: 4/8/2016
Eric Foster
More importantly . ..... has Pat made 100% recovery?
Date: 11/17/2016
Lead BOMBER
Eric.....no he has not. He has lingering issues with dexterity, strength, and pain, mainly on his right side. But that is not the point, the point is that he has a normal life, and despite everything, an attitude that is inspiring.

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