Video: Ben Cathro’s Scariest Injury - The Crash & What’s Next - The Privateer: Walk The Talk Episode 5

Oct 8, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  


THE PRIVATEER: WALK THE TALK

EPISODE 5



On an evening group ride, Ben took a massive crash which left him with multiple injuries to his head, neck and spine. In this episode, Ben takes us through what happened along with his recovery and what’s next.

Video by sleeper.co.


We'd like to extend a huge thank you to all of the sponsors who supported this project.







79 Comments

  • 200 0
 Scottish Mountain Rescue - all volunteers, and do what you see in that video daily. Absolute heroes every one them.

Go sling them a few pennies!

www.scottishmountainrescue.org/donate-today
  • 16 0
 Damn right, i just cant understand why the government doesn't help fund the air ambulance and also medical detection dogs
  • 13 0
 You can also donate directly to the team involved in helping Ben www.justgiving.com/tmra not all Scottish recuse teams operate under SMR.
  • 13 0
 @mark3: I work in Search & Rescue, and more often than not organisations like this don't particularly want government funding, because with that comes the restrictions and funding cuts so often associated with branches under that control. By being independent they can raise the funds and get the kit/training they actually need rather than being mandated to. @pinkbikeoriginals, you should do some videos on dealing with bike crashes/injuries. I will happily point you in the right direction if you want.
  • 118 0
 Ben "Breakneck Speed" Cathro
  • 58 0
 Holy shit. He’s damn lucky to walk away from that. Good on him for being able to laugh about it after. Lucky man.
  • 38 0
 Heal up soon Ben and thanks for sharing.

I had a very similar experience on the 15 July where I remember clipping a pedal then waking up on the floor on a normal, easy, group ride. For various reasons my group got me off the hill and to A&E rather than call the emergency services but it was partly due to the feeling at the time that I had just broken my shoulder.
It turned out the shoulder is damaged but not broken, but a CT scan showed I did have 5 broken ribs, lacerations to both lungs, and most seriously a dissected chrortid artery meaning blood flow to my brain is restricted making me high risk of a stroke, although I recently was told it is now stable so can start trying to get back some fitness.

It goes to show that we don't really know what injuries someone has after a crash especially when landing on the head/neck. I had no obvious pain anywhere other than my shoulder but that was the least of my worries.
  • 12 0
 Damn, dude. Glad you're getting better.
  • 5 0
 @jayacheess: thanks. It's slow and steady for a while.
  • 2 0
 That is a heavy diagnosis. So glad u came through.
  • 2 1
 Similar for me in 2018. OTB at the dirt jumps. not too bad a crash but I hit the ground HARD! Winded an a bit trippy an cracked a Carbon D3. Felt fine but shook so went to hospital after driving home.. was more worried about the head, an we were off to Wales the week after so thought I'd get checked out in case of concussion an I shouldn't drive... Into the Scanner... Rushed into a chest drain op as I had collapsed my lung, shattered 4 ribs an grade 4 collar bone dislocation!! ALLWAYS get checked out
  • 36 0
 That’s sobering stuff but it’s heartening to see amazing people around you from the crash through recovery. What’s even better, and indeed inspiring, is your ever-positive attitude and even humor! I have a feeling it’d still be there even if the crash had gone worse. Heal up and God’s speed!
  • 19 0
 Damn, Ben! Kudos for letting us inside a hella scary crash and recovery. It's a gut check for all of us to remind us of the edge we walk in the sport we all live for. : 0

So glad your outcome / outlook is so good, Man.

Heal up, don't rush your return, be well. As always, we love the spirit / energy / humor you bring to our sport.

Cheers from Santa Fe, NM USA,
Eric
  • 12 0
 It's always the tracks you know well that bite you, something about getting complacent and letting your guard down usually. Not saying you were being reckless or silly but it's often where people get into trouble.

I've been in the concussion zone a few times now so fully relate to the loss of memory and frustrations that can come from not being able to ride (or do anything fun!). Absolutely follow the medic's advice, I did but unfortunately had a separate accident that caused another brain trauma. Left me with some issues, thankfully nothing major, but was a massive wake-up call to friends who were a bit blasé about it before.
  • 5 0
 i've had a few bad concussions myself that's left me with a few issues but not to serious, i seriously recommend to anyone getting the best helmet you can afford, a decent helmets saved my life at least 3 times
  • 8 0
 Holy moose shit hell!!! Only yesterday I was asking about Cathro’s whereabouts, and the beanpole has only gone and done himself a mischief! Ben I wish you only love and good healing vibes, hope you are not too sore to do some armchair/ bed Cathrovision.
  • 7 0
 Heal up Ben! I would be very curious to know a bit more about Dr. Euan's concussion protocol and recovery plan as someone who has experienced multiple TBI's. It would make for a great PB article, riders deserve to know the facts and science to inform their healing and recovery process and hearing it from a 4X racer who understands the drive and passion mountain bikers have instead of alarmist Neurologists would be very interesting.
  • 10 0
 TBI don’t care who or what you are. The recovery plan for a housewife is the same as one for an astronaut. The first step is always to check your ego at the door.
  • 1 0
 @DHhack: I don't disagree but from the video it does seem like Ben is on a recovery plan to make the down time less detrimental to his strength, balance and confidence. I'll take any advice I can get from reputable doctors on exercises and rehab to lessen the impacts of a serious concussion. I actually found his doctors concussion recovery page actionsportsmedical.com/concussion. Some of the information on there was new to me, like no ibuprofen post head injury. I think this is information mountain bikers should know to recover to their fullest ability.
  • 9 0
 ...can we get more CSI? Make a regular pink bike series of Cathro and crew anaylzing Friday fails/crashes on the World Cup circuit?
  • 10 0
 Heal up brother and take care.
  • 6 0
 I recently had very similar crash and experience also on a tame part of trail 3 weeks ago. fractured C7 and concussion slight brain bleeding too. nothing hit the tree other than my head just like cathro no scratches anywhere else, missed the right line over a slightly blind section. Would be interested to see if he'll wear a leatt riding downhill after the crash and if its messed with his mental game to ride as fast now.
  • 8 4
 We like talking crap on the healthcare industry here in the USA, but when you’re broke-off, helpless, and getting support like the doctors gave you..., man does ones tone change. So glad you have all that support to get back between the tape!
  • 27 1
 Yea you'll get the help, then they will send you the bill which will be life altering in itself.
  • 17 0
 I don't think most people have a problem with individual doctors, it's with the system as a whole and the insurance companies and hospital administrations.
  • 23 0
 Having moved from the UK to the US this year, the healthcare situation is terrifying! And I have good insurance. The cost is also insane. Such an inefficient system, everyone pays more, nobody really receives more, and the people that need it most receive nothing. I pay more in healthcare insurance here than I ever paid in tax in Europe.
  • 10 0
 @rob-chambo: Unfortunately there's too much propaganda in America, so people don't believe that to be true. Thanks for speaking the truth and giving a reality check!
  • 5 0
 my father had a motorcycle accident about 2 years back, was in a Coma for nearly a month, spent 8 weeks in ICU and unfortunately suffered some mild brain damage. Anyway..... after getting out of the hospital nearly 3 months after the accident, his total bill was only $211! You know why..... he watched some pay TV at the end. Aussie health care FTW!
  • 1 0
 @mtbneill: I totally get why people shit on the US health care but I wouldn't be so quick to praise nationalised health care which is also hugely inefficient. (governments don't just miraculously excel in one area while wasting money in every single other government department.)

My experience of nationalised health care (not in Croatia) is that they are so desperate for beds that they will send people who are clearly not ready home. This has resulted in my grandfather being sent home with pneumonia from which he rapidly deteriorated and my mother in law also being sent home despite having severe COPD infections. She nearly died the following night and had to be resuscitated.

One system tries to give you treatment you might not need while the other barely wants to give you the treatment you desperately do need.
  • 2 0
 @Brasher: Some people here bag it, but the Aussie health care system is superb. Had to test it out a few times and every time been blown away at how good it's been.
  • 1 0
 @humoroususername:
Massive room for improvement, but healthcare for only those that can afford it has fundamental issues.
  • 1 0
 I was mostly talking about how so many people don’t even trust their doctors anymore here. The system has pushed people to question whether what treatment they’re getting is really necessary or just to ramp up insurance payouts. Its insane, but at the end of the day, when you’re off the mountain, getting morphine, and smiling nurses are sponge bathing you... you get what im saying. Getting care is invaluble no matter where uou live or what you’re paying. Just my salute to doctors all around.
  • 7 0
 get well soon, mr. cathro
  • 6 0
 Good to see your sense of humor is still intact man! That's a horrible injury, I'm glad to hear it wasn't worse. Heal up!
  • 4 0
 Even the best go down hard sometimes Frown I ride Birnham hill a lot, need to look out for that "feature" Smile Safety first! We really do have some of the best medical and emergency services on the planet.
  • 3 0
 All the best Cathro in your recovery and kudos on the GB sign up, a reminder to us mere mortals that if it can happen to Cathro with his analytical awesomeness then we better watch out for those all familiar but you never quite know local trails!
  • 3 0
 All the best best for your recovery Ben, always enjoy your videos.

Just as an aside, how do you feel as a father and husband? Sorry if its a bit deep, but mentally where are you at? I've got two small kids and have had one or two crashes recently that have made me think alot about them. I know bad stuff is more likely to happen driving to the trails, but just wondering... oh and were you eating a Penguin bar there? I'd kill for a Penguin.
  • 1 0
 This is certainly a thing. And then a few years go by and you find yourself riding the North Shore with your son, nephew and sister and you just have to not think about it.
  • 5 0
 I can resonate...it's the track that i've done 1000x that ends up biting you back.
  • 2 0
 Ben, your balance is better right now than mine, at67. I'm going back for PT to try and get in your neighborhood, balance-wise. You're making amazing progress, but please don't even think of pushing your limits until both your docs and your body tell you it's time. You have a wonderful life ahead of you.
  • 1 0
 Fascinated to see if Ben gives us some more insight into this testing and improvement process. I took up bike trials in my mid twenties and my balance dramatically improved, on bike and off. After the first couple of years of doing it seriously I could for the first time walk long distances on these 2" railings they used to build around elementary schools and parks where I live. I couldn't do that as a kid.
  • 2 0
 glad you came out on the good side, Ben, here in BC a beloved and well known DJ, Mat The Alien, had a crash riding last week causing spinal cord damage and is now paralyzed from the chest down. I did 3 vertebrae and a skull fracture 13 years ago and was left with permanent hearing loss in one ear but no spinal damage. Neck/back fractures is a game of millimeters...scary and sobering stuff
  • 2 0
 I loved the CSI bit as I find the tricky trail issue fascinating from an engineering and public health perspective. Bike parks, at least Whistler for sure, have been looking at injury hot spots and modifying trails accordingly. While the bikes are indeed way better, you can really tell the difference in the Park today compared when everyone I knew was getting dumb injuries on tech trails in the early 2000's. For one thing they have largely given up on skinnies except one trail (Fatcrobat) where the skinny is downhill and not that skinny and the remaining ladder structures are more like 50cm wide or more, with anything over head height having railings. Of course now the well designed jumps are so huge that you could have catastrophic injuries despite the fact they are much more consistent than a generation ago. But the trail that caught Ben, with an unexpected turn you discover when you are in the air, is a classic example of a feature that will punish you out badly for a moment's loss of concentration. If this was a park trail they would have built up a berm on the right side and made this hazard largely go away. But that's Park and not the wild. Be careful out there!
  • 2 0
 That's really scared me. I had a fall in January that resulted in a trip to A&E. I actually broke my helmet! Back on the bike a month or so later and had a few minor spills. They left me very disorientated and I noticed my balance was well off. I honestly think I'm only just recovering properly now. Hat's off to Ben and I hope he's truly OK. Really touching to see the rescue and I agree with all the comments about the brilliant rescue service in this country. Stay safe everyone!
  • 6 0
 Glad to see he is ok.
  • 3 0
 Glad to see you somewhat healthy! Good luck. Head Injuries are not to be taken lightly. Looking forward for the Cathro reports
  • 3 0
 it was hard hearing the words "I never thought there would be any risk"
Heal ups dude don't jump blind you have a great career ahead.
  • 3 0
 Wow im really surprised no one covered this until now... Ben you are a machine!! I hope you can get your confidence back so you can shake up WC
  • 3 0
 Thanks Ben for all your work in MTB and your passion to refine the sport. We are truly grateful and Happy you are doing well ! RIDE ON!!
  • 3 0
 Fair play to Ben, being able to turn something as scary as that crash into entertaining content for us all. What a fella, all the very best for total recovery.
  • 3 0
 Glad to see you up and smiling! Best of luck with your continued recovery. ????
  • 3 0
 That's meant to be a 'thumbs up', not question marks
  • 3 0
 Good to go back to the scene and figure out what happened with the investigation.
  • 4 0
 祝你健康。
  • 3 0
 Lets see you racing !! Come to "Europe" hahaha
  • 3 0
 Terrible news. His head is a loooong way up from the ground too. Heal up!
  • 2 0
 Heal well,Ben!
Sad I won't be watching you race in Lousã.
Keep that good humor going, it's proven to help on the healing.
  • 1 0
 Sad to see this. In past years I've always looked forward to his work during race weeks. IMPO, best track analysis out there. Get well soon Ben.
  • 1 0
 Wow! That was intense! The injury is crazy that it was *this close* to being really bad but he seems like he's healing really well.
The CSI bit was hilarious!
  • 2 0
 Rooting for you man! Champ.
  • 2 0
 Heal up Ben, your sense of humor is outstanding.
  • 1 0
 if there is anyone Karma owns a favor to, it's Ben Cathro. Let's hope Maribor WC goes ahead!
  • 2 0
 Scary! Get well soon dude!
  • 2 0
 Heal up Ben! We are all sending you the best vides!
  • 2 0
 Great video as per, Cathro is a legend!
  • 1 0
 You know he's going to be alright when the good doctor is involved. #SouthSideMassive
  • 1 0
 You decapitated the old Scottie dogs head! (Spondylolisthesis joke). Healing vibes Ben!
  • 1 0
 A video to make one feel sick to the stomach. Wishing you good health and positive recovery.
  • 2 0
 Get better Ben!!!
  • 2 0
 Healing vibes
  • 2 0
 Heal up fast !
  • 1 0
 Scary stuff. Hoping for a speedy full recovery!
  • 2 0
 Leath sponsoring ...
  • 1 0
 Dammit Ben! We need you! Heal up strong sir!
  • 1 0
 Get welll soon Ben! Love the positive attitude and the CSI remake!!
  • 1 0
 Get well homie. Thinkin about ya.
  • 1 0
 Get well soon Ben.
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