A funny broken arm story from way back


Heavily modified Caveman cast

My 2005 off season reading was Brian Lopes’ book on mountain biking skills. As a fairly competent mountain biker, I was amazed at how much there is still to learn about the art of making an off road bicycle go fast.

My favorite quote from the book was: “if you are not pedaling, you should be pumping*”

I was practicing my pumping through a particularly technical section near Stellenbosch. Specialized had their Team Camp here in January. (www.iamspecialized.com ) I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the camp and the main reason for the camp: Tire testing.

On the very first group ride with the Team I pumped and pedaled all I was worth. Pushing the limits through a long technical section, going faster and faster. I pumped through a rock garden and the next thing I knew I was on the ground, tangled with my bike. I never saw the fall coming, and instinctively I must have put my hand out to protect my face. (In hindsight, it wasn’t worth it)

I bled like a pig, but didn’t hurt too badly and carried on with the ride. However, about an hour later, holding the bar on the downhills became quite painful.

To make a long story short, I broke the scaphoid in my hand and tore some cartilage in the wrist. Fortunately no metal hardware was required, but doc slapped a white as snow cast on my arm and said “see you In six weeks, don’t move”  So I launched into cross examination: Can I still run? “NO”  Can I swim? “Your skin will rot.” Ride the rollers? “NO” When will the bone be attached enough to start run, swim, riding the rollers? “Young man, I don’t like the questions you are asking” “the scaphoid is not a break to be toyed with, if you mess it up, think screws and bone transplants.”

So I went forth and was a good boy. Only water-skied once and bush dove once…

What the doctor did NOT order.

After 3 weeks the half way through X rays were good and Doc said, running on a treadmill and riding the home trainer is ok. So I ran on the beach and rugby fields, and rode my Specialized Epic on the road.

A modification was the needed to camouflage the cast, as I was getting tired of the ”What happened to your arm?” questions. Feeling rather creative, I decided to mix my own colours for the job. I wanted brown, green and khaki cammo. “Roger” brown and “Roger” green, but the khaki proved a real enigma and I ended up with pink, some blue-ish colour and some shade of purple. Very effective though. I could hide in my garden for hours without anyone noticing me, if it wasn’t for the smell…

The training, combined with the scorching temperatures and the water skiing caused that cast to PONG.

So one stinking hot afternoon, (pun intended) I gathered all my gardening tools that has some kind of edge to it and Henk Markgraaff and I started hacking at the offending arm.

In the end we just took the angle grinder and cut the thing open. Hair raising stuff.
Note protective Oakley eye wear

First soap and water. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then some sun shine. Ahhhh. Doc’s skin rot theory seems plausible… Then I tore the offending cotton wool out and replaced it with a Gore-Tex T-shirt. Next I drilled about 80 ventilation holes in the cast, and zip tied the thing back on.

Now I can train and sweat as much as I like, when the business gets wet and nasty, I just change its nappy (diaper) and zip tie it back on. Patent pending.

But when the doc saw the cast after 6 weeks he yelled: “YOU TOOK IT OFF!!”  Fortunately I didnt do anything irresponsible, so it healed well.

The story should have a happy ending March 1.(it did)

*Pumping means using the terrain and then weigh or un weigh the bike accordingly to create speed. (go read the book, they explain it better)


cycling hoodies 18-01-2017, 05:19

Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
It’s always interesting to read through content from other writers and use something from other sites.

design own t shirt 23-07-2015, 03:18

Excellent weblog right here! Also your website rather
a lot up very fast! What web host are you using?

Can I get your affiliate hyperlink on your host? I wish my website loaded up
as quickly as yours lol

The Brand 26-07-2010, 11:42

Bastards stole your patent – plasticish ventelated removable casts – seen lately – bliksems !!!


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