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REX TESTS THE TIMBER

 

Showing good taste, Rex's choice of bedside table reading matter shows his enthusiasm is not dented any more than the tree was. Showing good taste, Rex's choice of bedside table reading matter shows his enthusiasm is not dented any more than the tree was.

Our friend Rex was out there doing things we all do on our bikes. He was seeing how fast he could go down a piece of trail he was familiar with. Or he was seeing if he could ride down a trail he wasn’t familiar with. The inherent problem with either of these activities is that he would eventually find out - perhaps the speed dialled was too fast, or maybe he couldn’t ride down that trail, not today anyway, and not without crashing.

I wasn’t there, but I believe a handlebar snicked a tree just before a dropoff, causing a modified trajectory that brought another tree into play, so it sounds like the speed scenario was the one being tested.

The thing with trees, as Coxy once pointed out to me when I was laid out on a trail unable to breathe, is that if you cut one in half they are wood all the way through. Run into one headfirst at any sort of pace and you will have concussion, and if you are really pinning it, a broken neck.

That is what Rex did.

Rex is a man of style, his career is in the other end of fashion from the lowly rung occupied by mountain bike shorts makers, so his first act after having his new neck-brace fitted was to snap a selfie showing how it set off his ancient Nzo Classic shorts. And arrange for it to get on to Facebook with the terse message, neck broken, all good, see you soon. More or less.

The expected torrent of sympathy and derision ensued, and we all watched the situation tensely as the medicos worked through an observation period, an operation, and what I would guess would be an admonishment regarding running into trees.

Rex was right, he was lucky, the surgeons were skillful, and all is well.

What we liked best about the whole bad thing was Rex’s report post-panelbeating: it all went well, got some scars, hugely grateful to everybody and especially my lovely wife, going out bike riding asap.

Don’t be talking to Rex about giving that bike riding stuff up. Maybe get him to minimise the bike riding stuff-ups.