Video: What An Injured Rider's Dreams Are Made Of

Jul 16, 2018
by Blake Rountree  

Joe getting airlifted out of the trees, big thanks to the New Plymouth Rescue Helicopter Service for getting him out!

Joseph Loveridge Mills is a 16-year-old Enduro Racer from Wanganui, New Zealand. On June 10th 2018, while filming this video, Joe had a big crash resulting in traumatic brain injury. He spent the first week after the crash in the Wanganui Hospital Critical Care unit where he was in an induced coma for 3 days. He then spent the next 4 weeks in the ABI Rehabilitation Centre.

One month later, he is now back at home, walking, doing physiotherapy and is the keenest he has ever been to get back on his bike! Once he gets clearance to ride again from the physiotherapist, of course. Joseph does not want people to be scared away from mountain biking because of his accident but thought this would be a good opportunity to remind them to wear protection.

Joe and his Yeti SB5

Great weather for filming and riding, in the middle of Winter too!

Getting the drone shots for extra edit sickness



30 Comments

  • + 21
 Amazing video with a great message. I am a nurse in a trauma ICU and frequently see skateboard, bike, motorcycle, and ATV/UTV head injuries. The brain is an amazing organ but when knocked hard enough, the damage can be severe and oftentimes irreversible. Joe's quick recovery quite possibly could be attributed to the fact that he was wearing a helmet, the mere fact that he is walking his dog a month later after having severe head trauma is only possible with some degree of head protection. I cannot overstress the importance of wearing a helmet, nearly all of my patients who have a meaningful recovery were wearing head protection. Put that dome protection on folks and kudos Joe for working hard on recovery!
  • + 5
 @Airbud as someone in your career would you say that a full face helmet significantly reduces chances of brain injury or is it more about not having your face and teeth smeared down the trail.
  • - 1
 @patrick-marsh: if you think about it your face is your passport in all meetings in your life. Depends where you work off course but wound tattoos are not welcome everywhere. I recognize it in the looks of absolutely wonderful people at my work that they would rather not see my bloody scars, when I come bruised sometimes. They are great people, but still. Some dummies in this sport think it’s cool, they expect people to be respectful, some low lives expect even admiration and curiousity about their injuries. No, not really, your self proclaimed heroism is your own thing. And more often than not we crash in a silly manner, not when being 10s up on the final split on World Champs. So what reason is there to be proud of yourself? No one wants to see a gashing wound, especially on the face. Yes they can happen on a regular xc ride but they happen much more likely when maxing out strava times, when filming, riding in the bike park, shuttling. Dress up to the occasion, respect the people looking at you. You can tattoo “ass guy” on your bottocks, but don’t do it on your tyr... face.

As to the rider, heal up man, all the best, we all crash and some are less lucky, they crash harder. After all, riding skill is the best way to avoid injuries, and you are good at it.

*disclaimer: text above is not only for good looking people.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I assume @patrick-marsh means the additional leverage on your neck that comes from the full-face's chin. Also, it was proven that helmet's size and weight increase the forces impacting your head and brain. One can argue that it's easier to replace several teeth than fix a broken spine cord, or suffer a serious TBI. Yes there are neck braces, but not sure it they solve the problem. @AirBud
  • + 0
 @Slabrung: not sure if assuming worst case scenarios is a good mental approach to anything in life. One can argue that wearing any helmet is increasing chance of brain trauma from rotational forces. Each person can educate themselves and feed that data to their own calculator of probability. I am personally sceptical about any greater moralizing. I am still traumatized from a story of a 40yr old dude who broke his spine and people were bashing him for wearing a soft back protector. Trouble was, as I realized it later after reading about Martyn Ashton crash, that he fell on his neck and it was a compression. No spine protector would save him. Hence, wear whatever you like. Just because you think you save your face doesn’t mean you will save your brain, and conversely, you may feel safer in open lid and one day you may need plastic surgery. If it happens by the time you are 20, especially if you are a girl? That cuts your pool of potential boyfriends by a lot. Nothing in life is simple
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah Waki but wearing a helmet also assumes a worst case scenario, i.e. crashing. We just need to go for the statistically best option. And here we don't know the statistics, and this I guess is the reason for Patrick's question to AirBud.
And I definitely agree that nothing in life is simple.
  • - 1
 @Slabrung: to me hitting my head into the ground/ tree is a scenario that I am sure will happen. Same with knees hitting the ground. But I am unable to prepare for life threatening crashes.
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: I was more thinking of direct impacts to the face and if they are effectively transfered to the brain, though I guess there is a significant natural crumple zone (jaw etc). But of course weight and leverage are also large factors so I'm interested in that to and the overall effect.
  • - 1
 @patrick-marsh: don’t forget that we use jaw for eating. It’s always about many factors, brain injury is one of them. Likelyhood of loosing teeth is much higher than increase of brain trauma due to hitting ground with the jaw piece. I fell at least 10 times on my face in fullface helmet. Front wheel going over the top of the berm twice, several front wheel wash outs on off camber and one fromt wheel case. Several cases of falling face straight on a rock in a rock garden with 2 actual hits. Then at least 3 dirt eating sessions in open face. Then I had 2 potential concussions.
  • + 1
 @patrick-marsh all impacts to the head are transferred to the brain, in fact you don't even need to hit your head to have brain injury (e.g. whiplash).

@WAKIdesigns in the discussion about full face I rather think about neck injury, not TBI. But I think I would wear a full face if I found one that fits me well.
  • + 12
 Tragic story with a Positive message. If we ride like we downhill racers and freeriders we should gear up like them. Get well Joe you are a talented rider with passion and a good head on your shoulders that you know how to best protect from here on out.
  • + 1
 I cant upvote this enough.
  • + 6
 Stay safe dude. As a 30 year old and having had long times off the bike literally itching to get back on it, the time will come. Currently in bed at home post crash, huge concussion last week, brain addled and slow. Just make sure to heal well first. Stay safe ripper!
  • + 3
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Healing Vibes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • + 1
 @colincolin: cheers bud! Feeling rather ropey!
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: ouch sounds not cool, heal up fast!
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: yeah, mind working slower than normal. Can’t wait to feel normal again :-( cheers dude!
  • + 3
 @cunning-linguist: not really a dude but I forgive you due to your head injury Wink OK jokes aside I really wish you good recovery, I know how it feels and it's not fun.
  • + 3
 @Slabrung: thanks!! :-)
  • + 3
 I wish you all the best and a good recovery. I am sure you will be fine. I had a brain tumour and survived...not the same but similar. The human body is just a miracle. Sending healing vibes from Austria,
  • + 2
 I’m in week 4 of a concussion, home from work laying on the couch wishing the headaches and dizziness away. And that’s without blacking out or spending time in a hospital. Thoughts are with you my man. Good thing you’re young... bet you’re back to riding before my middle aged ass
  • + 2
 Had a big crash last year. Neck brace unloaded onto my collarbone thankfully and saved my neck. I highly recommend the Leatt neck brace it takes a few rides to get used too but I feel naked without it now.
  • + 1
 Currently sat here with a plated up arm after a recent off, while no amount of protection would have prevented that injury thankfully I was wearing a full face and a roost guard, if not I think it would have been a different story as I hit the deck hard. The amount of people I see sending it in the parks with just an open face is quite scary. To each their own though. Healing vibes going out to joe and kudos on a great edit.
  • + 1
 Great vid, I hope you heal up soon, take your time, no rush, time is on your side.
  • + 1
 Good luck Dude. Great video. Reminds me of the winter plantation trails we ride here.
  • + 3
 heal up soon buddy!!!
  • + 2
 Keep shredding!! Deadly vid!!
  • + 1
 Fantastic video and message......get well and back on that bike soon Joe!
  • + 1
 Hope you're back riding again soon Joe, take it easy.
  • + 1
 heal up quick!

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