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Hey Forum,

Here's what happened; I see a kid go down on the far side of the track at our local race series, it's one of the last motos of the night and there aren't any other adults close by. He's off of is 85 and isn't moving. I wait a couple of seconds to see if he moves and he doesn't, then another second to see if anyone is running out there, and they aren't. The flagger is out there waving to get some attention but nobody is responding.

As the closest adult, I run over. When I get there the kid is pretzeled in a jarring and unexpected way. I check in with him and ask the basics. Move your feet, move your hands, move your neck. The kid is crying and says he can't move his leg. Uh oh. The kid is still pretzeled and I'm afraid to move him.

I signal to the other flagger that the paramedics are needed then return to the kid. At this time his dad is on the scene, takes control, and suspects an ACL injury.

I'm a moto-dad and had been scooping up kids in the 50 class and putting them back on their bikes all night. My son included. Usually, it's no big deal. But, in this case, I realized I'm really unprepared for anything beyond a quick dust off and bike restart. I do know CPR but in the case of a potential spinal cord injury or other skeletal or ligament trauma, I'm over my head. So what's the protocol? That kid could have easily been my own and beyond a vitals check, I'm not sure what to do. I'm hoping that some of the elders here will have some sage advice or resources to better help one another.




I pulled this question from the forum this week after a couple folks asked for some feedback. If you’re spending any amount of time at a track, you’re going to find yourself in this situation and it’s good to have some basic direction as the first person checking on a rider. 

If you’re at a track that has medical staff, you have to realize this: The medical crew is likely comprised of EMT’s, not paramedics, and there is a big difference between the two. An EMT is the very basic level of first responder training, which means their scope of practice (things they are allowed to do) is very limited. Paramedics will arrive on fire engines and ambulances, so the very first thing you need to do is CALL 911! Depending on the injury, time is critical so get medics coming right away. You can be the person calling, or instruct somebody else to call, just make sure it happens. The next priority is safety for yourself and for the downed rider; make sure the flaggers are stopping traffic or closing the course altogether. Don’t get hit and add to the problem.

The first thing you want to do when you get to the rider is determine his level of consciousness. Ask the rider’s name, what hurts, if he remembers what happened. If he can’t answer those things, concussion is likely. If he can tell you what hurts, you’ll know where to look for obvious injury. If the rider is unconscious when you get to him, pass that info, along with the amount of time he was unconscious, to the medics. 

Though protocols have changed slightly, use the ABC’s next… airway, breathing and circulation. Is there blood or anything keeping them from breathing easily? Are they breathing regularly and effectively? Do they have a pulse? You should be able to pick up a pulse at the wrist easily. If their airway is obstructed, do what you have to do in order to clear it; this is a priority and supersedes all other things, including spinal injury. If the rider is not breathing or does not have a pulse, begin CPR. If you don’t know CPR, see if anybody around you does. If you are the only person, put one hand on top of the other directly between the rider’s nipples on the center of his chest and push down hard. After each compression, take all the weight off your hands so that the chest returns to its original position. Repeat this until help arrives at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. Don’t worry about breathing for the rider, just continue compressions; this is the most important thing you can do to save their life. 

If the rider is speaking to you, ask specifically if they have neck or back pain. If they do, don’t move them and instruct them not to move. Pull the rider’s goggles off so they can get more air, but leave the helmet on. If they deny neck or back pain, allow them to move into a position of comfort. You can also check the area where they are having pain and see if there is any bleeding. If there is significant bleeding, take a towel or shirt and apply pressure to the wound. If direct pressure isn’t possible, find something that can be used as a tourniquet and tighten it just proximal to the wound (between the bleeding area and the heart). If you do this, note the time it was applied for medics. 

Depending on where you are, help could be five to ten minutes away, or it could be hours. If it’s close, assure the rider that help is on the way and do your best to keep them calm. Help coach them through slow, deep breathing to deal with pain and to keep them from hyperventilating. Also, numb hands and arms are a normal symptom of hyperventilation, so don’t mistake that for spinal cord injury. If you’re hours from civilization, you’ll have to get creative. Ask the 911 dispatcher what options there are for quicker help. These are some very basic instructions, but hopefully they will help you have a better idea of what to do if you’re the first one there. 

I recommend listening to the safety episode of the Whiskey Throttle Show, with Dr Bodnar and Eddie Casillas. We discuss essentials for a first aid kit, protective gear, injury management/prevention, and many other aspects of creating a safer environment when riding. 



What 125 all-star race are you doing in 2020? Why is Millville your favorite track? Which modded 125 would you choose to Race Millville ? New YZ125 or 04 CR125, great chassis with a 06 engine? 




I had planned on doing Fox Raceway and Washougal, but they just announced that there won’t be All-Star events this year. As bummed as I am about that, I’m just hoping they can get together enough venues to hold the series at all. For some reason it seems as though states run by democrat governors are much more reluctant to open, compared to states with conservative leadership. Unfortunately, many of the national venues are located in these states: Washington, Minnesota, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado are all going to open slowly. As of right now, only Indiana and Florida have agreed to host nationals, though I’ve heard that Loretta Lynn’s is a potential national venue now. 

I’m frustrated because I have a Yamaha YZ125 that is an absolute missile and I was ready to go. Well, I was ready as long as the moto was still only four laps, because that’s all the gas I have in the tank at the moment. Oh, and I’d take the YZ125 all day long over any other brand, including that Honda you’re talking about. There is something about the way it corners and handles that makes it comfortable and confidence inspiring. The motor lacks some punch, but the Pro Circuit boys fixed that right up for me. I guess I’ll have to wait until next year. 



What do you think will be the challenges (if any) for the moto industry once we get back to normal from this virus?




I have a sneaking suspicion that things will be weird for a few more months, until right around November 3rd or so. At that point we will start to pick up the pieces and see what 2021 might look like. The interesting thing is that dealers are selling bikes, parts and side by sides faster than they have in years! Maybe it’s boredom from being locked down, more free time, or the stimulus money, but our industry hasn’t been hit very hard yet. I think the biggest challenge is going to come in the form of professional racing. Teams will definitely lose sponsor money and packing 60,000 fans into a stadium might be as antiquated as shaking hands, at least until a proven vaccine is readily available. I don’t think that is going to happen prior to January of next year. So, how does Feld, or MX Sports for that matter, turn a profit when they can’t sell tickets? I would guess that the best case scenario is the stadiums selling half of the available seats in a stadium, with empty seats between groups. Again, this is all conjecture until we know what the rules look like in January, I just don’t see it disappearing in six months time. 


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