Dave is an avid mountain biker who is probably lucky to have reached 54 years of age. He is enthusiastic about any adrenaline sport and he pushes his limits enough to receive more than an occasional disapproving look from his wife. But life is more exciting when it is lived with reckless abandon and Dave is all about the thrills. He is also about the spills and today was a good example of a spill. This trail has been nicknamed "Devil's Drop". It has rock formations that are designed like table tops that allow a fast moving cyclist to get impressive air before dropping down onto the trail and beginning declines that feel almost vertical. The ride is fast and it's hair raising as turns unfold in front of the bike as fast as the rider can react. At full speed, this is a shot of pure adrenaline that lasts for several minutes. As Dave reached a smoother section of the trail, his tire bit into the sand, or possibly, he clipped his handlebars on something. His front wheel turned instantly to the left and he knew that he was about to experience flight. His first thought was to unclip from the pedals and to try his best to avoid hitting one of the many trees. Dave launched over the handlebars like the space shuttle clearing the jumbo jet that carries it. He saw the ground rushing up to meet him and he tucked his arms in, hoping that his landing would allow a tuck and roll. Unfortunately, his landing looked more like a crippled 747 coming in on deep snow with the landing gear stuck inside. He bounced once and came to rest with the wind knocked out of him. In surround sound, this would resemble an epic 30 second long crash scene from an airplane disaster movie. Dave knew he had trouble when his arms would not work. The bike was on top of him and he was on his face. He rolled over and wiggled his toes and fingers. He did not think he had struck anything and he had not injured his head or spine. He suspected that the shoulders were dislocated. Dave had been recording his epic ride in 4K with a chest mounted GoPro action camera. It faired better after impact than Dave had and it continued to record, forgotten. Dave's hands can be see as he tests out his movement. He calls for help, worried that he might be alone in the woods at this hour. He braced his left hand against his chest and tried to rotate his shoulder. He felt a pop and a sensation that his left arm went back into the shoulder socket. He's had first aid training through his earlier career as a police officer, but he's got no advanced medical training. His only experience with dislocated shoulders had been watching Mel Gibson in the Hollywood productions where he put his own shoulder back in. Within a minute or so, a young cyclist comes along to help. Dave becomes self-conscious about his complaints and he tries to "shrug" the pain off. He knows he will need help getting his bike out of the woods and getting to his car. He also knows that an emergency ward visit has now become the biggest part of his evening plans. A lady with a dog named Duke arrives and she offers help. Duke licks Dave's face and Dave cannot lift his arms to prevent the slobbery tongue from covering every inch. Three more cyclists arrive and ask what they can do. One of the cyclists examines the bike and makes sure it is ok. Normally, this might seem somewhat insensitive, but any hardcore cyclist would expect nothing less. Dave isn't concerned at all that he is the second priority. With true Canadian etiquette, these folks exchange names and pleasantries while Dave explains that he is seriously injured. Dave tries to show that his funny bone has not been broken in the crash, but it's really an attempt at bravado. Dave gets lots of help carrying his bike and loading it in the van. And as soon as everybody was out of earshot, the true wailing and crying began. Dave was diagnosed with a dislocated (self-repaired) shoulder and torn rotator cuffs. He was also told that he had broken or bruised his ribs. He was black and blue on his leg, his ribs, his shoulders, and his forearm. Dave's wife has taken his bike and locked it up in the basement. He might be given permission to ride it again in six weeks, if his arms work well enough to unlock the cable. And Dave's wife will do her best to supervise him better.
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