Back on Track: Logan Binggeli

Feb 26, 2014
by Dan Severson  
 
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Rampage:
It's no secret that last year's Rampage was on a whole different level of danger. With riders pushing the limit further and further each year, the bar has been pushed to the point of extreme consequence. To even crack the top 10 and get close to the podium, riders have to be prepared to put their lives & bodies on the line. The steep cliffs and massive drops of the Virgin, Utah terrain took out a handful of riders last year. Many straight to the hospital. One of the worst casualties however, was Logan Binggeli, and his massive backflip gone wrong off the Oakley Icon Sender step down...


Logan gives us his story:
Basically I felt like my first run was well thought out and solid. Not what I was looking for but just to make it down and put together a top to bottom run I was pleased with myself, and thought I would have done better with that run. Going into the final run I wanted to do the same thing but even more dialled and obviously flip that step down. I knew if I landed the flip and hit the 3 bangers at the bottom I would have a shot at the win.


Talk us through your 2nd run, and what was going through your head during the backflip and crash.
A shit ton of adrenaline. Ha ha. Just super focused and mentally telling myself "you got this". Honestly, everything came around better than I thought, but with that huge compression and mini runway things just didn't align. I do remember fighting to stay on track, but all too fast I was just laying there bummed that I didn't complete my line, and that I didn't know if I was going to walk. I couldn't feel my leg at all so before the medical crew told me my femur was broken I was mentally freaking out that I wasn't going be able to ride again. From there it was fighting pain and then I felt great once the drugs kicked in.

Overall, I just wanted to complete my line for myself, crew, family and friends. The recovery has been shorter than everyone expected, but it was still a life changing event for me.


Will this affect your confidence going into next year's Rampage?
Yeah, I'll be back full throttle for Rampage 2014! Going for the Win.

Hospital & Recovery:
How bad was the break?

The break is pretty serious anytime your snapping femurs, but in my case it was a clean break right through the middle. They had to put a ti rod on the middle on my bone with 4 screws total. That hardware all has a lifetime warranty too! Ha ha.


What was your recovery process like?
Recovery was 5 days a week at therapy and on the weekends I was doing as much as I could.

Was it more physical or mental for you?
It's definitely way more mental than physical for me, but I still have a solid 3 months till my body is 100% healed.


Does KHS provide health insurance?
Yeah, KHS helped me out with some medical expenses.


Back on the bike:
It has now been almost 4 months since his injury, and we are starting to see photos and even video parts surface on the web. Although not 100% healed, Logan looks strong and seems to be making an amazing recovery back on the bike. At his first race back at the Fontana winter series, he came in a solid 4th just under Aaron Gwin, Mitch Ropelato and Neko Mulally, and recently took the win out at the Mob n Mojave race out at Bootleg Canyon. Not a bad way to comeback from a horrific injury!

bigquotesI'm motivated more than ever now. I've probably trained harder than I ever have just to get back to the pace I was at. I feel like we're going to be turning some heads this year. Excited for 2014. - Logan Binggeli
Must Read This Week

100 Comments

  • + 129
 "Does KHS provide health insurance?"
"Yeah, KHS helped me out with some medical expenses."

That wasn't reassuring. I was hoping to hear, "I didn't drop a dime!" If you're putting yourself at serious risk for your employer, there is no way that you should be paying when the inevitable happens. It must be difficult to fully sponsor a rider, but health insurance is #1.
  • + 9
 No workmans comp?
  • + 62
 You clearly have no idea how American health insurance works \ :
  • + 6
 He's most likely on a contract and not actually employed by KHS, so no workman's comp.
  • + 11
 If ur referring to my comment it was a joke...
  • + 3
 Miachel, Just about to make that same comment. I certainly hope they paid for most of it.
  • + 137
 KHS COVERED THE COSTS ENTIRELY @michaelbiorn "investigative reporter"
  • + 60
 REDBULL - None.
  • + 15
 Haha that made me laugh idk why. KHS: we weren't hating on you, we were just wondering. Ok sure we are all glad to hear that you fully support your riders, it's not easy to do we know. Thank you for letting us know the whole story, just the wording made it sound like you guys didn't cover it completly
  • + 42
 @khsfactoryracing That's awesome. You guys rule, it really shows how much you care about your riders! I'm also very stoked for Logan, it's so rad to see he's back shredding already!

And being Canadian doesn't help when you're competing in the USA. Get Pro Athlete insurance! I'm dealing with medical bills from Rampage myself. Insurance companies always find ways to not pay for a percentage of costs. Red Bull hasn't helped me out at all either, Red Bull's stance has always been that it is the responsibility of the athlete to cover their medical expenses.
  • + 7
 Watch 'The Crash Reel' - its a documentary based on snowboarders, does make you wonder if the rewards are worth the risks.
@khsfactoryracing - glad to hear you look after your people.
  • + 6
 Props to KHS. As for RedBull, I hope they organize the 2014 event a bit better:
the riders are taking enormous risks, don't get anything if they get injured, and the prize money barely covers the expenses for the winner if he has to fly his 3 man build crew from Europe and rent a house and cars.
  • + 49
 Thanks guys - we are PASSIONATE about our athletes.
  • - 7
flag mnorris122 (Feb 26, 2014 at 15:54) (Below Threshold)
 No shit Redbull didn't pay his medical bills, they don't sponsor him...
  • - 49
flag TheDoctoRR (Feb 26, 2014 at 16:31) (Below Threshold)
 @khsfactoryracing - All caps reply? Are you yelling at someone? And that investigative reporter comment is a bit passive aggressive and unnecessary. And why would Red Bull pay? The city doesn't pay for me if I crash on their roads... Weird comments from a professional organization...
  • + 0
 Actually there is a way that an employer shouldn't have to pay for anything & that's if it isn't outlined in a contract. Don't like it, park your ass in an office.
  • + 7
 I can just about guarantee that the girl who gets coffee for the art & design department receives better health insurance than the "pro sponsored" riders risking their lives for our amusement receive. They get the fame & glory, but at a steep price. There's no way I'd want to be in his shoes right now. Staggering medical bills and the realization that perhaps being an extreme athlete isn't as solid of a career choice as you once thought.

The industry sponsors would like us to think that their riders are living the dream so you kids will continue to drink the Kool Aid and buy their merch. The reality is, the vast majority of these guys end up broke and broken when the dust settles and their sponsors will drop them the instant they aren't a profitable commodity. I've watched this happen to more friends than I care to mention. Friends that I promise you have every bit as much talent, passion, & drive as Mr. Binggeli. And please do not misread this thread as a slight against Logan, my heart goes out to him and his dreams. I respect his goals and his talent immensely.

I don't want to dash anyone's dreams, but if you have parents that are pushing you toward a boring corporate cubicle life of demeaning obligations and suburban bliss if you just graduate college, they might be offering up some advice worth listening to. Find the balance point between your dreams and reality is all I'm saying. Just be realistic. Don't go for the cubicle, but don't go for the life of a rock star because I assure you both end in the same dismal fate.
  • + 2
 uhhh dude…KHS covered his medical expenses..and they aren't a crazy huge brand like trek or spesh yet..guarantee the bigger brands cover their athletes…don't mean to dash your dreams, but I'm sure when these guys sign their contracts they make sure medical is in there, since our sport is so dangerous.
  • + 1
 I hope you are right sir, I truly hope you are right. But I've seen the inside of this industry and unfortunately the riders I have known did not have the luxury of such a well-covered contract simply because the sport has some "inherent dangers."
  • + 1
 well I mean..if you read the comments above KHS said they covered him, so he doesn't have the staggering medical bills, besides the whole recovery part, his shoes aren't to bad right now.
  • + 5
 I agree with TheDoctoRR... I don't really get the 'investigative reporter' quip at the OP. Logan's quote was definitely NOT reassuring, so it seemed like a totally fair question to ask ( evidenced by the 67 positive props ). The sucker-punch at RedBull seems totally out of turn and unprofessional... he is not sponsored by them so why would they pay his medical?? From what I can tell they take good care of the athletes that directly rep their brand. It's like me whining that KHS is not helping to pay for live streaming every world cup round in HD for free. KHS ( or maybe just QS ) has a history of low-class / hyper defensive comments... all it does is detract from the passion of their athletes and make the brand look less than professional.
  • + 4
 "uhhh dude…KHS covered his medical expenses..and they aren't a crazy huge brand like trek or spesh yet..guarantee the bigger brands cover their athletes…don't mean to dash your dreams, but I'm sure when these guys sign their contracts they make sure medical is in there, since our sport is so dangerous."

I have ridden moto my entire life, and mountain bikes the last 18 years, and he should be stoked KHS covered his medical bills. In motocross, the factory teams DO NOT cover medical. When a rider signs his contract he is considered an independent contractor, just like the guy who comes and services the air conditioning, so the rider is responsible for supplying his own medical/accident insurance. I'm pretty sure at AMA events there is a form of insurance for participants. And Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki are way more "crazy huge" than Specialized or Trek.
  • + 0
 Fair enough lol
  • + 1
 @scriz, you're going to think you can legitimately harp about "quipping" and "sucker-punching" when you turn right around and go after "QS" personally? Ad hominem always fails. And it takes credibility with it.
  • + 0
 why everyone is calling you a douchebag? like what they call anthony messere
  • + 2
 @mrpowerjd Uh, the OP asked a completely legit question, and KHS responded with a personal attack on him. That's plain for all to read, regardless of what you think of my 'credibility'. They followed that up with an unprovoked public slander of RedBull, implying that they should have covered Logan's hospital bills, because why exactly?? If they've got a problem with how Rampage is run, then it would be good to elaborate on what needs fixing, maybe align with some other industry folk, and attempt to make a positive change.
  • + 4
 Welcome to the Ti rod and 4x bolt up club.
  • + 2
 @scriz, I'm not attacking your credibility, but I'll gladly question your reading comprehension skills if you think OP's comment wasn't implicitly saying "KHS blows, it sounds to me like they didn't pay all of Logan's bills." How is okay for OP to wildly speculate on what KHS paid for with zero actual knowledge (not to mention blatantly assume they failed to fully help, instead of trusting them), yet it's inappropriate for KHS to defend themselves? I'll agree that the jab at Redbull seemed unwarranted, but if you think OP asked a 'completely legit question', then you must really hate KHS.
  • + 2
 @Royal28, I would prefer you say that I "inferred" from Logan's interview rather than "wildly speculate". I wasn't attempting to be malicious, but I was concerned. And KHS answered sufficiently. It sounds like they're doing right by their riders, so kudos to them! This whole conversation thread has been really great and I believe it's an important one for the bike industry (or the action sport industry, more broadly) to have. Thanks for joining in, just don't get me wrong. KHS never insulted me and I had no interest in insulting them.
  • + 1
 @mmatthews: First let me start off by saying that you have THE sickest Whistler edit (or any biking segment for that matter) from last season. It's on my homepage and I watch it on the regular... Second, I can't believe that between Red Bull and your sponsors, these med bills weren't paid in full. It's pretty interesting when pro riders give insight to how the industry operates behind closed doors. There are pros and cons to any profession out there, but when companies benefit from a single person's skills and abilities, you kinda expect them to give 100% support. They're showering you with cash and champagne when on the podium, then turning their backs when you're lying in the dirt... Props to KHS!!!
  • + 24
 I'm always amazed the American riders can push the limit with little to no medical insurance - in a country that has the most expensive health care in the world. Life lesson for the groms here. If you're going to be a pro rider emigrate to Canada.
  • - 4
flag riiz (Feb 26, 2014 at 15:54) (Below Threshold)
 We have Obama-care, problem solved. But realistically most groms were already by their parents.
  • + 4
 I've always wondered the same thing, can't imagine taking the risks they do in a country with such a terrible system...
  • + 2
 Yeah me too. I've thought about that quite a bit before. Some extra cred may be due for that.
  • + 12
 Healthcare is a complex issue, one that won't be solved in the comments here. Nice work, Logan. 'Rooting for you!
  • + 3
 I don't think anyone stated that the Canadian system doesn't have its problems, but compared to absolute shit show that's running to the south... I'll leave it at that though considering this is a biking website
  • + 3
 SkidmarkJohnny, try reading through the comments section of the article you posted.
  • - 3
 It's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. There is a massive disinfo propaganda campaign with regards to how "terrible" the american health care system is. The reality is that we have access to world class healthcare in most areas of the country. If you aren't a complete tard, then you get a job that covers 75-100% of your medical expenses. If a person decides to work at subway his entire life, then he will indeed be somewhat limited on what type of care he has access to. However, everyone has access to charity care if truly in need. In california low income people have access to medical/medicaid which is basically ultra affordabe state-subsidized insurance. Also, our access to specialty care is almost immediate.

Want a real world example? My wife and I recently had our first child. We opted for a natural childbirth but wanted the safety of a hospital so we had the baby at the community hospital down the street (a private, christian university run hospital). We had an amazing experience with some of the friendliest nurses and doctors on earth. We stayed 3 nights and ate surprisingly delicious food provided by the hospital. Guess how much I paid? -- $0.00!!!! I went to college, worked hard, and found a job that covers 85% of my families medical expenses. So, I pay way less than your average canadian family does for your "free" state run garbage care. The difference? In america there is still the belief amongst many that personal accountability should play a role in ever aspect of life, and that government doesn't need to be involved in every aspect of our lives--until now! Now we have Obamacare. My premiums went up, I was forced to changed carriers, and luckily my employer is increasing their contribution to try and help offset increased costs. So much for my "free" government healthcare right...
  • + 4
 And I don't pay anything. Wink
  • + 7
 Ha, the reason is because the health care companies made the rules for obamacare. The problem with obamacare isn't government involvement, but corporate involvement.
  • + 5
 @leftcoast, you're clearly a right wing nutjob who knows nothing about how well socialized programs like healthcare work. Pretty much every first world country EXCEPT the US has socialize medicine. Sure, you say you have great health insurance. Now imangine that you, your wife, or your child gets cancer. Well the insurance company is gonna find a way to drop you like a hot potato. I wish you luck in paying for the tests involved in the diagnosis, chemo, radiation therapy, nights at the hospital, etc. In every other civilized country, that's taken care of by our social medicine.
  • + 4
 @leftCoastBurn Yes, you're a unique snowflake, working your way up with your own bootstraps. Your ancedotal personal experience is enough proof that the system is working just peachy. Don't have enough insurance coverage? Employer doesn't offer it? Can't afford it? Don't worry, charity care has got you covered.
  • + 2
 I'm a political atheist, not a "right wing nutjob." you are correct that there are plenty of problems with our healthcare system. But the dream of free socialist healthcare is a complete fantasy. It's completely unsustainable over the long term with our current global fiat money system. The takers will always take more than the givers can give. You fools will pay for it one way or another whether is be increased taxes, reduced coverage/increased wait times for specialty care or more likely both. Did you bother to read the huffington post article that one of the commenters linked to earlier? The article is a simplistic breakdown of how cheap and efficient social healthcare is.

@protour you are 100% that obamacare was written by the insurance giants, but it is being enforced, regulated and mandated by the government--basically classical fascism. If we had a true one-payer social health system that would definitely be the lesser of 2 evils. Like one commenter said, healthcare is a complex issue that will not be solved in the pinkbike comments thread. My personal opinion is simply that i'd rather keep my money and decide how to handle my personal healthcare as opposed to being lumped in with every cigarette smoking, mcdonnalds eating, wiskey drinking, tv watching fatass american--being forced to pay for their retarded life choices. Get it?
  • + 4
 Uhh the dream of free, socialized healthcare ISN'T complete fantasy. Sure, it may not be technically "free", as it comes out of our taxes, but it's a dream that's being lived throughout Canada and the EU. When it fails, you can be the first person to tell me to shut my liberal mouth.
  • + 19
 That crash he had at Rampage was horrific. What bugged me about it was if the organizers shut the contest down after the first runs, Logan would have never crashed. Instead, There were quite a few riders who went out for a second run that didn't matter. He absolutely went for it and has had to live with the pain as a result. Massive props to Logan! Great to see you back!
  • + 8
 Either way the wind that whole weekend had been so unpredictable. The judges could predict that.
  • + 4
 I think there is a saying for that very thing. Something like "hindsight being 20/20". heal up quick Logan!
  • + 6
 I've just recently broken my Femur identically to Binggeli (clean break in the middle, ti rod & 3 screws) so it's awesome reading this interview from someone who's going through the same, know exactly where he's coming from ! I'm almost 2 months in and recovery's tough, definitely more of a mental game. I can also vouch that the morphine was pretty damn great Wink Heal up fast Buddy !
  • + 10
 ti rod??? you need carbon bro
  • + 9
 Asked for carbon, out of stock !
  • + 6
 At least you have an excuse if you lose a race! "My ti rod is too flexy for me, I need the added rigidity of a 35mm carbon clamp interface"
  • + 3
 Great job Logan on your recovery! It's obvious you are on your way back to the top spot. Maybe even already there. Speaking from personal experience by seeing KHS and getting to know them better, here is my 2 cents. Logan is fortunate and grateful to have a person (QS) and a company (KHS) so much behind him and vice versa. Just seeing Quinton at the finish line at a race, or the Rampage will show that to all. Keep on doing what you are doing Logan, Quinton and KHS Factory Racing.
  • + 3
 Ive been through this injury and have the same hardware. its a mental game and its tough but now I don't even think about it anymore it just works ( sometimes aches a little after heavy dh ride weekend ) , that being said , I don't hit this kind of stuff as my day job.

glad to hear the healings going well, look forward to seeing your laps at rampage 2014
Salute
  • + 3
 Rampage is the gnarliest freeride/downhill ride there is. If you do it you have balls thats all i can say but i hop that logan can get back on his bike soon and get back to rampage next year and take a podium position!
  • + 2
 I also have hardware in my arm, and even since my crash it's been really tender. Before you call me an idiot, it's been a few months now. I can lift weights, but hitting my arm where they cut it open still hurts. Is it irritation caused by the titanium? And would anyone recommend getting it removed? Thanks guys for the help!
  • + 1
 I have heard of people getting titanium removed for reasons of discomfort or pain. Better ask ur doc though
  • + 2
 I'm not having to much discomfort except for when it is touched with some force. I'm just hoping to hear that it'll go away as I gain muscle. I've heard that if I break my arm again the titanium can really screw it up worse.
  • + 1
 I have a plate in my wrist that's caused me constant grief for years, if your hardware is causing problems get it taken out after a year as if you wait too long (like I have) then the bone grows over it and it can't be removed
  • + 1
 Hardware can be removed if it is causing pain, obviously depending on location, type, and nature of the fracture.
  • + 1
 Humerus right above the elbow. The only time it's annoying is if it is hit. It could just be because it's still new skin, and there not much muscle there yet since I've only just started lifting.
  • + 3
 I'm quite new to the orthopaedic side of medicine but I'll do my best to advise (from personal experience after surgery and advising patients) that mobilising the tissue over an incision site is key to getting it to heal well and reduce pain and adhesions long term. I had surgery with hardware put in my thumb and am constantly massaging the scar and tissues to keep them supple and prevent adhesions forming. It's improved my predicted outcome for range of movement and I now don't feel a thing Smile OBVIOUSLY though discuss this with your surgeon at follow up as he is in charge of your management.
  • + 1
 Ya they haven't really told me to much. I got no PT and little instruction. I've gained full range of motion, and I do massage the area every now and then. Thanks bud!
  • + 1
 thestigmk1 is right, and @pm148 "'ve heard that if I break my arm again the titanium can really screw it up worse." This. I had a knee to ankle rod through my tibia a few years ago (rock climbing fall, not biking), and after some discussions with my surgeon decided it best to have it removed. Good decision, and more comfortable now, but most important is this: If i kept it in and had a similar accident I could shatter the bone or shove the rod up through my knee, possibly losing my leg. If I took the rod out and had a similar accident I would just break my leg again. Easy decision, as I wasnt about to quit the shit I like to do.
  • + 1
 That's a scary thought. I'll Definatly have a talk with my doctor. Not sure if I could have a similar situation since I have a plate and screws. Thanks everyone for the info!
  • + 1
 Worth noting that with your hardware installed my doctor told me the the joint will actually be a little stronger so slightly less chance of rebreaking albeit if you do re-break you're buggered! Through experience I can confirm this as true-ish as I had a hard over the bars fall more recently and landed arms out first, both my wrists hurt like hell but the shock transfered up and cracked my elbow (top of ulnar) instead of re-breaking my wrist... lol
  • + 1
 I then had to drive home an hour with a broken arm and swollen wrists as there was no phone reception for an ambulance... bad day! Haha
  • + 1
 A guy I work with shredded his knee in a mx crash. Got patched up with a plate and 4 screws. He told me he had to get it removed cuz he started riding mtb a ton and the constant pedaling motion was causing the muscles close to the plate to bruise. Had it removed and no more pain. The plate and 4 screws live in a drawer on top of a workbench now
  • + 2
 Yo Pinkbike-ever thought of doing an article about the "art of breaks" ie getting an orthopod to give some definitive answers on all these good questions.......and it is not just plates/rods/screw which can cause problems-chronic pain can just be that. I do remember a recent article on an injured pro and the coordinating health professional made a very insightful comment along the lines of it is not the NHS's (English system) job to get injured riders back to their professional best and implored those in adventure sports to be mindful even in countries with "free medical care" that you should have some sort of extra medical insurance to access the best surgeons (and postoperatively the best physios-a repair job on a fractured bone or wrecked joint is only as good as the physiotherapist who gets it all working again). Saliant comments in view of LB's recovery. Downhilling and other MTB sports have their consequences so try and be prepared!
In light of LB injuring himself for nothing given they called the 2nd round off at Rampage you sometimes wonder what sort of goodwill it would of generated if Redbull had helped out. As Andreu Lecondeguy exclaimed after his run that he had risked his life for nothing. Watching the event and feeling sick with some of the runs being put down and the consequences if they went wrong you got the feeling that Redbull really gets its moneys worth from these athletes risking their life.
And LB-good work to get back and keep it up and good luck in 2014 Rampage. And KHS if you did pay all LB's medical expences-kudos even if you seemed a bit snippy at Redbull!
  • + 1
 wow man, good for him getting back into it so quickly. I broke my arm boarding a few years back and it took a long time to recover so he must be doing something right. watching the video makes me cringe... redbull rampage is cool to watch but I don't understand why people feel the need to ride that big and that dangerous.... That's just my opinion.. I'd rather enjoy riding all season than risk never walking again... maybe my vageen is just sandy
  • + 6
 massive healing vibes!
  • + 1
 Stoked to hear Logan is back and doing well. I can sympathize I broke both femurs and the head of my left hip off at SeaOtter last April. I would agree that mentally recovering is the hardest part. Keep on keeping on and good luck this season.
  • + 5
 I wonder if he will race the 29er prototype at any point this year ...
  • + 9
 Magic 8 ball says...

i.imgur.com/PSaHm9A.png
  • + 1
 Great to see you back on the bike Logan. I snapped my tib-fib just over 2 years ago, and know how you feel (rod and 4 screws). It's a great feeling to get back on the bike and shred harder than ever. Cheers!!
  • + 2
 That's awesome he's healed up so fast. And he's going for the win next Rampage too. This time with even more confidence because he knows he has super healing powers.
  • + 0
 i crashed last week here in kathmandu somewhere we were riding nice single track downhil and im just sitting at home thinking to go biking today judt got better after a week. but its like raining feels like sick to be on the bike.
  • + 3
 Huge props to any racer who enters Rampage. Hope to see him come back to World Cups strong.
  • + 3
 Logan's a true professional of our sport, keep it up L-Dawg!
  • + 2
 You really couldn't ride for a better company everyone there is awesome Khs is the shit !
  • + 1
 and anyone who does this sport for a living had better shore up the insurance issues before the inievitable accident. just common sense, no matter what country you live in.
  • + 2
 Back and going for the win this year now with new Ti parts.
  • + 1
 good to see him back on the bike and shredding.
  • + 1
 Hey Logan, get well, stay well, see you at the races! mictoland
  • + 1
 Why we can not make like for g+ ?
  • + 2
 thats nice of kHS .
  • + 1
 What Carbon rims is he riding in some of those pic's? Derby?
  • + 1
 love the guys style i was hoping for a vid Frown
  • + 3
 Posted a couple weeks ago: www.pinkbike.com/video/351342
  • + 1
 Lifetime warranty on Ti lol! Heal up good man
  • + 1
 so cool
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