Tale #4: by Ryan Kitchen
A few summers ago, I broke my thumb mid summer. Every moment of 12 weeks was spent wishing I was on my mountain bike.
As soon as the doc told me I was good to ride and it was game on. I started hitting the trails hard. October riding is not to be missed in WA especially after a stolen summer. I was hungry enough to road ride with a broken hand, and now finally, it was time for trail! For two glorious weeks I shredded it all Raging, Tiger, Leavenworth, Darrington. I decided to session the then new NOTG trail. The first lap I checked out the line, the second I made a few mistakes, and I decided to go for a third to ride the trail as clean and fast as I could. Lap 3, mid run, I came into a firm but slick landing with speed and didn’t hook up my front tire before initiating the upcoming turn. Classic wash out, modest impact, just laid the bike down.
When I stood up that fresh healed thumb was pretty sore. The impact of my hand on the bars caused the digit to move much closer to my wrist than it should be. It had clearly dislocated, and I was only half way down NOTG at Tiger. I yanked off my glove, and reduced the dislocation. I had the woods to myself and I said some loud words I won’t repeat. I couldn’t ride out, it was dusk, and I needed to do a self extraction alone and injured.
It was a long walk out, and pushing a bike downhill one handed is harder than it sounds. Riding wasn’t an option. A riding buddy, Luke, who lives at the ridge is only a few minutes away so I shot him a plaintive text message explaining my predicament. I got a call immediately. It was a long, sad walk down NOTG, Crosshaul, and Masterlink, but there was no better feeling in the world than seeing my concerned buddy hauling ass (on foot) up the trail to help me get my bike out of the woods. Not only did he show up, he showed up with a bottle of ibuprofen and a bottle of bourbon to take care of a fallen comrade. It meant the world to me. These are the bonds we form building and riding at Tiger. The people I know from Tiger, show up. Thanks again, Luke!