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Cannell Plunge first timers, bloody pics inside ;)

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by tgreathead, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. tgreathead Member

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    Nagaredama and I did the Cannell Plunge for the first time on Sunday. It was unusual that the trail was still rideable this time of year since its usually covered in snow by November.

    We packed up the car and headed to Kernville.


    We arrived less than 3 hours later at the Lake Isabella Motel, can't beat $62 a night out the door :)


    The pool area (closed, darn):


    The 'lower' parking lot:


    The room was pretty small but clean and the beds were surprisingly comfortable. There wasn't a lot of room to move around with 2 bikes inside (I'm up against the wall):


    We decided to head down the the local spot for a drink to finish off the night. Shot some pool, got a free drink from a local and met the bartending sisters:


    Next morning we packed up and ate breakfast at the only place in town that was open. Nagaredama ordered the special, "1/2 ham & eggs." Turns out it was supposed to read a half pound of ham. It looked more like half a pig!! That thing was freaking huge!


    Met up with the others and drove to the top (our local rider Gene's mom was our shuttle driver. Thanks!)


    Unfortunately, as I've seen in many Plunge reports, I didn't get any riding pics. There's so much ground to cover that we had to just keep moving the whole time. Here we are taking a break while enjoying the amazing scenery:




    And that's when it happened. Nagaredama was in front of me and I saw him boost off a little lip that was in the trail. When I came to it I did the same and rode away into the clear straightaway ahead. Well, I thought it was clear. There was a dead branch about as thick as my wrist crossing right through the trail in front of me. I swerved as much as I could but any more would have sent me off the trail to a nasty fall. I'm used to wearing armor so I figured I would just tuck and take the hit hoping the branch would break.
    It didn't break.
    It smacked the edge of my hand hard and snagged my arm. One of the broken twigs had left a mini-stump that did the damage. I looked down and saw an unfamiliar sight: muscle tissue and fat.
    Oops.


    Luckily my wife had given me a small first aid kit last year for christmas. I whipped it out, cleaned the would and bandaged it up. Surprisingly it didn't hurt too bad, just stung a little. My hand was a different story. It felt like my pinky was broken but I could still move it. May have fractured my hand or knuckle but I'll find out tomorrow when I go to my doctor :) It hurt to grip the bars but luckily we were just finishing the rockiest part of the ride.

    We stopped for lunch on a nice rock formation. Nagaredama and I both brought canned fish but forgot forks. I opted to dump my tuna into my mouth. He, being much more civilized, used a Pedros tire lever to eat his salmon ;)


    (note Nagaredama's sweet helmet hair)


    Back on the trail my arm felt fine although it was starting to bleed through the bandage and the sports wrap Ian let me use (thanks Ian!). Hand pain would come and go, mostly dependent on how much fun I was having to keep my mind off it.

    We reached "The Plunge" and hit the best view of the ride:


    That's the last trail picture I took. Nagaredama took a couple which I'll add once I get them.It was fun, nothing too crazy although I was feathering the brakes most of the time. The elevation loss is so drastic that i never had to pedal, only let off the brakes for an instant speed boost.

    We finished up the ride and went our separate ways. I wanted to get my arm looked at to see if I needed stitches. It still didn't really hurt but I wanted to make sure. We opted to go to the hospital in town with hopes of faster service than back home in LA.
    They were just hopes.
    Walked in at 4:30, walked out at 8:45. They said I'd be in and out until they heard it happened on dead wood which carries a lot of bacteria. Thus began the four hour process of numbing, cleaning, scrubbing, X-raying, numbing, scrubbing, numbing and finally stitching.


    Turns out I needed 10 stitches but since it was a bad area for movement he double stitched it. 20 stitches for one lousy branch. I didn't even mention my hand since I still had mobility (although it stiffened up as the hours passed) and I didn't want to spend another minute there.
    I'm glad they took the time to do it right, I'm just sorry that Nagaredama had to wait so damn long.
    Here's the finished product:


    We'll definitely be doing the Plunge again next year. I need to work on my climbing before next time though, I walked a few too many hills.
    Special thanks to everyone on the ride for making it a great time :cheers:
    #1
  2. Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    That is, perhaps, the best looking breakfeast ever. It needs to be buried in fresh maple syrup. Sorry to hear about your arm, but seeing that breakfeast must have been worth the 20 stitches.
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  3. PatBranch New Member

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    :stupid: That breakfast looks good. Those pics with blood are sick.

    That looks like a fun area to ride. I've only been there twice, both times to kayak the Kern.
    #3
  4. bizutch Delicate CUSTOM flower

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    canned fish....on a ride? huh?
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  5. Heidi Der hund ist laut und braun

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    I love that ride, great fun but I've always just had a little xc race bike.
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  6. 1000-Oaks New Member

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    Great trail!

    Last year at the Kernville Fat Tire Festival a guy fell on Alta Sierra and a cut-off branch stabbed his neck, made a serious hole. Very lucky it didn't hit an artery, he would have bled out on the trail.
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  7. mandown Poopdeck Repost

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    lots of meat in this report.
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  8. tgreathead Member

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    Its a lot of riding, need to get lots of protein in. Some people bring sandwiches but I like plain tuna so I just eat it straight :banana:
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  9. tgreathead Member

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    Hahahaha:spam:
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  10. rpet Active Member

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    that ride is so epic. no one got injured on my trip there, but I nearly bonked, and we got a random T-storm out of a cloudless August sky.

    I've only done it once, but this post is making me homesick.
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  11. InsideMan New Member

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    where is this place?
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  12. Captain Cogset New Member

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    Kernville, CA. Which is in the mountains east of Bakersfield.
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  13. Nagaredama Active Member

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    Canned Salmon is awesome. Beats gnawing on some nasty energy bar .

    If I had the time to finish my entire pig I would not have needed it.
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  14. Nagaredama Active Member

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    There were tons of nasty looking dead branches just inches off the trail on dead trees. If I lived up there it would worth spending a day with a saw getting rid of them.

    There were also about 5 downed trees across the trail that our local guy said were new. Tons of random broken branches on the trail just wanting to get caught on your derailleur or in your wheel.

    Still a killer ride!
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  15. tgreathead Member

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    *ARM UPDATE*
    I saw my usual doctor to check up on my arm and everything's looking good. However he informed me that if the cut had been a half inch to the right it would have hit an artery!!! HOLY SH*IT!!! I had no idea how lucky I was to have just a cut. It freaks me out that something so simple could have caused me to bleed out on the trail.
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  16. Total Heckler Beer and Bike Enthusiast

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    Sounds like a fun trip -the injury. Pretty brutal looking. I did the same thing to my leg a couple years ago. Seeing skin, muscle, and fat is always exciting.
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  17. Summit New Member

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    Nice work and thanks for the pics. Naga I see you chose the AS-X over the 575...nice. I can't believe how much more trailworthy mine is with the 66 eta.

    Also did anyone notice that guy in the background? He's on a red K2/Proflex with what is either a Jr. or Super T??? WTF?! I used to have one of those back in the day and that is a total xc bike...heh.
    #17
  18. bizutch Delicate CUSTOM flower

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    now that we are part picking...how weird is it to see a pair of Red Hot S's on a DH trailride? 'ping"
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  19. Nagaredama Active Member

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    AS-X was the right choice. The 575 would have been way too light. There were a couple spots that I wish I had the 575 for climbing.

    No ETA on my 66.

    Yeah the local guy Gene was rocking a K2 900 with a Jr. T up front. He was killing to too.
    #19
  20. chillindrdude Active Member

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    nice ride, that hotel looks like a place you'd take hookers to tho... (not that i know)

    i always keep "trauma" kit in my car. small 1 cubic foot plastic box of bandages, gauze, betadine, scapel, tweezers, latex gloves, sutures, lidocaine, etc. also, think about getting one of those small military "Blow Out Kits (BOKs)". small foil lined sterile vacuum packed mini first aid kit that you can just throw in your camelbak. cuz' you never know.
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  21. Summit New Member

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    Yep it always seems to be the slightly 'off' people with crazy setups that do kill it...hah. (not saying he is 'off', just a general observation I've had over the years)
    #21