Are these things worth it? UPDATE !!



17 replies to this topic
  • feetup&sliding

Posted June 17, 2002 - 07:59 AM

#1

Heres an update on Mike Garzoli, the subject of this post.
On Thursday June 20, Dr. Bruce McCormack at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco
performed a pretty radical laminectomy on his back. The procedure involved straightening his spine then placing
Ti rods down the sides of the spine through holes drilled in the vertabrae and somehow
hooking them to the vertabrae. He also had to have a bone graft taken from his hip(which hurts as bad or worse than
the the incision in his back-which starts at the most prominent vertabrae at the top of your shoulders below your neck and goes
all the way dow his spine to the bottom of his shoulder bades). He is still in the hospital and I am not sure when he will get to go home.
He has been walking a little and seems to be doing as good as expected. He got pretty shook up this morning when the Dr. told him how close
he came to being a quadrapalegic(SP?) or even dead.

Just to address a few things from this post.....we have both been riding for over 20 years, Mike was a pretty successful local racer in the 250 intermediate class several years ago and
definately knew his way around an MX track. Neither of us were doing anything recklessly, and had been practicing this whoop section for over a half an hour. He just took a bad line on a tired and worn out bike(1991 CR250 he has had since new)
We were both wearing all of our protective gear with the exception of neck braces
(funny I posted this topic a while back- http://www.thumperta...=29&t=002274&p= )
BTW- If I ride again it won't be without a neck brace- I think in this case it may have minimized some of the damage Mike sustained due to the fact it was a compression type fracture from landing on his head.
Finally, I would like to thank all who responded to this post and took the time to email him, it helps. I also want to thank Dr. McCormack and the California Pacific Medical Center for absolutely top notch service. Trust me if you live in Northern California
and find yourself in a similar situation (god forbid) do yourself a favor and request Dr. McCormack and the CPMC; after speaking with him about my bro's injuries and what he did to fix it without paralyzing him, he is truly the Ricky Carmichael of neurosurgery.

Thanks again for all your support guys(&gals)!!


I have a wife and two kids, good job and a CRF450. Last October I broke my knee and was out for 3 months. I had good insurance, and financially I was OK. My knee will hurt forever. YESTERDAY-FATHERSDAY- I met my younger brother(30 years old- two sons) at a track halfway between our homes (2hrs). On the last lap of the day(the track was empty perfect fathers day)he swapped ends in the whoops and landed on his head, splitting a new Moto 6. He took the ambulance ride and found that he had broken 4 or 5 (i cant remember the number) vertabrae in his back, one completely disintegrated. His spinal cord is in tact and so far he is not paralyzed. As I write this, neuro surgeons are coming up with a plan, which will likely involve surgery and rods in his spine. He is the sole provider for his family, his wife works part time here and there but raises the kids(the kids ride too). He has no sick time through his employer, and mediocre insurance(the kind that pays 80%)HE was lying in the ER with his kids sobbing at his bedside and tears running down his face as he said "it just isn't worth it".
So I ask you guys is it?

I got back on after I broke my knee but, now I think i may finally hang it up for good.

All this after a play day at the track for fathers day.

His name is Mike Garzoli and can be emailed at zado@saber.net

[ June 24, 2002: Message edited by: feetup&sliding ]

  • YZeezee

Posted June 17, 2002 - 08:19 AM

#2

I think you post a valid question and one that a lot of people probably struggle with. My wife has similar concerns and has made them quite well known. My answer for her is that I don't do motorcross (trails only), and just have to assure her that I do everything I can to be safe. I'm an avid snowboarder, mtn biker, and driver of I-25 through Denver each day, and don't consider motox or trails any more dangerous than those "sports". I'm 29 and no kids yet, but when they do get here, I'll really have to re-evaluate what my interests are. As for your brother, my prayers are certainly with him-as I'm sure everyone's are who are on TT. Obviously there is no clear-cut answer, just make sure you're the one making the decision and not someone or some event making it for you-by then it may be too late... Again, sorry to hear about your bro-I wish him and his family the best.

  • Gee

Posted June 17, 2002 - 08:25 AM

#3

I too am a father of three, my wife does not work and I am the sole provider. I too have had some of these same thoughts. I have broke both collar bones, broke my ankle and herniated a disk in my back, all separate incidents. ALL of these occurred while riding on a track, I no longer ride on the track, I strictly trail ride and no longer try to be the fastest guy out there, I've not been hurt in over three years and have logged several thousand trail miles in that time.
Keep on riding, just slow down and stay away from motocross tracks!

  • clarkster

Posted June 17, 2002 - 08:26 AM

#4

i think I-25 is far more dangerous than ANY motocross track...

  • YAMAKAZE

Posted June 17, 2002 - 08:52 AM

#5

First of all, My deepest Heart Felt Condolences to you and your family.

An accident of this magnitude is never taken into consideration when you are doing something that you truly love. Sometimes we tend to forget that we are mere mortals and sometimes when the moment is not right can be subject to severe consequences of our actions. I as well as many others including yourself have pushed the boundries of our abilities on occaision and have been rewarded with pain because of our actions. This sport for many of us is in the blood....There is something about riding the beast at mach 4 with our hair on fire that keeps the fires of our youth stoked. It is something that for the majority of us over the age of 30 cannot control, the exhiliration consumes us...Monday thru Friday we can do nothing except watch the calendar and wonder why the weekend takes so long to arrive. I'm ready to go at 5am on the Saturday or Sunday I've scheduled to ride...I hate it when the sun starts to drop knowing that it's going to be another week before I can ride again. You know what I'm talking about. There does however come a time when you have to decide what is an acceptable risk for you and your family....For me it was last year when I lost control on a whoops section and ripped a calf muscle from the ankle to the knee on a MX track. I was lucky and had a good friend MXTUNER who helped me see the consequences of what could have been at 43 years old. I could not give up riding but found something a little less likely to kill me in GNCC Racing. Granted the possibility of injury still exhists but I'm in it for the thrill of the race, not to be #1 in the country. I guess my point here is, that there are things that you can do to minimize your risk and still find satisfaction in motorcycle riding.

At times when we are hurting wether it's us, a friend, or a loved one, we ask ourselves why and is it worth it. The answer for me even in 1979 when I wrecked and had to have 2 Vertabrae fused together, was yes, even if I were to never ride again the feeling of freedom and exhiliration was worth it.

There have been numerous medical breakthroughs in reconstructive surgery. Look on the positive side of this unfortunite situation, His spinal cord is in tact, my friend that is a miracle in its self. the chances of disentigrating a disk and not injuring the cord are phenominal. His life is not over but mearly temporarally placed in the slow lane. Considering the severity of the injury, your description offers hope for a full recovery. That is good news.

The thoughts and prayers of my family will be with yours. My God Grant your Brother a speedy recovery.

Bonzai

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted June 17, 2002 - 10:05 AM

#6

Feetup, I am very sorry to hear about your brother's accident. He is very lucky in one way. He still has the feeling in his extremities. I have been through several minor injuries myself, and several fairly serious ones with my two sons. I have been where you are right now, and I wondered about whether it is worth it.
My conclusions were that it is worth it if you minimize the risks, and if it enrichens your life. Like anything else, including daily commutes on the highway, it can be dangerous. In my case, it gets me lots of time with two teenage sons who otherwise would be finding things to do without me. Some of those things might be even more dangerous than dirt biking.
In my younger years in desert racing and motocross, we sort of looked down on enduro riders. Not any more. I think they might be the smartest of all who compete on motorcycles (except, maybe trials riders). I have gotten my sons involved in club enduros, and it is probably the best thing going for our purposes. They also do some light motocross, and that does concern me. My fear is if they try to emulate the supercross pros, and ride newer tracks (with huge jumps and whoops) as if they were competing at that level.
So, there are some situations where it is well worth the risks that we all take when we swing a leg over the beast.
Good luck with your brother. Wish him well from all 10,000 of us here at TT. And good luck with whatever decision you make on your riding future.
Dan

  • EricZ

Posted June 17, 2002 - 11:51 AM

#7

Every year since I started riding, I pondered that same question. At the end of each season when I winterize the sport bike and begin to tear apart the dirt bike/quad/whatever for maintenance, I breathe a huge sigh of relief that I made it through another year without a major crash. I feel like I've gambled all riding season and won by walking out of the casino with my health intact. I relax in the comfort of knowing that I can't get hurt riding for a few months while the bikes are stored. Each Winter I reflect and think that maybe it isn't worth the risk. My job regularly exposes me to tradgedies similar and sometimes worse even than the one your brother is living. Tradgedies that make me think that my life and health are too precious to risk over a hobby. An expensive hobby at that.

But at the beginning of each successive month the spark is rekindled by the various Motorags I subscribe to (including yours JLewis). Eventually the apprehension is replaced with excitement and interest again. I begin to realize how much my hobbies enrich my life. Finally, something triggers the desire again and the consequences get pushed aside, just like the bikes at the beginning of Winter. Who can forget the FOX/Doug Henry poster, "What's stopping you?" Or the "XTREME-Life's too short not to be!" type ads that flood our subculture. Not to mention all of the videos. They make it seem that if you aren't pushing yourself to the absolute edge and risking all then you aren't really living anyway. Sometimes it seems that my up-down cycle is endless.

As we all know, what we do for fun is dangerous and we must accept that or quit. Most of us are master of denial, but the truth is that it can happen to us. We also know that everyday life can be dangerous also. We've all heard the horror stories of normal people going about their day only to become victims of circumstance. My opinion rests with the age-old "everything in moderation" theory, including riding. Control your risks. Be realistic with yourself, your talents, your responsibilities and your goals. You can have just as much fun just sliding around a flat grass track on an XR200 with your kids as you can launching a triple on your CRF. Look at the whole picture of your life each time you saddle up and you will know when to limit yourself.

Remember, only you can decide if it's time to quit. Take your time and evaluate everything carefully. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

We all wish your brother,yourself and your family the absolute best and a speedy recovery. Keep us posted. Time heals all wounds. In time, both of you may well feel that spark again. Don't be ashamed of it. Good luck and God Bless.

  • Mark_UK

Posted June 17, 2002 - 02:04 PM

#8

its a good question.
if youve ever come off infront of your kids, and got bloody or broken, then had to comfort them to stop them crying. it become even harder still

motocross and super cross tracks are very dangerous places why have a double or tripple when a tabletop would do?

you read about it when a pro rider dies and it scares you and reminds you, that what we do for fun will always be inherently dangerous.

sometimes i beat myself up mentally for persuing such a selfish and dangerous sport.
i have a number of friends who have been paralysed through motorsport,,, your brother was lucky. i wish him a speedy recovery.

i think each time we race, we are rolling a dice

  • racemile

Posted June 17, 2002 - 02:26 PM

#9

Is It Worth it,

I love the camraderie that comes with this sport. I won't ride motocross or go to a track to tune in the bike. I know I wont jump that double much less that triple. That doesn't mean I don't live in awe of those of you who do have that kind of talent.

I love getting out in the deep woods with my family, It is one of the main reasons I ride. It brings me so much closer to my family that it is worth the risks I do take. I remember the fun times I had with my father out on the trails. These were some of the only times we got along. I think riding teaches you about yourself also. Sitting at the bottom of a scary hillclimb, and then working out exactly how you need to ride it to get up it, and then doing it, is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

This is such a dangerous game, but, the time I get to spend with my family, and the lessons a bike can teach you, are, I think, worth it. I live in fear of the day when my son trys moto cross, but, at the same time, I want him to be happy, some times there are risks with being happy. Do all you single guys out there use a condom everytime?

I am a competent woods rider, and a large feather bearing foul on a motocross course. I would not stop doing what I do even if my talents were reversed.

Best wishes for your brothers speedy and complete recovery.

Jason

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  • Roundel

Posted June 17, 2002 - 04:49 PM

#10

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I grew up with my 2 brothers riding every day on our little xr100's. Yeah, we took a few trips to the emergency room, but we healed. I like to think we are much wiser. (I know exactly how fast 50 mph is..) I still think it was one of the best experiences of my life... really good memorys too.

My twin brother quit riding last year after an incident at the motocross track. He was (in my opinion) riding foolishly and nosed in on the wrong side of a double. (four strokes don't fly as easily) He had some severe internal injurys and broke his cheek bone in three places. I too was thinking about quitting, my knees have been hurting more and more. I decided to let my bikes sit over the winter to think about it.

A friend of mine's brother went to the dentist the other day to have a tooth pulled. They gassed him, took out the tooth and all was well. He was waiting in the lobby and when it was time to go he stood up and then fainted. He apparently had fainted from the gas and had an aneurysm (sp?)from hitting his head. He fell into a coma and is still in the hospital. He is 29 and very physically acive.

I decided to keep riding, I love riding motorcycles. Life is too short, do what you want.


I was at an enduro a couple of weeks ago waiting inline for my minute to leave. I was talking to the guy next to me, he was 65 years old and had been racing enduro's for 30 years. In amazement, I asked how he was able to continue to race. He said with a smile "it's as dangerous as you make it."

those are words to live by. :)

  • Cabo-Cowboy

Posted June 17, 2002 - 05:22 PM

#11

We all hope Mike recovers 100%.I am very sorry to hear about his accident.
Is it worth it?That is a very personal decision.One that is sometimes only justifiable to ones self.
So the real question is,is it worth it to you.Life is short.We are all going to die.Some sooner than others.
For me,life is not a spectator sport.
Is it all worth it to me?
Yes it is,and my wife and son support me 100%.

  • SoCalWR426

Posted June 17, 2002 - 06:23 PM

#12

Speedy recovery to your brother, all here at TT will keep him in our hearts and prayers.... Is it worth it?.. Many people, both big and small have had to to ask that very same question of them selfs. Wether it is they who chose the circumstances or it was chosen for them. We don't need to look very far to find them, they are all around us and also include our selfs.. All I know is this, when I'm old (well really old) and I'm sitting in a wheelchair pooping my depends and drooling down my shirt. I don't ever want to look back on my life and say....Sh&^ I wish I woulda done that.. We are humans, thats what makes live interesting for us..
(Sorry to ramble,sorry for spelling/grammer errors)

SoCal

  • skippy

Posted June 18, 2002 - 12:12 AM

#13

Last october i had a nasty crash. I broke mostly everything, including lossing my splean. Which means being on tablets for the rest of my life & haveing injections every 9 months. I wasn't suspost to live through the surgery, they told my mother & my wife that it doesn't look promissing.
my heart was thrown around my chest bruising everything. after the surgery i died twise & they brought me back both times. i have a 2 inch scar on my throut there they had tubes breathing for me. I have a permanent filter just below my heart because my blood kept clotting up.
I could go on for hours with my injuries but beleave it or not but it is the best thing that has happened to me. I apprecate every minute of my life now. I have never been this happy before.
I see people who have everything & still can't bring themselves to smile.
I see life through differant eyes now.
when i go trail riding now i don't do it for the thrill but now i do it for the enjoyment.
A guy from work hit a tree 5 weeks ago & he is still in a coma. He puntured both lungs which means he went for 2 hours without much oxygen & he is showing signs of brain damage because of the lack of oxygen. His helmet broke on impact & cracked his skull pushing sharp bone into his brain. It doesn't look good for him .he is only 26 years old.
Trail bikes today are too fast. & there getting faster.-wr450- think about what you have today & what you have to lose just so you can go that fraction faster. Today your a hero & tomorrow your forgotton. But your family is still there with you.

  • Snapper

Posted June 18, 2002 - 03:29 PM

#14

This post reads a bit like one recently, "what is your worst dirtbike injury". No-one likes to get hurt and best wishes to anyone who does.

I busted my arm pretty bad in January, rode into two other bikes who had missed a corner on a fast sand trail, a fourth bike rode into the heap as well. Probably could have been avoided if we had been spaced a bit better and the first bloke had warned the rest of us.

Another bloke on the same trip busted his scaphoid the day before by trying to out jump someone on a huge "crusty style" sandhill jump. I did it once and stopped. he kept going bigger till he crashed.

The point - ride within your zone, and comfort.

There are freestyle ramps at a park where I ride - even if I had the balls I ask myslef - do I need to jump them?

Aside from a busted collarbone many years ago (falling of an ag bike inlong grass) my broken arm this year was my first busted bone on a bike in more that 20 years riding.

Like "feetup&sliding" I have a sore knee owing to bone grafts, nine pins and three bolts - I busted my leg dancing at the work xmas show!

All that aside if I wasn't riding I would probably be racing cars, waterkiing, snowskiing, 4WD'ing or dodging buses trying to get to the hardware store - whats more dangerous. Worst still I could be sitting at home drinking beer and Bundy Rum - also pretty risky long term.

I also wonder about the size and power of bikes - I still have a YZ80J at home - it was two powerfull for me when I was 12-14 and weighed 45kg, the new bikes are much more powerful and have jumped to 85cc - why? - 12-14 year old kids still weigh 45kg's don't they. I will have some concerns as if I am unfortunate enough to breed in the near future, it will be at least 12 years before they get an 80cc bike - the will probably be 105cc by then!

As far as the WR426 moving to WR450, I now weigh 100kgs (all muscle of course) so the power is not such an issue, and hopefully being slightly more grown up I use it with respect, but there has to be some limit.

Keep ridning - just don't ride like a snapperhead!

[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Snapper ]

  • Snapper

Posted June 18, 2002 - 03:31 PM

#15

This post reads a bit like one recently, "what is your worst dirtbike injury". No-one likes to get hurt and best wishes to anyone who does.

I busted my arm pretty bad in January, rode into two other bikes who had missed a corner on a fast sand trail, a fourth bike rode into the heap as well. Probably could have been avoided if we had been spaced a bit better and the first bloke had warned the rest of us.

Another bloke on the same trip busted his scaphoid the day before by trying to out jump someone on a huge "crusty style" sandhill jump. I did it once and stopped. he kept going bigger till he crashed.

The point - ride within your zone, and comfort.

There are freestyle ramps at a park where I ride - even if I had the balls I ask myslef - do I need to jump them?


Aside from a busted collarbone many years ago (falling of an ag bike inlong grass) my broken arm this year was my first busted bone on a bike in more that 20 years riding.

Like "feetup&sliding" I have a sore knee owing to bone grafts, nine pins and three bolts - I busted my leg dancing at the work xmas show!

All that aside if I wasn't riding I would probably be racing cars, waterkiing, snowskiing, 4WD'ing or dodging buses trying to get to the hardware store - whats more dangerous. Worst still I could be sitting at home drinking beer and Bundy Rum - also pretty risky long term.

I also wonder about the size and power of bikes - I still have a YZ80J at home - it was two powerfull for me when I was 12-14 and weighed 45kg, the new bikes are much more powerful and have jumped to 85cc - why? - 12-14 year old kids still weigh 45kg's don't they. I will have some concerns as if I am unfortunate enough to breed in the near future, it will be at least 12 years before they get an 80cc bike - the will probably be 105cc by then!

As far as the WR426 moving to WR450, I now weigh 100kgs (all muscle of course) so the power is not such an issue, and hopefully being slightly more grown up I use it with respect, but there has to be some limit.

Keep ridning - just don't ride like a snapperhead!

[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Snapper ]

  • PMAUST

Posted June 18, 2002 - 04:24 PM

#16

Damn, I just fumbled on the keyboard and lost a rather lengthy reply. I will keep your brother in my thoughts and prayers. I too have had to deal with these issues. But, without going into a long diatribe will only say, do what is right for you. After I wrestled with the same question, I chose to continue to do what I love for as long as I can. P

  • feetup&sliding

Posted June 24, 2002 - 07:41 PM

#17

UPDATE

  • The_Missile

Posted June 25, 2002 - 01:44 AM

#18

Speedy recovery.

Life is all about choices. If you choose to ride then accept the risks. However, take calculated risks, leave uncalculated ones to the idiots.

Ride within your limits. Accept that your limits may be less than you think.
Dont fall into the trap of being faster, better, higher, longer, just because the other guy is.
Always wear all of your protective gear.
Dont ride flat out in unfamiliar terrain.
If you are worried about hurting yourself, do like Yamakaze (and me) dont MX or SX!!
Make sure your bike is perfectly maintained.

But pleeeeeeeezzzzzze still have fun.




 
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