Guest Post from Chuck Ibis: “The Flapper” (Plus Commentary from Fatty)

09.30.2010 | 7:46 am

A Note from Fatty: A couple days ago, I got an email from Scot “Chuck Ibis” Nicol, honcho-in-chief of Ibis Cycles. Here it is, in its entirety:

Got bit by a tree.


Wanna see the before?

To which I of course responded, “Well of course I want to see the before. And I want to hear the story!”

Chuck obliged, and sent me the story of what happened, along with photographs. I thought it was an interesting story, partially on its own merits, and partially because Chuck’s storytelling style is so incredibly different from mine.

As a result, I am going to do something a little different. I’m going to post his story, but I’m also going to add commentary in key places.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are a couple of very graphic photos of Chuck’s injury here. If that kind of thing bothers you, you seriously should not read today’s post.

The Flapper

It was a beautiful day in the La Sal range above Moab. It was threatening to be 100ยบ in Moab and we decided to head uphill. So we decided to do a ride up around 10-11K feet. It was spectacular, September 28th and the Aspens were going off.


[Note from Fatty: So far Chuck and I are pretty much in alignment, though I definitely would have gone on for a few paragraphs about the lack of oxygen. And I probably also would have talked about how in spite of my lack of training I was managing to climb like a mountain goat on crack.]

It’s a hardcore ride, check out the hikeabike.


[Note from Fatty: OK, I would never just say "it's a hardcore ride," as if it were a throwaway clause. If I'm on a hardcore ride, I'm going to make it the centerpiece of the story. I'm going to go into detail about how hard it was, and exactly what was in the core, and then somehow manage to be both boastful and self-deprecating at the same time about how I managed to ride something that I wouldn't have thought I could. I probably would also have spent about 300 words describing what was going through my head as I pushed my bike across those rocks.]

But again the views were spectacular.


After a while, I ran into a low branch with my leg. Simple as that. Probably enjoying the view or something. I was with an experienced guide from Western Spirit Cycling, and he said it was the largest laceration he’s ever seen in 10 years of guiding.

[Note from Fatty: Frankly, I just can't even comprehend the beginning of that paragraph. You tore most of the skin off one of your calves, 'simple as that?' I would reconstruct the moment, millisecond by millisecond. I would describe the branch in such a way that would make women and children tremble. I would turn this story into a seven-parter, with the entire second part being about the exquisite pain I experienced at the moment of injury, the third part being about the pain I experienced during the next two minutes, and the fourth part being about how I passed out upon looking at the gory inside of my leg.]

SImon and I turned around, the other 6 went on. This is a very big epic ride. I was less than half way.

Rode back to town, 26 miles, with the “flapper.”

[Note from Fatty: If I were writing this story, part five would be called "Riding into town with the flapper," and it would be 1200 words long. ]

The rest of the images tell the story.


[Note from Fatty: I passed out for a moment, just looking at that thing.]

The nurse drew a smiley face on there for me.


The ER doc was a magician with the stitches. I got 8 inside and 18 outside.


Yesterday we rode the Virgin River Rim Trail. Wow!

[Note from Fatty: I would make part 7 of this seven-parter be all about how I anguished over whether I would ever ride again, then how I made the heroic decision to go riding the next day and about how the pain was nearly unendurable, and yet I survived and am a better man for it.]

PS: Is anyone going to be driving from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa next week? And if so, would you mind picking a road bike up and hauling it over for me? Chuck’s gonna loan me a sweet bike for Levi’s GranFondo, but we need to get it over there. Email me if you can help.

PPS: Don’t forget that today and tomorrow are the last days you can enter the Orbea Orca with Shimano Di2 / Ride for the Roses contest.


  1. Comment by melicious | 09.30.2010 | 8:05 am

    Wow, Chuck is hardcore, not the ride! To have an injury like that and RIDE THE NEXT DAY?! Crazy! That is one tough dude. Love the pics and it’s always fun when the medical staff helping to fix you up has a sense of humor (the smiley face). I once had a 6 stitch gash (2 internal, 4 external, nothing to the extent of Chuck’s) on my leg from a MTB meets rock incident and the doc, deadpan, asked my husband if he would go get the saw. There was a moment’s hesitation before hubby realized he was joking!

    Oh, and Fatty, my donation is in, not so much for the bike (which is VERY sweeeet and I would still love to win it!) but because cancer really sucks and needs a beatdown.

  2. Comment by Shiny Flu | 09.30.2010 | 8:15 am

    lots of cringing. Ewww! Awesome!

  3. Comment by jonw9 | 09.30.2010 | 8:45 am

    Chuck’s story was so nonchalant that it makes the whole story more awesome.

    However, you post about a loaner bike for the GranFondo mere days after posting how awesome your Orbea with Di2 is?

    Sounds pretty rough!

  4. Comment by rich | 09.30.2010 | 9:11 am

    Sometimes I like to think I’m hardcore….then I read stories like this and realize….nope, not even close to being hardcore

  5. Comment by Brandon | 09.30.2010 | 9:18 am

    I was leaving a voice message for someone when I scrolled down to that first photo of the mountains. I completely lost my train of thought for the message because it was a view I love and miss from my childhood growing up in La Sal. Thanks for sharing, Chuck! (and Fatty!)

  6. Comment by Michael in TN | 09.30.2010 | 9:33 am

    Sweet lord. I am normally not squeamish when it comes to stuff like this. But I seriously almost threw up when I scrolled down to the “flapper.” 26 miles with that thing flapping in the wind? No way.

  7. Comment by rjb | 09.30.2010 | 9:44 am

    I just have one thing to say….


    That is all. Carry on.

  8. Comment by Brandy | 09.30.2010 | 9:51 am

    Gooooo! I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
    Oh my, you can’t unsee something like that.


    On a beter note, Fatty you are going to LOVE the Levi’s Grand Fondo Route. Have fun!


  9. Comment by GJ Jackie | 09.30.2010 | 9:51 am

    Bummer Scot – did you have to miss out on the most awesome Porcupine Rim Singletrack?

    And didn’t anyone in the group (especially your tour guide) carry some bandaids/first aid tape/ duct tape? That’s a dusty 26 miles on the dirt road back to Moab.

  10. Comment by Chris | 09.30.2010 | 9:59 am

    Wow I’m pretty good with gore, but that one left me feeling a little queasy :S

    And hey you’re coming to the Grand Fondo! Don’t be a stranger, if you see a guy in a Team Fatty Jersey talking with a funny accent then it’s probably me!

  11. Comment by km | 09.30.2010 | 9:59 am

    Huh, compared to Chuck’s injury your knee incident seems a bit girly in comparision doesn’t it?…..doesn’t it?

  12. Comment by Jim | 09.30.2010 | 9:59 am

    Memo to Self:

    1) No getting into knife fights with Chuck from Ibis.

    2) That is all.

  13. Comment by MattC | 09.30.2010 | 10:07 am

    I think I’d be crying like a baby, right up until I got the required amount of sympathy from my wife…and then I think riding the next day would be a show of manliness, which would get a nice show of awe (and concern…for my craziness). I have never seen any injury even close to that (thankfully!)…hope I never do. But I sure think I’d be wrapping the ‘flapper’ up w/ a strip from my jersey if nothing else was available..surely I wouldn’t ride even 2 feet with that thing flapping in the breeze. I bet the ‘cleaning’ at the hospital was a bunch of fun (NOT!) are ‘Da MAN!

    And Fatty…sorry I won’t be joining you in the Gran Fondo…I gave my slot away to a friend…I’m on work-travel starting Monday for 2 to 3 weeks…unavoidable. Have a safe fun ride up there!

  14. Comment by Wayward | 09.30.2010 | 10:10 am

    I’m normally convinced that if you don’t come home from the woods with skin-leaks, you just haven’t had enough fun. But there is a limit. That little divot is a tad on the high side of just enough. I had to have a motorcycle before I ever acquired that much damage. Ahhh…the joys of the forest!

  15. Comment by MattC | 09.30.2010 | 10:12 am

    Oh…and if there’s any fellow ‘Fatties’ in the Colo Springs area who wouldn’t mind some rides with an out-of-stater, I’d love to hear from you. Mt bike is pre-shipped…vaguely recall some trails from years back that I rode: Capt. Jacks, Chutes and Colombine come to mind. Also weekday evening stints in Palmer Park were quite fun.

  16. Comment by zeeeter | 09.30.2010 | 10:31 am

    I so want to unsee that!

    Owiee, no amount of Dora band-aids are gonna help with that one!

  17. Comment by Jesse | 09.30.2010 | 11:02 am


    But maybe…just maybe…I mean, I know it would take a lot away from the hardcore reputation here…he ought to consider riding with a first aid kit?

    I know, I know. Silly idea, forget I said anything.

  18. Comment by steventoby | 09.30.2010 | 11:06 am


  19. Comment by TomE | 09.30.2010 | 11:10 am

    Looks like an attack from the Land Shark….

  20. Comment by coffee | 09.30.2010 | 11:26 am

    Chicks dig scars, and that one will be a chick magnet!

  21. Comment by Alex | 09.30.2010 | 11:37 am

    So I guess I missed it……Did they get icecream after the ride or not?

  22. Comment by Jeff | 09.30.2010 | 11:47 am

    Those pictures may be worse than the ones of The Botched Experiment’s chainsaw botch up.

  23. Comment by roan | 09.30.2010 | 11:52 am

    WOW ! Should have had the doc make a little pocket…great place to store your car key. OR a mayo pack should you need to buck up.

  24. Comment by mark | 09.30.2010 | 12:06 pm

    I’ve had worse. OK, maybe not worse. But comparable.

  25. Comment by badbeard | 09.30.2010 | 1:38 pm

    Awesome smiley!

  26. Comment by Alison Wonderland | 09.30.2010 | 2:11 pm

    See, now if he rode with duct tape on his seat stem he wouldn’t have had to ride with the flapper. That may have taken a little bit away from the story but may have added to his comfort. I guess we all make choices.

  27. Comment by Tommy F | 09.30.2010 | 2:56 pm

    And I had almost convinced myself into purchasing my first mountain bike…do they come with shin guards?

  28. Comment by Tommy F | 09.30.2010 | 2:57 pm

    Or….If he had been on his $75 Wal-Mart bike this wouldn’t have happened…

  29. Comment by Dicky | 09.30.2010 | 3:20 pm


  30. Comment by NYCCarlos | 09.30.2010 | 3:54 pm


  31. Comment by Matt | 09.30.2010 | 4:25 pm

    That photo is horrible – there’s an Ellsworth in it!

    (I kid, I kid – I retired my much loved Ellsworth for a Mojo last year).

  32. Comment by Heidi | 09.30.2010 | 5:01 pm

    Ack! My eyes, my eyes!

  33. Comment by Anonymous | 09.30.2010 | 5:12 pm

    I look at that and come to a realization.

    I’m such a sissy. I’d have needed a life flight helicopter.

  34. Comment by Moka | 09.30.2010 | 7:28 pm

    That was so gnarley! And very well wriiten. Somehow I totally found humor in his spirit!

  35. Comment by bykjunkie | 09.30.2010 | 7:44 pm

    awesome story with your interjection. chicks dig scars. biger question though…..has twinsix shipped our Fatty Gear this week?

  36. Comment by Dr Bryce | 09.30.2010 | 8:54 pm

    That is why I chose out of any blood and guts for my profession! That was ucky!

  37. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 09.30.2010 | 9:50 pm

    Wow. Just wow.

  38. Comment by cece | 09.30.2010 | 9:55 pm

    URGH! That gave me the shivers. How did he handle this so matter of factly?

  39. Comment by LidsB2 | 09.30.2010 | 10:10 pm

    I’ve got a scar on my left shin that’s quite similar to Chuck’s. It’s the result of me hitting a barbed wire fence on a motorcycle many moons ago when I was 12. Only with mine the “flapper” just kind of slid back so it looked like I had a 3 inch x 3 inch patch of skin missing from my leg. It was an instant bone/muscle/nerve anatomy lesson — a window into my leg, if you will. My brothers were looking all around the fence for the missing piece so the doc might sew it back on. When the doc finally got a look at it, he just grabbed my calf and pulled the skin back into place. Thirty stitches later I was all fixed up. I still have a prominent dent in my leg though — and the chicks dig it.

  40. Comment by denise | 09.30.2010 | 10:35 pm

    So when I crash someday does this mean that I can send you the photo & story and you’ll post it, with commentary?

  41. Comment by Dan O | 09.30.2010 | 11:12 pm

    The smiley face was the topper – sweet.

    Man, that really is some wound – “the flapper” – awesome.

  42. Comment by Jim Miller | 10.1.2010 | 1:54 am

    I can relate to that injury…in1990 I was riding a motorcycle and got hit by a drunk driver. Got left with about 12 inches of scar and didn’t walk without crutches for about 5 months

  43. Comment by stu | 10.1.2010 | 2:13 am


    That certainly makes Fatty’s injury posting the day before look a bit wussy!

  44. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 10.1.2010 | 5:26 am

    As soon as someone draws a smiley face you know it’s going to be OK.

  45. Comment by Squirrelhead | 10.1.2010 | 6:31 am

    Oh man, that is a seriously wicked wound! I thought the combined commentary was very funny. Nicknaming the would the flapper and then giving it a face was hilarious.

  46. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 10.1.2010 | 6:37 am

    The first thing I thought when I saw this post was that Fatty had somehow injured his already injured knee even worse. Glad that’s not the case, but sorry for Chuck!

    Wow! The inside of a leg is both fascinating and horrifying. I can’t imagine riding 26 miles with exposed muscle like that, dust flying up and sticking to it… I probably would have made a makeshift bandage out of my sock or something. Hard core.

  47. Comment by Wes | 10.1.2010 | 7:27 am

    that’s disgusting… but chicks dig scars ;-)

  48. Comment by Rob | 10.1.2010 | 8:28 am

    pussies, i would’ve ridden the hike-a-bike with the flapper.

    chuck’s getting soft(er)

  49. Comment by Matt Langridge | 10.1.2010 | 9:39 am

    To steal a quote from The Black Knight- “It’s just a flesh wound”

    Nice one though Chuck.

    Carry on.

    Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK.

  50. Comment by Doug (WAY upstate NY) | 10.1.2010 | 9:44 am

    That’s going to leave a mark!

  51. Comment by Andrew Oakland | 10.1.2010 | 11:35 am

    I LOLed hard at the smiley face! Can I marry that nurse?

  52. Comment by Janie_k, Tooting UK | 10.1.2010 | 3:00 pm

    Jeez, that flap must have ruined his aerodynamic profile on the ride back into town. Bummer…

  53. Comment by Rider | 10.2.2010 | 10:36 am

    Was Chuck still high from the drugs they gave him for injury or was it something else that he could go on a ride the next day after that incident?


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