Hastings Bites Back

In BMX, every great reward bares an equally great consequence. Anyone whose been in the game long enough has risked it at some point and rolled snake eyes.

The cost? Blood. Bruises. Sometimes significantly more. Hastings skatepark is no exception to the rule, in fact its the reason why some weigh the consequence higher than the reward and chose to sit one out. And who are we to judge, there’s no shame in it especially if you’ve had the misfortune of coming short inside Hastings bowl.

A few weeks ago I was at Hastings and got to see someone pay the price for getting rad. I didn’t see the event itself but I got to bare witness to the aftermath:

Carlos Mantilla and Paul Buchanan (yep the one and only man of mystery) just happened to be on location at the time of said incident and luckily so for this chap. This is Shannon and according to what Paul and Carlos saw, Shannon was riding on the back ‘street’ section practicing Tail Taps on a 5 1/2 foot quarter.  On one attempt his front wheel washed out on his return into the quarter. That small slide out was enough to send him from the top of the quarter directly to his face and chin.

Although conscious, Shannon couldn’t quite place how he had come to be sitting on a ledge being surrounded by us. The last thing he remembered was coming at the quarter pipe. He knew roughly where he was but there were definate signs that his memory had been compromised. After Shannon asked for the 6th or 7th time what happened, Paul B called an ambulance to come check up on him.

An obvious sign of concussion is an inability to retain new information, this was clearly the case in Sahnnons situation combined with dizzyness, a loss of balance and not being able to remember the event itself. Emergency response was fast and professional.

Above is the last known photo of Paul B., international man of mystery.

I hope that as you read this you don’t assume that this is a rubber necking post for people to gawk at some blood although there are some in here. Rather this is meant to make you think and consider some aspects of our culture for a second:

Firstly, Don’t be afraid to call for help. If someone whacks there head 99% of the time they have a concussion even if they don’t get knocked unconscious. Many a boxer has woken up dead the morning after a fight even though they were conscious, social and alert the entire duration after the event. Some people don’t show the layman’s symptoms of a concussion but a simple rule of thumb is a knock to the head is a knock to the head!

Second is macho-ism and a general attitude that most of us have where we consider ourselves ‘tough’ or ‘hard’ for shredding with injury. Although your pain tolerance  may be high you’re comprise your injury and your success of a full recovery from it ultimately leading to more time off the bike. That macho ‘walk it off’ mentality is the crap that’s present in almost all  internationally formalized sports and has ended many a career for young aspiring athletes. I don’t know about you but I got into this sport to get away from that jock mentality so why aren’t we wising up? I don’t know about you but I want to be shredding well after my 40’s and I don’t mind swallowing my pride to do so.

Third, there’s no shame in backing out of something if you feel out of your comfort level or you’re just not 100% on the day. Peer pressure is all good but don’t let someone talk you into something you aren’t feeling good about. Sit on it for a while, come back to the challenge when you’re 100% and ‘feeling it’ rather than knock your teeth out.

Lastly, is the whole helmet stance. There’ no shame in wearing the skid lid, especially when you’re trying something new or feeling a little nervous. If you must go helmetless for the clip, at least try your shit with the lid on till you dial it in and get it 100% confident, where’s the shame in that?

Shannon pictured above was wearing his helmet when he did a simple Tire Tap from a medium sized quarter and he ended up with a concussion and a couple nasty Hastings filled gashes. Imagine where he might be if he weren’t wearing it. We need look no further than Mike Aitken, Brian Yeagle and the other elite riders who keep dropping off the map due to helmetless injuries to see there might be a need for a shift in attitudes.

Juolian (sorry I don’t know how to spell his name), Carlos’ boy, promoting good riding habits. Carlos is no stranger to the consequences of Hastings bowl and is an advocate for the ‘sit one out and heal up’ mentality as he has worked hard to come out the other side of a serious knee surgery to reap the fruits of his labour and is shredding his whip once again.

If you made it to this sentence and persevered through my ranting then thank you for reading, I appreciate your dillegence.

3 Responses to “Hastings Bites Back”
  1. luisalmazan says:

    Flairs, flipwhips and frontflips brah

  2. Oompa says:

    Good words Moffat! Trust me you’ll be riding well into your 40’s but you’ll never catch me wahoo!!!!

  3. If it’s coming from the legendary Oompa then it has to be true and I can look forward to my 20’s for years to come! Think I’ll have to start a veterans club on this site, make sure I put that raggedy Manconi on top and surly Palmer just behind him hahah. Good to hear from you Oompa.

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 3 other subscribers