We took a couple of newbies for a trail ride to Pargadh. On the way down, one of them lay his Duke sideways, but held on to it for some reason, stubbornly refusing to let go. I watched for a while as he struggled to get the bike back up and then decided to intervene before he did himself harm. I walked down to him and asked him to let go of the bike and pose for a picture. He must have thought I’ve gone bonkers or something. But there was a reason I asked him to let the bike down and take a break.
When you have a fall you feel a sudden rush of adrenaline. One of the things this hormone does is contracts your blood vessels and redirects blood towards your major muscles, heart and lungs. It’s your brain’s way of sending reinforcements when it realizes that the body is fighting a losing battle. This results in increased strength coupled with heavy breathing which makes you think that you can fight and win the battle. This is as much a mind game as it is a body thing.
The downside of an adrenaline rush is you may not feel the pain in parts of your body which may actually be injured. In this case, the rider may have pulled a muscle. But he wouldn’t realize it due to the adrenaline pumping through his body. If I had let him yank at his bike in that twisted position, he may have injured himself some more. In fact, if he wasn’t injured before, he could have injured himself just trying to straighten up his bike.
Posing for a picture is just our way of having riders take a break and let the adrenaline rush subside. We also advise that you don’t pick your bike up all by yourself. If possible wait for someone to come and help. We usually make small talk with the rider and discuss how the incident happened. The rider is always eager to pick the bike up as soon as possible and continue riding. His mind is thinking about the battle that needs to be won and wants to get on with it. But once you understand what’s really going on you realize that its better to relax and take it easy.
Please feel free to share this among your riding buddies. It may save someone a lot of trouble recovering from a sprained muscle or a torn ligament.