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Looking Back and Moving Forward

Mark Matthews Reflects and Projects

Words by Mark Matthews. Photos by Mark Matthews and Ian Tetzner.
December 11th, 2013

2013 has been wild. I finished my degree and had one of the best summers ever, followed by the scariest crash in my life – blacking out from fear is a pretty insane experience.

Breaking my femur in multiple places is hardest thing I’ve had to go through in my life so far. Broken bones are something lots of people deal with, but the ramifications are really high with this injury.

Mark-Matthews-SeqCrash-1600

Frame-by-frame of my crash. I knew right away I was off line and prepared for hitting the cliff. Photo sequence courtesy Ian Tetzner.

Maintaining enough self-motivation to work out almost everyday, stay on top of my physio, and have the healthiest diet possible has been a struggle. Especially knowing I’m still months away from walking.

mark-matthews-road-bike

Road rides followed by a physio routine have been keeping me sane.

The constant pain is physically draining, particularly at night. Many days are lonely, spent alone at my parents house (I’ve got netflix dialed). The inability to work and having to deal with things like medical bills and insurance is stressful. At the 6-week mark, x-rays showed signs of delayed healing – that was a very overwhelming moment.

mark-matthews-dog-624

I purchased a bone stimulator to help assist healing in my “high-risk” fracture. My dog thinks it’s neat.

It’s been a tough battle this past couple months but I’ve grown stronger from it. It also puts into perspective how lucky I am to have biking and an awesome group of family and friends in my life for support. Which I appreciate now more than ever. I’m stoked to switch things up come January. 2014 is going to be rad, can’t wait for a fresh start.


It’s never good when one of our Team riders goes down but it’s good to see Mark’s doing the best he can to get back on the bike. You can follow Mark’s recovery and send him some healing vibes through Instagram or Twitter.

  • Bryce

    Healing vibes to ya mark. At least it didnt happen in the spring. Is that tne same spot where gee went down a year or 2 before?

  • vancouver_bound

    hey, having just gone through snapping my left femur in half last year I understand the pain and frustration. Stay positive, stay hopeful, and most important stay realistic. I am 18 months from my accident and still have to stretch out the scar tissue every day. My first summer back on my bike started with baby steps on the richard juryn loop. Your fear will have a very, very real limit now. Head up, shoulders back, dig deep and say F$%# it! This won’t stop me. And then move one step at a time.

  • Mmatthews

    Thanks Bryce! Yep this is Gee’s gap and I crashed pretty much the exact same way. @vancouver_bound, I know this wont affect my confidence since that crash was way beyond what I ride on a daily basis and way more difficult to judge, but I am worried about how long it will take to get back to full strength. Thanks for the insight!

  • KazYamamura

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Mark. Hope to see you back on the trails soon!

  • Tmack

    Keep doing what you’re doing which is trying to stay sane. I’ve broken my leg twice now (Tib/fib) and the hardest part was being alone. Sure friends and family stop by etc but for me there was the constant reminder of how isolated I was for an indefinite amount of time. I totally feel you with x-rays not showing any healing, that is the absolute worst part, it’s like being trapped in your own body.

    I guess my point is that you will get better and you’ll appreciate being healthy a shit ton more. It’s been a few years for me and I still can’t run BUT I can ride, and that’s all that matters. Keep spinning, put in the miles, don’t put yourself in a situation in which you look back and wish you would have done more. Even though it seems like it’s taking forever your body is doing its best to heal.

    Visit mybrokenleg.com. It’s an online chat forum, pretty crude but it’s an awesome place to air your grievances to people that truly ‘get it’. Healing vibes!

  • counterpoint

    WOW. That’s the snipiest sniper landing if I’ve ever seen one. Looks blind too. Keep pedalling. Good luck.

  • jlhenterprises

    If your diet includes juicing try pineapple. It is the best natural pain reliever and speeds up the healing process. The protein bromelain only found in pineapples is now used to make anti-inflammatory medicine and is much more effective when taken from the source. Here is a link with some other info about the benefits:
    http://www.dorananaturae.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60:pineapple&catid=12:indian&Itemid=80

    I drink an 8oz glass morning, noon, and night when I am injured, and a glass a day when I am not. Mix in an apple for flavor. Hope you try it cause it really works.

  • klankilla

    Hang in there pal. You will be stronger and wiser when all is said and done.

    I just broke some ribs. Sucks being out! I still cant stop thinking about riding.

  • klankilla

    Is it legal to paint runway lanes on the takeoffs at rampage? I get that they wont stay long given the dust but maybe thats something the course marshals could cover?