Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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The story of an over enthusiastic mountain biker

Posted by Dan | October 25, 2011 | 23 comments so far

It had been a great couple of weeks really, all things considered.

Danny in hospital with a ruptured urethra

My riding and fitness had been improving steadily through the year and I was pleased with my progression. A Wales trip to Afan was the cherry on the cake at the beginning of October, proving that all the miles in the saddle, all the magazines and on line movie clips absorbed and all the thoughts and dreams of going that little bit faster really can pay off.

With winter approaching, I had decided that a hardtail was a worth while investment. A great training aid and a way to focus more attention on riding efficiently and sympathetically. I thought that once I was able to nail the local trails quickly on it, going back to the full susser would be a breeze, and ultimately give me more confidence, control and speed in the Spring.

I decided on the frame and priced the build. Decision made, I took one final look on eBay, only to find virtually my dream build already existed and was ready for collection only a few miles away! After some cheeky banter and lengthy negotiating the bike was on it’s way home with me. I was ecstatic.

That night I met up with my local riding group, The Muddymoles, and went out on a test run. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting on that maiden voyage but I was left with mixed feelings. Most notably: excitement, fear, frustration and finally, pain.

Kinesis Maxlight XC Pro

On the flat she flew. Accelerated like lightening. Climbed well, although I needed to set her up properly and make loads of adjustments and possibly put a longer stem on.

I wasn’t prepared for the twitchy rear end and pneumatic drill like ass pounding. Riding rough ground seated wasn’t an option it seemed, and towards the end of one particularly long, fast rough decent (China Pig) the rear end hit a root and the effect was like that of Newtons Cradle. Solid rear end hit my rear end and I was ejected into the nearby trees, with the bike and a new set of V12’s landing on my right calf.

I limped home to reconsider things.

Danny's scarified calf

Over the next 10 days I rode over 100 miles on much smoother XC terrain. I ‘found’ myself on the bike and really began to get to grips with a new riding style. Using smart phone apps these days is so easy, and I had been doing time trials of a great 21 mile XC route I can do right from my door step. 90% off road with some great trails and some very challenging climbs going from Epsom, across the downs to Headley, across the common to Box Hill, down to Mickleham, up across the hills to Bocketts Farm, down to Leatherhead then heading back up Alsation, across Tyrell’s Wood golf course to Pebble Lane, through Addlestead Wood, Langley Vale, across the Downs and then Home.

Sunday morning saw my wife and I up at 5am as we had to drop a friend back at Gatwick for an early morning flight. Arriving back at the house around half seven my wife naturally went back to bed. I on the other hand was feeling wide awake and saw a window of opportunity for an early morning blast on my bike.

Determined to beat my previous times I set off fast along my familiar route. Once on top of Box Hill the idea of attempting China Pig decent entered my mind. I felt good. Confident, solid and fast, and ready to face my gremlin again.

Turning sharp right at Smith & Western I dropped my saddle and began the fast technical trail. I was flying and feeling really good on the bike. Twisting and turning, balancing the bike well and skipping the rear over the worst of the lumps and bumps.

I’m not sure exactly what happened next but it ended with me down on the left side of the bike, my legs either side of the top tube and the impact being taken solely by my crutch.

I waited for the pain to kick in. It didn’t come. I systematically checked the rest of me to find only small bruising and cuts. Impossible I thought. I should be screaming with pain having had such a hard impact right in my privates. I was confused. I stood up and checked the bike over. Everything seemed fine. I jumped back on and began to cycle on, not really believing my own luck. Or is it stupidity?

After a few hundred meters though I felt a warm, thick stickiness in my shorts. Something wasn’t right after all. I got to the stile at the bottom of Juniper and did a quick pants check. Blood, and lots of it. S*@t! I was only 9 miles in to a 21 mile ride. It was 7am on a Sunday and my Wife was asleep at home with no chance of finding me. I decided that this was a case of mind over matter. I was hurt but felt fine. I needed to get home, and seeing the injury wasn’t going to help. I had to block it out and press on. Then reassess things when home.

So that’s what I did. I pressed on fast. After a few miles I knew the bleeding was bad. My pants and base layer 3/4’s were sodden and the shorts were too. Nice white saddle now distictley red. I put it out of my mind focussing on getting home. Some steeper climbs proved difficult as I had to stand up on the peddles. It was at this point I had the distinct impression that the blood was coming from the end of my ‘you know what’ Never going to be a good thing is it.

I put my head down and zoned out. Pedal, breathe, pedal, breathe. Time passed and eventually I was home. Amazingly in record time. 21 miles 1 hour 44 minutes average speed 11.9mph.

I put the bike away and went inside. Woke Jen gently and gave her the good news/bad news option. “Good news is I broke my PB! Bad news is I’ve hurt myself badly I think. Gonna need to go to A&E”

I got in the shower and stripped off. Blood was pouring from me. Like the morning after a night on the beer, only in red. I nearly fainted at the site of it. I’d lost a lot and was feeling weak. I showered off and packed the area with gauze, pulled on some track pants and Jen drove me to hospital.

After waiting around for what seemed an age, lying almost naked on the bed, holding myself, the Doctor came to inspect. No external cuts. Internal damage from a straddle injury. Ruptured Urethra but unsure to what degree. Cleaned up, E.C.G. Exam, Ultrasound, Prostate inspection.

Then fitted with a catheter which was excruciating and laid to rest back on the bed. I then got transferred to St Heliers for observation. Hospitals are a humbling place to visit let alone stay. Extremely uncomfortable night spent feeling as though I was rigged up to some sort of torture machine. Kept having visions of nurses walking past and catching their feet in the catheter tubing and pulling me off the bed by my Johnson!

Anyway, I’m very happy to say that I am now home, catheter free and relatively mobile all things considered. I have been forced into taking time off work which is really bad for our company as we are all owner operators, but accidents happen. I will have to take it easy for a while and tone down my competitive nature. As my sister so eloquently put it, biking is a recreation and not a job, and at 36 it’s a little late to be turning Pro no?

The moral of the story? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s to enjoy your riding and on occasion, push your limits, but know the risks involved and be prepared for them, as they can, and quite possibly will take you out.

Will I get back on the horse?

Your damn right. 🙂

Dan

About the author

Dan's been into mountain biking for just over two years and riding with the Moles for one. His trusty stead is a 2010 Orange Five Pro which he loves, perhaps more than he should. Oh and a Kinesis Maxlight XC Pro...

When not riding Dan's a lawn care specialist. Check out www.matts.biz

There are 23 comments on ‘The story of an over enthusiastic mountain biker’

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  1. Matt says:

    Dan, I’m shocked!! There’s an injury you would never expect to get from mountain biking and not something I’d wish on anyone. I can’t begin to imagine the pain, how you continued I have no idea. That adrenalin’s pretty strong stuff.

    Hope you get well soon mate!

  2. Dave says:

    I feel a little ill!

    China pig was just out to bite you again but it seems it bit you really badly so I’m sorry that this has happened to you mate.

    Hope you have a speedy recovery

  3. Cheers guys. Feel free to take the piss out of me.
    Lord knows I’m finding it hard to do myself. 🙂

    See you back on the trails again soon.

  4. StevenD says:

    I am just glad I read that after breakfast. Rather you than me but I do wish you a speedy recovery. We take up these hobbies and then wonder why we end up in A&E, life used to be so much simpler. Mole tip; if in pain avoid codeine otherwise you will stuffed at both exits.

  5. KevS says:

    Amen to that Dan!
    What a nightmare scenario and one that has me squirming in my seat reading it! Arrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhh!!

    Don’t think my antiseptic spray would have helped you much this time and I certainly would not have fancied investigating inside your shorts for the damage. 🙁

    The “Pig” has truly bitten you. Hope you recover quickly and see you out on the trails again soon, possibly standing only on the bike?

  6. Big al says:

    Bloody hell Dan , what a story to tell the grandchildren . I think we have a new entry for Mole of the Month ! Get well soon mate .

  7. Robin "The Shredder Hudson" says:

    Nice Dress Dude 🙂

  8. Malc says:

    Dude.

    I implore any male to read this without squinting! Here’s hopeing to a speedy recovery for you Dan, and when you say get back in the saddle, I hope it’s quick on both counts!

    Easy. Malc

  9. Dave says:

    Actually we might be able to get safety slogan out of this “MuddyMoles, we’re there to slow you down!”

  10. Markymark says:

    Ee-Orh, Ee-Orh…dude, I bet it looked like you were riding a donkey down there!

    I should know, i’ve ridden a few descents like i was on a donkey too, and that tended to be when i couldn’t clip in and slid forward onto the frame while waving my legs around wildly and uncontrollably.

    Sincerely though, I’m squirming, can’t believe you’ve (k)nobbled yourself after some epic summer riding we’ve had this year. Just look out the window though and you know you aint missing much tonight…

    Nicely articulated as well, that should put anyone off from going hardtail bonkers after a lifetime in full-susser mode.

    After the pedal incident i do recall we had a chat, something along the lines of ‘taking it easy until you got used to the feel of the new steed’. Ooops.

    Will drop the get-well-soon grapes, lucozade and porn mags round tonight bro, although it might be more comfortable for you to shove the grapes up your @rse than tempting a hard-on while looking at a bottle of what you piss should look like…

  11. Markymark says:

    P.S. please attach the Hospital report so we can piss-take further.

  12. tony says:

    Ouch, ouch, ouch

    I was looking at the first pic before reading the article and thinking – that’s on odd place for a tube to be going – all was (virtually not literally thankfully) revealed.

    Sounds like a bad though very odd crash, but I’m sure that the pain will pass (as you pass) and you will be flowing on the trails soon. If not sitting comfortably for a while.

  13. Karl says:

    Bloody Hell! You are made of stern stuff..!!
    If I’d have had blood in my undercrackers it would be an immediate 999’er.
    How on earth did you complete the ride?

    Get well very soon..

  14. Gordon says:

    Ow! That sounds horrendous. – Its bad enough just reading it, goodness knows what it must have been like living it.

    I do a bit of riding around on my own and my excursions over the last year have increasingly been off road. I have often wondered when I would be found if I had an “off”. Just recently I may have found the answer – its a smartphone app called “glympse”. You set it up before you go and if you don’t return your loved one has a link on their email which shows them exactly where you are…..

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  16. Amanda says:

    OUCH even though I dont have the same tackle it still made me feel a bit sick.
    Darren and I were out tonight and took a trip down china pig on the tandam and can honestly say we slipped and slid all over the place but thankfully as Darren said quote “it was tree roots and not Dan’s tackle” . Although we nearly lost a couple of times.

    Hope you are back on the bike soon.

  17. Dandy says:

    “Big al says:
    Bloody hell Dan , what a story to tell the grandchildren.”

    Actually Big Al, after that ‘off’ there may not be any grandchildren!

    Get well soon mate, but I’d avoid reading those mags of MarkyMarks for a few weeks yet, just stick to eating those grapes.

  18. DaveW says:

    Sorry to hear the hardtail bit you hard in the tail. Best wishes for a swift recovery matey.

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  21. Pier-Luigi de Marchi says:

    Hey Dan,

    Just red your article almost 8 years after you published it. Thing is, the same happened to me exactly 2 months ago, also at 36… Nevertheless I just got back on my bike last week-end, kind of weird feeling mostly cause I am not sure how strong urethra is after such a wound. That’s what I actually wanted to ask you, cause my doc is quite unclear… you know, giving you the speech “can’t be sure, just be careful..”.
    To get to the point, just wanted to ask if you finally could be biking as before and if you had any complications after months / years ? Have you heard anything about urethra being more fragile ?
    Hope that you could enjoy biking as before anyway.
    Greets
    Peter

  22. Dan Pullen says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear about your accident.

    To answer your question, after my accident I went to hospital and had a catheter fitted and was kept in for 2/3 days. The catheter was removed and I was sent home. I had a very physical job at the time which I went back to straight away as I was self employed and I needed to!
    I felt bruised obviously and it was all quite a shock. (Having blood pouring out of ones penis is never going to be nice!)
    I was ok for about 3 days but then for no reason at all I starting bleeding again quite badly. It was short lived. I ignored it and it was fine for a few more days. Then it happened again. This kept happening over a two week period. Eventually I went back to hospital. They said it was normal and that I really should be resting and not over exerting myself. I went home and tried to do as they said and thankfully, that was the last of it.
    From that moment on it never gave me another second of worry. That area has felt normal ever since. I’ve had two children and have no problems in that department what so ever.

    I appreciate now looking back how serious it was and how lucky I was but at the time I just got on with it and once it healed I didn’t think about it again.

    I moved away from mountain biking and did more road cycling. Now that’s all I do. I do 10,000 miles per year on my bike and it doesn’t trouble me in the slightest.

    Hope that helps mate. My advice is just to rest as much as possible and don’t worry too much about it.

    All the best,

    Dan.

    • Pier-Luigi de Marchi says:

      Hi Dan,

      First of all thank you for answering almost 8 years after your initial post. Glad to hear that you finally recovered from this injury without any consequences. As you said, not really a nice feeling to be injured down there for a guy.
      Have spent the w-e on the bike riding trails and bike park. Glad to see that confidence is back ! throwing big and gnarly like before. Just as you said, don’t make too much second thoughts about it. Even though now I year protection down there 🙂 the least i could do !
      Again thank you for your reply and the advice. Stay safe and keep riding !

      Greets

      Peter

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