OK, I'm back. I'll pick up where the video ends and later come back to discuss how and why I think I managed to ride off that freakin' cliff.
First off, let me mention that my vivid memory ends at the point I'm riding up that step. I remember that my front wheel went where I wanted it to, then I have a vague "oh f*ck, this isn't going to end well" memory, then nothing. My next memories probably begin 10 minutes after the video ends.
My buddy Darrell (Kawtipper) isn't any slower than me, but doesn't like any dust so usually hangs back quite a bit when I'm leading. He said he saw me make a left turn in the distance. When he got to the step he actually stopped to choose his line (further right than mine) before continuing, totally oblivious that I was semi-conscious, not 20 feet away. He rode a bit further, then became concerned that (a) there was no left turn in the road and (b) I usually wait after challenging sections. So Darrell returned a few minutes later and found me sitting on the side of the road.
Fearing the worst, he was obviously relieved I was conscious and had been able to make it up to the road on my own power. I think he said I had already removed my jacket when he arrived and then he proceeded to check me for injuries. He said I was clenched up and complaining about pain in my left side ribs
This is about the time where my memory picks up again. As a realized what just happened I think I then went into shock. I remember feeling like I was going to puke and rolled over to my knees, curled up in a ball with my arms wrapped around my stomach and chest. I knew I had taken a severe impact and was worried about possible internal, head, neck or spinal injuries that I might not be feeling yet with all my focus on my rib pain. At that point I made the decision to ask Darrell to press the 911 button on my SPOT unit. I think I was in this shock/nausea stage for about 15-20 minutes.
During this time two riders on quads came up the trail. One stayed with me while the other guy and Darrell went down to check out my bike.They stood it back up and carried all of my luggage up to the road. Darrell said the bike was probably totaled and my GPS was in pieces. As I was slowly becoming more verbal, Darrell was comfortable enough to leave me with the quad guys and rode up out of the canyon to the interstate (maybe 3 miles away) to see if he could get a cell signal. Note that even on the interstate this was in the middle of nowhere.
Darrell called 911 and got confirmation that help had been mobilized due to the SPOT 911 alert and he was able to provide more information about the situation and my condition. He then called my wife and his wife to give them an update. This was smart as the SPOT call center folks called Sherry to say the 911 button had been pressed and she had called Darrell's wife, but they had no more details until Darrell had called to let them know it was me who was hurt, but was conscious and without obvious traumatic injuries. Darrell then returned to my location.
Maybe 70-80 minutes after pressing the 911 button, a small bike came up the trail and the rider asked if this was the accident scene. A few minutes later two more bikes came up with two EMS folks as passengers and they proceeded to check me over. The noticed my breathing was labored and hooked me up to an oxygen tank and put on a neck brace as a precaution.
Maybe 15 minutes later a bigger quad came down the trail. I think it belonged to the Sheriff's department. It was a side by side type with backboard mounted over the passenger side. They strapped me in and I had a very painful 30 minute ride up to the interstate where an ambulance awaited.
(Sorry I'm a slow writer. More tomorrow)
We can't crash an infinite amount of times, so you better learn from every one! (by ARZ)