Dec. 6, 2004
I'm doing ok. Just really sore. I was knocked unconcious for the first time ever. Looking back it scares me to NOT know what really happened and to wake up face down on the ground, and to thank God that it wasn't any worse.
The cut-off time for us to start our last lap was 3:30pm. My partner came in at 3:20 and we already had MANY issues with the quad. No rear brakes, no rear shock (blown), no skid plate, bent/warped brake rotor, and I was actually almost "scared" to get back on that thing. Reluctantly, I was "talked into" doing 1 more lap by several people, which we really didn't have to since we'd get scored for the laps we've already done - "Grand Prix Style" scoring. I'm not blaming my crash on anyone else... I'm just mad at myself for not putting my foot down harder and saying "NO"! It was a total safety issue at that point. Scott Perkins (who was pitting on the opposite side) told me later that they could not believe I was going out there for another lap at 3:20. I really did not want to (for once).
Anyway, I took off and was on my way. We are 99% sure that the cause of my crash was that the right tie-rod end snapped and I couldn't turn (I guess this is a known issue on stock Suzuki tie-rods). When I woke up on the ground, after realizing where I was and what I was doing there, I noticed the quad was parked on the course side-ways, facing the rock wall. I was only in 3rd gear and not going too fast, just riding down a small twisty section. I think I went to turn towards the right as that is where the course went, and the quad just went straight and slammed the wall and threw me down. It was standing up-right and when I woke up, my left leg was underneath it. So I was not thrown "over the bars" or anything like that. I fell off to the right side. I did not notice the broken tie-rod until the course-workers were trying to move it. All I know is I tried so much to get back on that thing and continue on. This was at mile 10 and I only had 23 more to go, but it was a rough, rocky, tight, technical trail. Luckily I had my radio with me (for emergencies) and radioed in that I crashed but that I'm going to try and keep going. They said to call back when I made a decision since I was now the very last vehicle. About 10 minutes went by and I couldn't quit being dizzy (that was so weird). I radioed back and said "come and get me". I was so mad that I had to do that. But, it was getting dark quick, and very cold in that canyon. I was in no shape to keep riding that quad in the condition that I and it were in. The BITD were able to get the quad out for us Sunday morning and brought it to us. They were very awesome about the whole thing and got to me within 10 minutes of me calling them.
I just want to say thanks to all my desert/ racing friends who were so worried about me. There were a lot of district people out there, calling me and willing to drive me home! Everyone was checking on me, calling the hospital, calling my cell, calling my friends. I was out there by myself (sort of) since Chris is away in a foreign country. Thanks to everyone for their friendship and support. The rumor-mill was quick to say I had broken ribs, broken collar bone, and all this other stuff. On my end, mostly my pride was bruised as I am not used to crashing EVER, especially like this. Anything is possible out there, I know. I hated having to get in the ambulance. I told them I would be fine if they just let me sit there for a while. But, I was very dizzy but still knew my name! I had a slight concussion, bruised right cheek and lip, a major charlie-horse on my right thigh and bruised right arm. This all happened around 4:pm and I was released from the hospital at 6:30pm. The BITD people on Sunday morning said they were praying for me and hoping everything was going to be ok. Thanks again for everyone's friendship and support!! (Scott, Janette, Morgan and all your people, Andy McDaniel, the Campbell's, Andy G, Todd, Marc, Eric/Chantal, James, The Kuriyama's, Phil, The Sofka's, Heather, Rob, the Youngblood's, the Kelsoe's, the BITD people, racers and volunteers, all my racing friends!) I love my friends!!
ps... Next race is in 4 weeks...