I'm a human shishkabob!

I was riding last Wednesday night with a buddy who happenned to be on a 4-wheeler. I will never bad mouth those guys again (more on this in a minute). Basically, we were blasting down a nice 4WD type trail, wehn a small fallen tree, useen by me, ran up the gas tank, along the seat, and then straight through my thigh! It was about 1.5 inches in diameter, and broke off to be about 4 feet long! So, I stop, lay the bike over, and try to figure out how to get this tree out of me. It entered my thigh just left of my "man-tackle", and exited through my left butt-cheek. I scream for my buddy to come over, and I laid down across the back of his 4-wheeler, hanging onto the spear with one hand to steady it, and him with the other to keep from falling off. He rode me about 5 miles back to the Air Force base we live on, and dropped me at the base fire station. They used a big pair of bolt cutters to cut about a foot off the tree sticking out my butt, just so they could fit me in the ambulance. Basically, we went to the hospital about 25 minutes away, they took a lot of pictures and I answered a lot of stupid questions like "Does it hurt?". They then used an electric hacksaw to cut about 2.5 feet off the tree in front of me and they put me in surgery where they cut a long slice into my skin, removed the tree, and cleaned up the wound. I'm back home now and doing pretty well for a guy thats been skewered by a tree, but I wanted to pass along a couple big safety lessons learned. First is a standard...Never ride alone! There aren't a lot of guys with bikes here in AK, and I find myself riding alone quite a bit. I minimize the risks by wearing every possible protective device, telling my wife where I'm going riding, and carrying a lot of basic survival stuff in addition to a small toolkit. However, if I'd been out there alone, I would have died before someone found me, period dot. Second, I usually try to carry a cell phone when I'm riding alone, but neither of us had one with at the time. Granted the coverage is terrible up here, but up on ridges it will still get a signal with some reliability. We could have called the base or 911, and scrambled the rescue helicopters for a pickup, or at least someone to meet us at a larger road with an ambulance. You don't always have a lot of time between injury and death and calling an ambulane while you stabilize someone's injury is a lot of times better than moving them yourself. I was lucky in that the branch missed my femoral artery, all major nerves that would have paralyzed me, my bowel and rectum, and most importantly my man-tackle. It scared the crap out of me, and I will spend the next month at least without being able to fly my F-16 which will upset my commander a bit and put me behind on training the next time we get to go blow somebody up. I'll spend most of that time trying to justify to myself that the riding is worth the risk, and defending myself from the constant ribbing I'll be taking from my coworkers over my being scewered by a tree. Hope you enjoyed my story and maybe reflect a little bit on your own riding habits.


[ August 06, 2002: Message edited by: BlueFox ]

WOW! That is not a story you hear every day. I was wincing all the way through. I'm glad to hear everything turned out OK...as ok as it can be have a tree run through the thigh and out the arse. I'm glad you shared it because it has really caused me to stop and think. I have recently jumped back on a WR426 after a 10 abscence from the sport. I am a member of a riding lease outside Austin, TX. There are many time when I hit the trail alone. After reading your post I consider myself very lucky to have not had an issue. After this story I will not only try not to ride alone, but will ALWAYS carry the cell phone. Good luck with your mending, but definitly get back on that horse and ride!


Keith, Glad to see you're ok. Great story...

that is a crazy story. my friend ryan did some thing liek that but the branch took out the inside of his knee. he is a bi guy and it took about a fist side chunk of meat out of it. you have to see it to belive it. well good luck getting better and get back up there and blow up some more angry people.





I've seen a picture of a guy that got skewered through the gut, but I don't think he survived. Good thing you still have your, um,...beans and franks.

So...DID it hurt? You get your bike back yet?

It sounds like you lead a pretty exciting life- living in Alaska, F-16 pilot, Yamaha pilot AND you get to blow things up. Must be nice (except when you're getting shot at.)

Glad the story has a happy ending.

Most accurate and compelling subject title.

We have a winner.


So, did it hurt?

Originally posted by Hick:

Most accurate and compelling subject title.

What is a shishkabob?

Well, yes it did hurt, but not as much as you'd think. I'd guess it was more fear than anything else. It just really freaked me out to have a tree sticking through me like that. I've been riding dirt bikes for about 20 years (started when I was 8 on a Sears built mini-bike called a Digger), and this has been my first trip to an emergency room due to a biking accident. Everyone tells me its so dangerous and that I should quit riding, but I've really been pretty blessed up until this point. I'll probably keep riding, because believe it or not, its actually more viscerally exciting than flying the F-16. I'm not saying that the F-16 isn't the best ride in the world. There is nothing as fulfilling as being called on to help army guys that are being shot at by F*ing terrorists, and then knowing that my bombs kept our guys safe from the savages for the night. But there is so much training, planning, and structure to it, that day-to-day training looses that pure exitement a lot of the time. I like to be able to just hop on the bike and blast as fast as I can or want on any trail that takes my interest. If only the Air Force would let me do that. That's not what you guys pay me for, though.


A shiskabob is a metal or wooden round with meat and vegetables that is usally barbecued.

Blue Fox, nobody but nobody can top your story!

Glad you made it.

Yeah,those dreaded fourwheelers help out alot in situations like that. The last time i went riding with my friend, he had to be rescued by an four wheeler. The problem is that first, he buys a used 95 RM 125 that had been raced, and then doesn't bother to check anything on the bike out. He doesn't understand that you have to see for youreself, dont take it for granted that the last guy prepped the bike. So three rides after getting the thing back from the shop, he had blown the top end and wrecked his power vavles, we go out after getting gas, you see this wretched little 125 has a race tank on it and only gets 20 miles to the tank. We got about 8 miles from his cousins house, where we started from, and i look up and he's just stopped in the middle of the trail. I pull up and can see the problem right away, his chain guard on the rear, fell right off, the screws were not there anymore, if he had checked that, then this would not have happend. So i had to ride 8 miles back to his cousins on trails i didn't know to get his uncle who has a DREADED four wheeler to come and tow him out of the woods. and i'm sure there are plenty of other stories like this where a four wheeler has helped out a dirtbiker, and likewise.

I'll have to agree with BlueFox. Although the jet I fly has no where near the performance of the F-16, the rules we follow in the military do not allow freelance joyrides...as tempting as they may be. However, I feel that my need for a rush is satisfied due to the fact that the runway we land on is only 120 feet long and the takeoff from dead stop to airborn at 150mph happens in 3 seconds...every warm blooded American needs to take a catapult shot from a nuclear carrier.


What a story, good to hear you're ok. Excellent point about riding alone. As hard as it may be trying to find someone to ride with it's worth it. Even if you have to ask someone at the riding area if you can tag along with them. No one gets up in the morning and thinks " Hmmm I think I'll have an accident today".

I work on and fly as a FE on Chinook helicopters. We have made a number of flights to Mt. Rainier pulling people off of the mountain. Some were very experienced climbers and the unexpected still happens. The summer is not even over yet.

Anyway, get well and climb back into that cockpit errr.. in the PC world..flight deck, Naw, it's a cockpit. :)

Man, I'm still wincing as I type! Best of luck on a speedy and complete recovery!

Man, I am now three weeks out of a complete ACL/MCL reconstruction,with a complete knee dislocation to boot. (yes, from posting my leg out while in a rut), but your story has way more detailed imagery. I was not riding alone, and yes, in General, I DESPISE 4 wheelers. (Turning single track into roads seems like a crime to me) but if one had come along, I would have not only accepted a ride, I would have bought the dude beers. My buddies started my bike, and i rode it back 4 miles or so, it was interesting to say the least, but hey, I didn't have to worry about rumnning into a bunch of cannibals and a huge fire. Good thing you were'nt already marinated!


Are you an Air Force Academy grad?

Just wondering if you might have known my sister, she was class of 91'.

good luck on a full and fast recovery! :)

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