09.8.2005 | 12:13 am

Even as I did my best to make my wrecks in yesterday’s post sound spectacular, I was acutely aware of one glaring fact: I’ve never wrecked really badly. I’ve never had to stay the night in a hospital because of a bike wreck. I’ve never had to wear a cast, or have a blood transfusion, or have more than a few stitches.

I may be jinxing myself by saying this, but I’ve gotten off easy.

My sister Kellene, on the other hand, has wrecked pretty darn bad.


Watch that first step.

Kellene lives near Fruita Colorado, which means she has easy access to a mountain biker’s paradise. High-desert riding, canyons, and (cue ominous music) cliffs.

A few years ago, Kellene and a friend went out riding on a popular mountain bike trail called Mary’s Loop. It’s not an especially technical trail, but there are lots of rock ledges, and there’s definitely some trailside exposure. And in at least one case, there’s a rock ledge with trailside exposure. Here, Kellene clicked out with one foot — leaving the other one in — and used her foot to boost her bike up onto the ledge.

And that’s when she lost her balance.

Tipping over toward the foot that was still clipped in, Kellene was unable to click out. It’s happened at one point to pretty much every mountain biker that’s ever bought clipless pedals.

For Kellene, though, this meant a fall off an overhanging cliff.

She dropped eighteen feet, straight down, and landed on a large, flat-topped boulder.


Damage report

If you’re the squeamish type, you may want to skip the rest of this post. My daily weight’s posted at the bottom, and tomorrow I promise I won’t be talking about wrecking bikes anymore.

OK, you’ve been warned.

Kellene broke her right wrist, and ripped opened up her knee so you could see everything. She smashed her jaw. She broke 14 teeth, and put her lower row of teeth through her lower lip, nearly severing it.

I swear, I still get sick just thinking about such a fall and the resulting carnage.

Amazingly — and let’s face it, cruelly — Kellene didn’t lose consciousness from this fall. In fact, Kellene’s day had just begun.


Help may — or may not — be on the way.

Luckily, Kellene’s friend had a mobile phone with her and made a 911 call. Consider, though: how do you tell an ambulance where you are when you’re on somewhere on a trail that’s known mostly by its nickname? And how do they find you? In this case, they didn’t — the ambulance searched, but never found Kellene.

The second call Kellene’s friend made was to her husband, Rocky, who works at a bank. And wears a suit. Rocky, unlike the ambulance, knew exactly where Kellene was and drove out. I’m tempted to say something like, "Rocky broke all kinds of speed limits getting to Kellene," but the fact is Rocky breaks all kinds of speed limits when driving to church. So I’m guessing Rocky’s rate of speed in reaching Kellene cannot be expressed with conventional mathematics.

When he got there, Kellene had been at the bottom of this cliff for about an hour. Think about that for a second. Rocky took off his leather loafers and climbed down the cliff in his banker’s suit, then helped Kellene use her non-broken wrist and non-split leg to climb back up that cliff.



They sewed Kellene up, gave her a cast, and wired her jaw shut. This, she says, is what nearly drove her over the edge. Sometimes you feel like you’re suffocating; sometimes you feel like you’re drowning. Once her jaw healed, she had endless trips to the dentist to reconstruct a set of teeth for her. Which, by the way, now look considerably better than most people’s real teeth. Having your dentist be a mountain biking buddy, a close friend of the family, and the most anal-retentive person in the whole world is a good combination, if you need a whole new mouth.

They wouldn’t finish finding and extracting broken pieces of Kellene’s teeth from Kellene’s lips for six months.


My sister could kick your butt.

Amazingly, Kellene seems just fine now. I can’t see any scars on her. She says her lower lip is pretty much permanently numb, but all things considered, things could’ve gone a lot worse.

So: does Kellene still ride? Yes, she does. In fact, she’s headed over to Vail, CO today to go mountain biking for a week with some friends.

And does Kellene ever ride Mary’s Loop? Yes she does.

And does Kellene ride the part where she fell off the cliff? No. Are you crazy?


Today’s weight: 164.8lbs. Frankly, I don’t trust today’s weight. How could I lose 1.4lbs in a day? Am I extra-dehydrated or something?


Bonus Cyclingnews article: Cyclingnews has published my satire piece, "Lance Armstrong to Come Out of Retirement." Click here to read it.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 2:03 am

    That’s just…wow.

  2. Comment by Ariane | 09.8.2005 | 2:24 am

    Omigawd, man, that’s insane… Your sister reminds me that I am, in fact, the world’s biggest wimp.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 4:43 am

    I was just crying for her before she ever hit the boulder and I can just imagine lying there waiting for help. That woman is a walking miracle and I hope someone gave her one of those GPS watches or similar in case, God forbid, she ever needs help again. Bet your folks had a fit, too!And God bless her for having the cojones to get up and at it again rather than hide out and cower in fear because of it. The woman has True Grit.Perhaps you lost that 1.4 lbs. because you are slowly, inexorably escaping the earth’s gravitational pull? Or… lemme see… you know how the grease always rises to the top in the soup, stew, or spaghetti? Well, perhaps you are experiencing a similar phenomenon and thus not exerting as much pressure on the scale? Has the fat gone to your head? Have you become a fathead? An airhead? Order your Theories to Order NOW from Theories-R-Me!!!

  4. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.8.2005 | 5:22 am

    mumo – fat head and hot air: good working theory to account for the weight loss. I don’t think my head is becoming fatter, though, because i reached the saturation point long ago.

  5. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 09.8.2005 | 11:01 am

    Maybe mountain bikers are mountain bikers because they can’t handle the embarassment of taking a header with an audience.It is the ultimate test of your thick leather hide to unclip your right foot and lean to the left when stopping at the lights. The longest 15 seconds of your life are spent laying in front of a car trying to clip out, kicking helplessly like you are trying to shake loose the neighbours horny chihauhau.cheersBIG Mike (skinny on the inside)

  6. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 1:07 pm

    fatty you’ve got a big ass…! how many siblings are there? between the Errorista, the Artist, the Toughie, the Fatty, how many of you people are there. you’re like the waltons, but edgy, hip and on the interweb.

  7. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 1:18 pm

    Fatty,I would like to sign up for your prediction concierge service. You nailed the Lancer, didn’t you? Could you please let me know some good stock picks? Fell free to cloak your predictions in dripping satire, just let me know where to put my hard earned dineros. Thanks a ton. Jim

  8. Comment by Eric | 09.8.2005 | 4:26 pm

    Your sister is hardcore…hardcore chicks rock!As for your weight loss, I’d like to contribute a theory:Typing. Typing burns calories, too! and I see that you’ve done plenty of it.

  9. Comment by tayfuryagci | 09.8.2005 | 6:23 pm

    thats one hell of a crash. I always tought if there was such an incident. a chopper would come down and save you but yup that was just a movie.

  10. Comment by Jodi | 09.8.2005 | 7:06 pm

    Man, every time I hear that story it makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Kellene only suffered because she is such a talker and having her jaw wired shut was the ultimate debilitation. No no no I don’t laugh it was scary for sure….but is she really tough? I totally think I could have climbed up the cliff and made it home in time to whip up a hot dinner for the fam. But that’s just me…….a band-aid and a vicodin and I’m good to go!Nathanv – there’s one more of us…lessee…tough-y, fatt-y, art-y, error-y, and militar-y. Oh yeh, and nobody is hip except me.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 7:44 pm

    raves and drug counseling aren’t hip. that’s so 90s.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 09.8.2005 | 9:00 pm

    It’s good to know that Dug hasn’t changed much. And when I went to fetch her from her little predicament, I chided her that there was going to be no dinner when we got home. Okay…kidding. I should add to Fatty’s blog that when the phone call came to my office, I realized that my car was nearly out of gas, and that I would have to stop to get some if I did indeed have to extract her. And, as good fortune would have it, I had just purchased a new four-wheel drive, which was essential to the extraction…into which she proceeded to deposit copious amounts of her blood, of course. The dentist who was mentioned in Fatty’s blog was there at the ER and kindly used peroxide and elbow grease to clean the upholstery whilst Kellene and I were in the "sewing room". She was a mess, and I have to assert that hermost ardent complaint throughout the whole ordeal was not the itching of the cast, not the pain in various parts of her body, not the mental trauma of the fall, not the inconvenience of bathing rather than showering, and not the endless visits to the doctors and dentists. No, her biggest complaint was the huge log jam of words building up in her head as she was unable to speak intelligibly for nearly six weeks, and her inability to wildly gesticulate as she spoke, which she is wont to do. They (the log-jammed words) continue to tumble out in a steady stream even these three years since the fall. I wonder if she will ever catch up!?!Fortunately, she is really cute…

  13. Comment by Unknown | 09.9.2005 | 2:29 am

    rockhead . . . rocky? rocky, i miss you man. how’s that handlebar?

  14. Comment by Unknown | 09.9.2005 | 2:46 am

    Wow. You and your sister are made out of tough stuff. Can I offer a hypothesis on your indestructibility? They say that fat is pretty good at protecting vital organs and body parts — maybe this explains how you have managed to stay mostly intact, well, except for the very mild brain damage which explains the selective amnesia for the pain and suffereing after a major wipe out. BUT WAIT! maybe the fat protective factor is actually balanced out by the decrease in mass which decreases the force of impact (remember the lovely F=ma?) So, I think you should keep on losing the weight to decrease that M. f=ma, f=ma, f=ma…….. or learn to fall in slow motion……sorry, spent too much time alone in front of a computer today, am going insanesigh, anyone here who can help motivate me to get back on a bike (mine has happily been covered with laundry for 4 years now, and is rusting because of it, how sad, murder by neglect)

  15. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.9.2005 | 5:48 am

    dug – you, rocky and i know that was your best post ever. audibles from both the mrs. and me. and from rocky, i warrant.spinecho – your theory is a fine one but breaks down when you factor my sister into the equation. unlike me, all my sisters seem to have a "thin and attractive" gene.

  16. Comment by Unknown | 09.9.2005 | 10:49 am

    oops, sorry. bad english. my theory was just meant to be applied to you….tis the reason I was an engineering major, you know


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