According to our friends over at the Ride Strong blog the photo at the bottom of this post (caution: not for the squeamish) shows what happened to a guy named “Bob” (no last name given) on a ride “last week.” The story goes that a rider in front of Bob rode over a branch on the road which then kicked up and lodged into Bob’s leg. The EMTs were said to have cut off the ends of the branch to fit Bob into the ambulance, I guess they had a tree saw with them at the time 😉
Seriously though, I cry BS for a number of reasons here. First, the branch is so far through the guy’s leg that there’s no way it could have made it through (take a look at all the knobs on either end of the stick). The article makes no mention of where this happened (not even the state) and at just 25 MPH (the supposed speed of the riders) there’s no way the stick would have enough momentum to puncture a human leg. And for a road cyclist this guy sure has hairy legs 😉
I think I have an even better scenario for how this happened: Bob was mountain biking, bombing down a super fast and tight section of trail. There had been some trail maintenance done recently and a branch that had been cut down was discarded too close to the trail. Bob came screaming down the trail and was hugging the left side of the trail when – wham! – he gets impaled by the discarded branch. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the branch hadn’t been wedged up against a stump that kept it from scooting out of the way. Much more believeable, huh?
Seriously though, I remember watching the Eco Challenge on TV a couple years back and on a mountain bike portion of the race a rider came down a hill and was impaled by a sharp branch sticking out beside the trail. The stick literally punctured his lung and he was medi-vacced out immediately. Of course it was a much skinnier and sharper stick and it didn’t come out the other side of his body but kinda the same thing. Body armor is sounding better and better these days…