Just a quick note to give a big thanks to everyone for the Loose Screw event over the weekend!
The event was properly well run and despite a bit of a rain shower in the morning and later in the evening on Saturday, I really enjoyed the whole weekend (as did my two mates who came up from Vancouver).
Great fun, and because I'm not the most experienced off-road rider (and was on a "big bike"), the C-route was just challenging enough to make getting through it feel like a accomplishment
Again, congratulations to all and it was great to catch up with so many fellow enthusiasts
Ladies and gents - here is a long write up about my first Loose Screw experience on the B route which will be posted on a YT video tomorrow once I get my “hardware” pics from the surgeon to complete the story. I am already looking forward to the B route in 2024!
Loose Screw Dual Sport 2023 B Route
My ride report is nothing more than “the roughly 50% that I rode was unbelievable good fun”….the rest of the story is really more about how I ended up with a broken leg, and the incredible humanity and kindness I experienced after that event.
I’ve been riding motorcycles for the better part of 35 years, but only started riding dual sport bikes roughly 6 years ago. I’ve taken courses, consumed massive amount of literature and “content” on the subject of riding technique and fair to say the lack of riding areas near my home combined with other competing interests have resulted in a less than stellar progression of my riding skill. There is no replacement for experience and I have come to the conclusion that more saddle time is clearly what I need to focus on going forward. That is not to say I’m a bad rider, I truly believe I’m very much in the “average” zone for riders my age. But I have to admit, and to steal a quote from the interwebs, my “Hi Latency Panic Prone Meat Processor (HLPPMP)” combined with a moment of inattention to look at my GPS resulted in a low speed dump that also created the worst injury of my life thus far.
At the moment of the accident, I did feel intense frustration because I was having such a good time, and I can say with confidence that the B route was well within my comfort zone on the day. I’ve ridden away from many drops of the machine far worse than what happened to me in this video, but on this day luck was not on my side and the trail grabbed a hold of the toe of my boot and gifted me with a broken Tibia and Fibula. I now have some extra hardware in the form of a titanium core for my Tibia and some locking screws top and bottom to keep everything neatly in its place. I’ve been told 6 weeks no weight bearing and to expect a 3-6 months before a full recovery. More importantly, I have to thank all the kind folks who supported me throughout this affair. Grateful is a word that just does not do justice to the feeling I have experienced.
I must thank the following individuals and organizations in chronological order:
To Stuart Patton and the Greater Kamloops Motorcycle Association (GKMA) - for the huge task of pulling together the first post pandemic Loose Screw Dual Sport ride, especially after the delays created by our wildfire season in 2023 here in British Columbia. It was great to meet you and I only wish I could have come back to camp under my own steam and enjoyed the balance of the amenities you organized on Saturday night. I have every intention of completing the B loop in 2024 so look forward to seeing you then!
To Martin S. - thanks for being my riding partner on this day and apologies for impacting your ability to complete the Loose Screw B route as we had hoped. I’m also sorry for gifting you with the shocking view of my foot heading in a completely unnatural direction! Thanks also for your video footage of which this edit is mostly composed. I chose the wrong camera for this ride!
To Mark C., Adam C., Tim T. - thanks for being unofficial riding buddies as Martin and I leaped frogged you folks during much of the day. When the ride went pear shaped for me, you provided unbelievable morale boosting support and good humour. Mark C did an epic job of ditching my bike strategically until it could be recovered the following day - even the RCMP couldn’t find it when we got to the ambulance. I truly hope to ride with you all again spring 2024 when my body parts tell me I’m good to go!
To Zoleo - “Zoolander” as I like to call it. The entire SOS process exceeded my expectations wildly. I was in contact with their Emergency Response Agent in minutes, and they had the RCMP and Paramedics on their way to me in what felt like no time. They continually checked in during the process, and even after I advised the Agent that I was on my way to Royal Inland Kamloops Hospital, they phoned to reconfirm my arrival. Nobody ever wants to hit that SOS button, but I can attest that this device and service does what it advertises and more. Thank you!
To Kamloops RCMP and BC Ambulance Service - what can I say other than all these young people are true professionals in every sense of the word. I felt so well cared for every step of the way. Even the warning from the senior paramedic when I asked how they were going to get my ride boots off…and he said “we have a drug for that, not sure if you’ll thank us or not, but you won’t feel the boot coming off”. Yeah, I had a trip like no other in my own head debating the origins of the universe with myself and don’t ever want to experience again, but he was correct, I felt nothing and woke up in Emergency.
To Royal Inland Emergency and Hospital - the ER doctor was amazing, compassionate, kept me informed, and the nurses are the backbone of our medical system. Again, I felt like I was in good hands the entire time.
To my old Forestry buddy Dean S and his friend Russ - for locating Mark C, getting coordinates on my abandoned bike, driving 35km+ in to the bush to retrieve it, load it in my cargo trailer, pack up all my camping gear and making my vehicle and trailer ready to drive away with a turn of the key. I hope you don’t regret inviting me on this ride Dean? I certainly don’t regret one moment of it and only wish I had not been such an inconvenience to so many. I was having an absolute blast…until I wasn’t as the video will attest. Thank you!
To my wife, for taking the news so well, and for completing the longest virtually non-stop drive of her life by coming from Vancouver to Kamloops to pick me up, and return me to Vancouver all in the same day. More importantly, when I asked her what she thought of me completing the Loose Screw 2024, she said “oh yeah, you should. I’ve seen your injury from people planting on a soccer field and turning too quick, or remember our friend who did what you have by tripping down a couple of steps in a restaurant? It’s always the simple things”. Epic reply and yes, I will be back to the Loose Screw in 2024 with her blessing.
To Farmer Kent, for safekeeping my truck and trailer for a number of days till my friends could retrieve it for me. I also appreciate you reaching out to me and talking about the old forestry days. It was a pleasant distraction while cooling my jets in hospital.
To my friends Sali and Jer, for driving all the way from Vancouver to Lac Le Jeune on your day off to retrieve my truck and trailer. Ask me for anything…anytime….always! You guys are the best.
To Lions Gate Hospital ER, the 6th floor and Dr Loh - again, we sometimes hear terrible things about our medical system and though I admit the ER’s do appear stressed to the max, I have to say that once into the system I felt completely cared for at every turn by the most professional and competent of people. Again, the nurses blew me away with their compassion and service. Dr Loh, the surgical nurses, the anesthesiologist, gave me great confidence about the procedure I was about to experience.
So, that’s my story. Here I am one week post op living on the sofa with the leg up….only 5 more to go before I can start to weight bear….just dreaming about the next riding season!