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Injury Update From Alicia: One Year Later, I've Started to Like Bikes Again

Sep 29, 2023 at 14:42
by Alicia Leggett  
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Quite possibly the happiest photo ever taken of me. I'll explain that more below.

Words: Alicia Leggett

Hey again from Alicia's injury recovery world. It's now been a year, to the day this past Saturday, since I got hurt, and it's been an absurd enough year that I don't feel like I can even begin to fill you in on what's been going on, but I can try to start. (If you'd like to catch up on the injury updates so far, you can find my first four-month check-in here, then one from six months later here, and a podcast chat here. The main idea, for context, is that I crashed and hit my head a year ago, sustaining a traumatic brain injury that put me in a nine-day "state of impending death" and a coma, kept me in hospitals for over two months and in intensive outpatient treatments for another two, and generally - although it's played out about as well as possible - been a pretty huge bummer.)

To preface all of this, I'm a little self-conscious about putting an article about recent adventures out there because I'm nervous about people repeating something I've heard in real life along the lines of "Wow, you're clearly doing everything you want to do - seems like that injury was a positive for you!" Just... no. This has been a big enough life event that there's a whole range of emotions related to it, and it feels impossible to reduce it to just any one feel, but if I were going to try to do that, it wouldn't look very positive. Still, there's been elation, real learning, connection, and so much love all around. It's cool that I get to often choose in the moment which of the many sides to focus on.

The last time I wrote, I'd just recently gotten into mountain biking again, and it felt like good practice for me. Still, one of the central parts of my experience with biking, that I mostly tried to ignore, was that it just wasn't fun. It was actually the opposite, quite unpleasant thanks to my balance having become unpredictable yet predictably bad, my visual processing too slow for me to feel like I understood much of the terrain coming at me, my ability to see while transitioning between sunlight and shadows disappearing... basically, despite having some rad friends go on rides with me and being so thankful I still can do this sport, it's just been not a very good time, and an even less good time when considering how sad it felt to lose something that I've more or less centered my life on for the last decade. Anyway, more on my evolving feelings about mountain biking later.

Soon after I last wrote, I got hand surgery, which really killed my momentum around biking when my hand was casted for a while, there was a pin in my finger, and all of that. I went to Crankworx right after that, and spent a week having the weird experience of being at Whistler specifically to enjoy and support the sport of mountain biking but without even pedaling a bike the whole time. I wrote a few articles from Crankworx and recorded a bit of podcast talk, but mainly was there to spend time with the Pinkbike crew. Mission accomplished.

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I made friends with a dog at the Hangtime after-party. That was cool. Photo: Paul Kalifatidi

The following weekend, I went to this year's edition of Hangtime, the women's freeride event where I was injured last year. I am a big fan of the event and am so glad I had the chance to go this year, but also, wow. That was an experience.

The event happens in Bellingham, WA, where I live, and is run by Hannah Bergemann, queen of the Blue Steel jump line, where it happens. The basic idea is that a bunch of female riders are invited to come throw down on the jumps for two days with morning and evening sessions and a spectator showdown the second evening. It's not a competition but is more a community hype event, where the riders can have a supportive environment for feeding off each other and chasing their riding goals. Last year, I crashed and hit my head on the first evening.

For the first day and a half of this year's two-day event, I was almost a little disappointed that I didn't feel much. Like, I was happy for the ladies riding and felt kind of neutrally positive about the whole thing happening, but it stopped there. Where's the processing of seeing the place and the setting where my life forever changed? I'd felt more even during a running race on Galbraith a while back that routed us somewhat near the jumps, but not even within sight.

Anyway, the collapse I didn't even know I was avoiding happened on the final evening, when I crumbled into one of the bigger meltdowns of my life - just seeing the whole scene, I think a scene I was really looking forward to being part of last year. I'm so glad I got to go and am really thankful for how it played out, how caring and kind and supportive the riders all were toward each other and toward me.

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My town commuter and a backpack with my paragliding and packrafting gear. All ready to go.

Then, I spent a bit of time in Missoula, Montana, where I used to live. The report I have from there is from a bike-hike-fly-raft day. I rode my bike from where I was housesitting to a trailhead, hiked up to the top of Mt. Sentinel, launched my paraglider and flew to near East Missoula, landed near the river, packed up, inflated my packraft that I'd carried in my paragliding harness, rafted back down the river to near my bike, and biked back to where I was staying.

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After the rafting stage, before packing up. My paraglider was inside a zippered storage compartment in the raft body, the rest of my flying gear was in that plastic bag, and everything else was in a few drybags.

The day was great. The bike ride part was a nice flat ten minutes on my commuter, the hike was up a steep, rocky ridge trail that I used to really like to night ride down, though my pack was heavy enough with my paraglider and raft that the hike up was a definite challenge, the flight was really nothing impressive but got me close to a popular river put-in, so that float back was respectable and really enjoyable. I think it all went really well - I figured out, too, that my paraglider fits into a zipped internal storage compartment in the body of my raft, a great spot to save space and keep the wing dry. The rest of my flying gear went into a large plastic bag, which fit nicely in front of me. My main goal with this fly-raft thing is to figure out bigger cross-country flights and raft trips back, so in some ways I thought of that Missoula day as a test run, but it went well enough that I don't think there's much troubleshooting to do right now. I'm really happy with it and excited to do more with that idea in the future.

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Some river float zen.

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The gear all out on display. Town bike not pictured.

The next highlight was in Utah, where I went to fly at a site I've flown for four years now each fall. My first time to that zone, two of us had launched from one mountain, climbed a few thousand feet on rising air and crossed to a neighboring mountain, landed and camped on a small ridge, and relaunched and flown back down to town the next morning. That adventure has taken up a lot of space in my mind since, having shown me that I could just think of something to do and then, just, do it. Nothing was stopping me other than the friction of taking the initiative to do the things I want to do, a limiter that's not even a real thing anyway.

So this year, I decided to recreate that first mini 'vol biv' or fly-camp mission, this time solo and with a little more experience in the sport. I crossed from the same launch to the same nearby mountain, was able to soar higher on it this time, and eventually landed on a sidehill that seemed launchable the next morning. (The above photo, the one near the tent that I described as the happiest photo of me ever, is from where I landed.) The next morning, unfortunately, I didn't get weather conditions I felt comfortable launching from that spot in, so I spent that day taking a long walk out. That said, it was maybe more perfect that I didn't get to wrap up that adventure in a neat, tidy way with a bow on it. Since the trip didn't go perfectly to plan, I have more fire than ever to keep developing my vol biv abilities and make some successful trips happen. And the trip went well enough that I'm still over the moon about it.

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Tent and glider where I landed.

The rest of my Utah paragliding trip actually kind of continued in that vein. I did a weeklong cross-country paragliding competition, the type of competition where my scores will be mediocre at best but I'll have the priceless opportunity to fly with and watch and learn from all my heroes, and the community I get to be part of there goes so far beyond that.

That type of paragliding competition involves a series of 'task' days, on which the organizers set a course of GPS turnpoints and pilots are scored based on how quickly they fly the course or how far along they make it. The winner will be in the air for maybe an hour and a half, and most will fly for hours.

The last task day, I was having a decent flying day. I'd actually never flown for more than four hours before, having landed several times around the 3:50 mark, and started getting low again around then but managed to climb back up, fighting in a series of turbulent thermals to go from 7.3k' up over 15k, which brought me a whole lot of relief until I eventually was in much deeper terrain and getting low once again, around the five-hour airtime mark. I ended up landing far from any roads. One of the biggest benefits of doing paragliding races is that 'retrieve' will pick pilots up as close as possible to where they landed, but pilots deep are out of luck. The retrieve coordinator's first InReach message to me included "You are deeeep... You're gonna have to hike a ways." And hike I did. Long after dark, I met up with two crew members who had hiked partway in to take my backpack and help make the getting-out process a little easier. I went to a lot of emotional and mental places during those hours of hiking out with my heavy pack, but I do think all that's good for me.

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Getting to look at the world from right there - that almost makes it worth it to land that deep.

One of the more interesting pieces about that hike out was how aware I was of my new balance limitations, how risk and safety have moved in the ways they affect my decision-making. I've lost so much of my balance and coordination from this injury that hiking with a heavy backpack on uneven ground has become challenging, to put it really mildly. I landed on a little high point with a hike down a steep hill then through a series of drainages to get out. I had my maximum paragliding kit, which has a heavy competition harness with two reserve parachutes, an oxygen tank for high altitudes, and basically no planning for the purpose of lightness. So my backpack was closing in on 50 lbs and the steep slope was moving when I stepped on it. Not exactly a recipe for success. I fell over more times than I want to admit and got a tiny bit of bleak amusement out of the fact that I'd checked off the blood-sweat-tears triad several times over. (I do feel the need to defend myself a little bit here and say that at no point was I at any real risk of hitting my head again.) Anyway, I eventually did make it out, and enough time has passed that I can now look back on that afternoon and evening and night fondly. I think it was a great end to the competition week.

The next day I spent in the mountains was, similarly, a nice big scramble. Saturday, September 30, was a year after my crash, and I decided it would probably be a good day to go outside and disappear for a while.

I woke up early, drove up a monstrously long dirt road, and started moving toward Hadley Peak. Hadley Peak is a pointy sub-peak on the north flank of Mt Baker. There's a trail leading part of the way up it, but the rest involves a little more route-finding. Six inches of new-ish plus some older snow made things a little tougher, and at several points I wasn't sure how far I'd make it, but the snow ended up being just fine.

The hours moved by quickly, and somehow the Hadley Peak day felt like it gave me a lot of what I'm looking for and only sometimes find when I go into the mountains. It felt really great. I fully lost my sense of where I was in space and time. I've lost a lot of my sense of space and time after this injury anyway, but handing that awareness off in a way that I meant to sign up for felt pretty nice.

I have nothing at all and everything in the world to say about that day, but I think I'll keep most of it to myself for now. I'm just glad I went. I've been getting more and more little glimpses of myself again lately, getting to have moments when just existing feels like being me, and that's a good thing.

Now, enjoy some of my phone photos from yesterday, a combination of craggy rocks and dorky selfies. I know this article is getting almost unreasonably long and I know these are a lot of photos, but I like them and I figure if you've made it this far down the page already, you probably have patience for me and my whims.

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Smiling with my objective.

Sometimes when I'm out doing something, I get the almost giddy feeling of holy shit, after this entire ridiculous year, I'm still standing and I still get to go out and do this. I felt that way for a lot of the day Saturday, and it was nice.

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Morning light on my way up.

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The sun came out again after the snow.

The route stuck with a trail for the first three-point-something miles, but by the time the trail disappeared the ground had long been covered in snow. I followed that up a long ridge, which then becomes a steep slog up to the final ridge that includes several rocky gendarmes and eventually leads to the summit. Climbers can climb up to then cross to the other side of that final ridge, then follow that up to the peak.

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Looking up ahead from close to something like a final ridge.

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I really like terrain like this.

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Most of it was so much more mind-blowing than I could possibly show in any of these photos.

That was some powerful terrain. Time is a batshit insane thing, what it can do on both small and large scales. Geology is neat, lots of this is neat.

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It's hard not to fall in love with a scene like this.

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The clouds came in around the summit as I was on my way back down, but below them was some warm, euphoric, evening light.

I don't have any major takeaways to share here from that day, just that it was f*cking good, and a great way to spend a day that could have been immensely painful. (Actually, it still was - lots of life is these days - but that pain also got to be mixed with some really really intensely positive feelings too.)

But hey, I said earlier that I'd fill you in on my relationship with biking, and now it's time to do that. See, I've started to like biking again, which is pretty cool. At the beginning of last week, I announced to my housemates that I'd go mountain biking the next day. "Now that I've said it out loud to you, I won't be able to back out," I remember saying.

Before last week, I hadn't biked in a little while because I was busy then very sick then surrounded by rain, and I lost enough momentum that I really didn't feel very motivated to go out on two wheels anymore. Still, I did, and something clicked that first ride back.

I pedaled from home, climbed a climbing trail that I'd never heard of but was just right, not too steep but with enough roots to make it technically challenging for me, then climbed another trail I vaguely remember from back in the day, then descended a trail I really like, one that I used to tack onto the end of most of my Galbraith rides because it went in the right direction and I liked it. Turns out, now, it's perfectly at my maximum, just tricky enough to keep me fully focused, engaged in the way that keeps me from thinking about anything else, which I think is the feeling that originally drew me into mountain biking.

I spent a lot of that ride grinning, kind of stunned that I still can go out and goof around on a bike, that after the intense hospital chaos that's been my last year, I still have times when I can just go into the woods and be fully present there. I love the smell of all the plants I ride past. It's just nice to be out.

Then, when I got back home that first evening, I noticed I was already scheming about riding the exact same loop the next day. So I did. It rained the next morning so the roots were all slippery, maxing out my bikehandling ability, but morale stayed high enough. It was really good to be out.

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Sometimes looking ahead doesn't suck. Photo evidence that I've been getting out on the bike.

Then, I went again a day later. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here, but I think something has shifted, and I think I can say that I officially enjoy mountain biking again. That's a big relief for a lot of reasons. I mean, the idea of working for Pinkbike while not enjoying mountain biking sounds tough, especially when I could just... like biking. So even just for human-job alignment, it makes a lot of sense for me to be into the sport. Plus, there's the whole world of everything I've gotten from the sport, which I described in a past article as: "The experience of working at something and seeing the progress, friendship and a venue where consistently being at our limits makes us all better at being friends with some nice forced vulnerability, permission to play around and just have fun, a job, and so much more." So now, I'm not only going to hang onto what mountain biking has already given me, but I think it's still very possible to keep leaning into that growth.

I guess that's my main big-and-not-big-at-the-same-time update, that the thing people probably assumed I still liked is back in my good graces. I'm beyond certain that things will still be hard going forward. Really, really hard. But I've done hard things before, so I can keep putting one foot in front of the other here. One of my most fundamental beliefs is that when taking 100 steps feels impossible, I'm still totally able to figure out taking one or two, then just doing that over and over and over. That's exactly how life feels right now, just continuing to do what I can to move forward. It's working well enough.

So to all of you out there, whoever and however you are, thanks for reading this and thanks for being there for me. The support from the people around has been mindblowing, both from my community like family, friends, and coworkers, and from people I've never met but who have chosen to be kind. You'll probably never know just how much that's meant. So much.

Signed with lots of love as always,

Alicia

Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
738 articles

105 Comments
  • 543 0
 This is f*cking great. Smile
  • 125 0
 I missed Alicia's articles while she was gone. great to have her back riding and writing.
  • 23 3
 @mior: since you and @brianpark are here, I want to put in a plug for more of this kind of content from all of you
  • 9 0
 Precisely. I smiled the whole time I spent reading it.
  • 2 11
flag KK11 (Oct 3, 2023 at 5:27) (Below Threshold)
 Well, sounds like you are doing what you want……
  • 143 0
 I always appreciate your authenticity and vulnerability. Keep on enjoying life. Thanks for taking us along with you, in some way.
  • 96 0
 Just wanted to pile on and say that I appreciate this long-form, introspective style content. Obviously this isn't something that can be put together on a regular basis just due to the nature of it, but props to PB for publishing and massive shoutout to you Alicia for being vulnerable and putting this out there!
  • 24 0
 I would LOVE to see more “here is what I got into last month” content like this from all of the contributors to the site.

So I started thinking about when I had last seen something like that on PB and I remembered an article where I said the author was a badass. A little searching and… oh. It was Alicia Leggett in 2021:

www.pinkbike.com/news/5-things-i-learned-at-the-trans-cascadia-2021.html

At least I understood Trans-Cascadia (in the sense that I know after 1 day of it I couldn’t handle a whole week). The ride/hike/fly/raft trip is utterly mind blowing. So, at this risk of repeating myself, today, while reading this article, I learned that Alicia is a badass.

The bar has been set (more than once). I would love to read more badassery from everyone at Pinkbike.
  • 84 0
 It's really hard to understand what it's like getting back into MTB after a long recovery unless you've been through it. The thing that you used to love more than anything becomes a daunting and sometimes scary task, and then, one magical day, the pain is mostly gone, the tires are hooking up with the dirt, the corners are linking together, terra are flying past, and in a moment of pure bliss, you forget that you were ever even hurt. I'm so glad that Alicia is still with us, and that she's rediscovered her passion for this beautiful sport.
  • 2 0
 I really appreciate that recognition that it's a battle and despite all the lessons and the gratitude you really just wish it didn't happen. On the road back from a spine injury here and although I am pumped to be riding again it's clear I will likely never be on the same level again. Thanks for expressing that reality, it really resonated here. PS- biking is truly beautiful!
  • 45 0
 I'm really glad that you and Pinkbike both see the value in publishing your account of your experience this past year. I sometimes grapple with the fact that mountain biking is joyful, fulfilling, and makes my life better, but that it can also be painful, cause suffering, and change my life (for the much, much worse) forever. Your coverage of this personal experience has been a frank, honest and real look at the potential consequences of mountain biking and what life after catastrophe can look like. Life as we know it hangs in the balance for all of us; I am grateful that you are still here to share your experience from the other side of the knife's edge.
  • 2 0
 Very well said.
  • 24 1
 You're so incredibly strong and brave. True inspiration right there. Thank you for sharing.
  • 23 0
 Love to read the updates Alicia, keep giving er!!!!
  • 19 0
 Great story... and really solid writing. Thanks for sharing!
  • 13 0
 It's so easy to get wrapped up in life's BS, that I forget how to smile and just live. Thanks for the reminder Alicia. Get well and keep doing the things that bring you joy.
  • 16 0
 Best article on PB.
  • 11 0
 Thanks so much for sharing this Alicia. I came in expecting to kill 4 minutes reading about a bike I'll never buy and instead found myself with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Thanks for all of the dorky selfies and sharing this update. I'm stoked to read more of your musings. Keep up the paragliding updates too, it sure leads to some beautifully scenic pictures!
  • 12 0
 Winning!
  • 6 0
 I have a lot of respect for you sharing your personal journey the way you have here on PB. I have other friends that have suffered TBIs, and anyone willing to share their personal experiences with something similar makes it easier for us to understand what our friends go through during their healing. While I may not be able to truly empathize, having not had the same injury, it certainly helps me wrap my head around the enormity and the unpredictable nature of the recovery process. Thank your for that, and thank you for just plain inspiring me with the nature of your adventures. They may not be what you want fully at this point. But they are still mind blowing to me! Again, thank you for sharing!
  • 6 0
 I really, really feel this. 4 years ago I tore my PCL riding Trestle. 7 months later, after I finished PT and got released to ride again, I crashed and broke 8 bones and collapsed a lung and got a concussion. hated MTB for a long time after that. after spending a year recovering and then a fun year riding, I had a TBI about 14 months ago. It took me until just the last month to be able to enjoy it again, and sometimes I still don't. The high alpine pics really resonated with me, and personally I think I may be headed towards giving up on MTB and returning to mountaineering and skiing. @alicialeggett I'm really sad for you that you've had to go through this, but FWIW, i've enjoyed these updates and your honesty and writing about your journey returning to health and the sport. they help me in some way, I guess just to know that someone else out there gets it.
  • 5 0
 You're a great writer, and as others have mentioned, following your journey has been an emotional experience on the reader's side as well! I'm blown away again and again by your openness about all of the challenges, yet so sharing of your recognition and appreciation of all of the small wins...how stringing them together always moves you forward. Thanks for the update and best wishes!
  • 3 0
 I'd like to start by saying how much I enjoyed this article. It felt very real and down to earth. It was impressive; the way you acknowledged how hard it has been, while also showing your strength in continuing to live your life to the fullest. It seems, Alicia, that you have really made the most out of an enormously life-changing injury.
I was intrigued by the mention of losing your sense of space and time. This is something I have only been able to really experience while tripping on large amounts of mushrooms. It is always terrifying at first, and then once I come to accept and embrace that reality it sends me into a place of deep peace and understanding. It seems that on your day on Hadley Peak, you came to realize that feeling as something positive instead of just being another negative implication of your traumatic brain injury. I am so impressed by you as there is no way to look back on an accident like that and see it as a positive shift in your life, but it seems you have been able to adapt and grow as a human regardless of the massive challenges you have faced.

Sending love and best of luck for the rest of your journey!
  • 3 0
 As someone who has raced and ridden mountain bikes for 35 years many people I ride with, including myself have suffered some sort of injury that required months of recovery before being able to return to the bike. Luckily nobody I ride with was injured this badly. It is good to see an honest story about the difficulties encountered as you try to return to the things you love doing that hurt you badly. I don't know how much of it is age and how much of it is memories of getting hurt and long recoveries but it is very hard to just let it rip on downhills these days. Thanks for sharing your journey coming back from a place much darker than I've ever been.
  • 3 0
 It's not that I have "patience for you and your whims"; I'm hanging on every word. I hope to never have to go through anything like what you've been going through since your crash, but I'm inspired by your tenacity and your honesty. Who would you like to portray you when Hollywood makes the Oscar-bait Alicia's Story?
  • 4 0
 Pretty incredible that on one hand, you're nervous about coordination, on the other hand, you're paragliding. If you have any fear of limits, I'm not seeing them!
  • 5 0
 Thanks for be willing to share this. It is great writing, This is what I want to read, and see! I love the photo’s!
  • 2 0
 Great writing, finding moments of happiness and joy is progress. I hope you continue to improve on your journey and can give us updates on it, from time to time. The raw, authentic nature of your writing is rare and a real treat to read. Thanks for sharing.
  • 5 0
 Very few articles on PB bring tears to my eyes. This one did. Happy tears for a great, tough story.
  • 4 0
 Sometimes you come for bike reviews and you leave with happy tears.... was my experience today as well
  • 2 0
 Alicia, I'm really happy for you! There's probably a lot of hurt hidden in those few sentences about the not-so-bright sides but you sure seem to be on an uphill path (which is an expression that probably wasn't invented by a mountain biker)
I love these articls, both how you write and the feelings you bring across, and it makes me happy to see you so cheerful on these pictures.
  • 2 0
 Thank you Alicia for a wonderfully honest, intimate look into this journey you're on. I know it isn't one you would ever choose, but the honesty, care and growth has been truly inspiring to watch. I look forward to reading about your future endeavors should you feel like sharing.
  • 2 0
 Re. Paragraph 2. Screw those people. They lack a frame of reference, or just basic empathy. Don't spend as long as it took to write that thinking about them.

Everyone's recovery is different, in nearing year 20 of mine (it gets so much better (for me at least)), but I couldn't quite maintain your positive attitude as often. It helped me, when pushing, to just acknowledge how shit a situation was well before I went into breakdown mode. I mostly wouldn't let it stop me, but calling it shit while I was doing it made it easier to get through, fwiw.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for that last comment about the 100 steps. Needed to hear that, even for some more common everyday things in my life right now. Great article, and glad you're having better days Smile .
  • 1 0
 Thank you for sharing your journey. Feelings and emotions after head injuries take a long time to process. I'm so happy to have bumped into you again at Megan's house! Next time we will have to go share our stories on a ride up the snake.
  • 3 0
 More bike-hike-flly-raft!!!! The zen adventure is such a great balance to the tech and the racing. Inspirational words, keep going.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for continuing to share your story and recovery...both the ups and downs. It's great to hear that you are continuing to learn and have fun experiences even if they are different from what may have been possible before I've never paraglided but I've carried my friends pack up mountains before. Doing it on loose steep conditions would be a huge challenge!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for providing such a personal Journey, glad this comment section can agree on. Must have been a tough year. Congrats to you to keep pushing through and finding out how to do what you love. Glad you’re enjoying biking again, can’t wait to continue reading your content
  • 1 0
 Your updates have really resonated with me. Having had my own issues with concussions and the myriad of symptoms that came with them, I can empathize and appreciate the journey you are on. So happy to hear that you are on back on the bike, and more importantly, enjoying it again.
  • 1 0
 What a beautiful soliloquy. As as older MTB guy who has put down other passions over the years. I can only suggest that you embrace the journey forward while fondly remembering the past. Be kind to yourself and recognize that change comes to us all.
  • 4 0
 I’m delighted she has the financial security to pay the medical bills and be able to do this stuff
  • 1 0
 I haven't logged on to PB in months and just saw your article. Glad to hear you are recovering. This can be a dangerous sport which I why as a father, I have toned down.I have just a much fun chasing my kids down XC trails. As we get older some of our acceptable tolerance for risk decreases. I think I speak for everyone to say we are all glad you are recovering and enjoying life.
  • 1 0
 Thank you so much, Alicia, for sharing this. Last month I suffered a much less severe injury in an OTB event, but still one that will keep me off bikes for a few months. Reading about what you’ve worked through inspires me and helps me put my own situation in perspective. I look forward to your future posts!
  • 1 0
 Vol-Biv sounds right up my street! Been thinking of learning to fly so I don't have to hike down (makes me knees hurt too much), but vol-biv?? That sounds rad.

Anyway flying aside, so happy to read that you like bikes again! Or more that you have done a ride, got home, planned to do another.. I hope that is along with a fuzzy little feeling about something "new" and "exciting" that you want to keep doing.. something like that anyway. Big up and thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 So a great article to read, thanks for sharing, your honesty and feelings . The pictures ..even as you put it..the dorky selfies...should all be celebrated to show how far you have come and inspire all us readers to show what we can achieve too. Sometimes we all need to just see the view around us , instead of the Strava segment or the grade of the trail, appreciate the nature around us and being able to take one or 2 steps at at time. Keep doing what you are doing, good days and not as good, you are inspiring, thank you for writing.
  • 1 0
 Hey Alicia, from a fellow TBI guy here, happy to see you having happy moments and enjoying the things that work in the way they work. The hardships are not easy for everyone to see or understand when you have a non-visible injury. Happy to hear you got good support. Rooting for you.
  • 4 0
 Awesome pictures! Those views make a Dutchman like me a bit jealous!
  • 1 0
 Alicia, thank you for continuing to share your story, your feels with the PB tribe here. We admire and cherish you, your heart, and your authenticity. You’re an amazing human. Wink
  • 1 0
 proud to see you back on the bike Alicia. One of my good friends had a TBI years back racing and i know how hard this is to overcome. Its exciting to see you out in the great outdoors doing the things you love.
  • 3 0
 Wonderful read, thank you for sharing!
  • 4 0
 Very inspiring!
  • 2 0
 Read every word. Thanks for your story, and hope the positive trend continues, with lots of sweet adventures yet to come.
  • 1 0
 Awesome to read, I read this website for bikes but reading about adventures is just as fun! Glad to hear the bike is bringing joy again Smile
  • 7 6
 DONT LET OUTSIDE get their hands on these quality articles. Keep it for us, the mountain bike family and not the corporate machine. Great, strong article.
  • 3 0
 those are dorky selfies, very glad that you're still around to take them.
  • 2 0
 So great to see you living your life. Hope you continue to find bits of happiness everywhere you go!
  • 2 0
 Did not realize paragliding could consist of 4+ hour flights. Looks awesome!!
  • 1 0
 i garner inspiration from your posts since crashing out the end of February. Many thanks and hope to read more posts. Respect, Guidance and Protection on your journeys.
  • 1 0
 Loved this whole article so much. I have some much respect and admiration for your authenticity & bravery, and am endlessly grateful that you’re here!
  • 1 0
 Such a good read! After the ordeal you have been through, it seems like you have had conquest after conquest, even if you do not see it that way! Congrats!
  • 1 0
 You are a beautiful soul Alicia!!! Keep smiling and living, you're an inspiration and I will learn to paraglide because of you. I said it, now I have to do it.
  • 2 0
 Read every word. Thanks for sharing!
  • 2 0
 You're an inspiration.... Keep going!
  • 2 0
 Thanks you for the brilliant article!
  • 2 0
 TBI is no joke- no one needs their headset messed with
  • 6 0
 I have a friend that was hit by a car on a road ride and he suffered from a TBI. That accident is what made me sell my road bike. It changed him. He went from a happy person to someone that struggled to find happiness and the learning struggles to complete high school. It’s been 15 years since the accident and has regained his happiness. Alicia thanks for sharing your journey.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the update! Sounds like things are moving along nicely... Keep it up!
  • 1 0
 Beautiful writing. A nice mixture of craft, art, authenticity, and some basic fucking human emotion. loved it.
  • 2 1
 Thanks for sharing Alicia.Sometime life leads you elsewhere but you end up up where you are meant to be.
  • 3 0
 YOU ARE GREAT ALICIA!!!
  • 1 0
 I always look forward to your articles here. Glad to see you're finding joy in a variety of activities. Take care!
  • 1 0
 you kick ass, Alicia - keep living to your full potential, & please give us another update when it feels timely to do so
  • 1 0
 after each uphill full of suffer comes the downhill full of joy! this or something similar is an old Tyrolean saying!
  • 1 0
 These genuine stream of consciousness articles give me the feels; it's humbling for me to read about your experiences.
  • 1 0
 First article I've read since the accident that I've enjoyed. Here's to many more.
  • 3 1
 很棒的个人自然之旅!
  • 3 2
 Love it, pls retrieve Levy while you are out flying next!



(bonum est Deus!)
  • 1 0
 Love it!!!! Keep staying strong and Positive, it's not always easy like you pointed out, but life gets back to "normal"
  • 1 0
 Just great to hear. I'm an old sap and was preparing some french onion soup while I read this.
  • 1 0
 Starting paragliding will be the best decision of your Life ! you'll thank me for pushing you!
  • 1 0
 Thank you, Alicia, for sharing your journey! One of the best things I've read on PB.
  • 2 0
 Really good read Alicia! Looking forward to your next article
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing the update and great read. Realized I was looking forward to it.
  • 1 0
 Awesome, I am glad to hear that you are back out in the wild and enjoying life. Keep up and stay safe Smile
  • 1 0
 Alicia.... we love you. Your recovery has been so inspiring and your message is so important. Thank you for sharing with us.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing Alicica!
  • 1 0
 Good to see you Back getting after it....
  • 1 0
 Great to see you back on Pinkbike Alicia
  • 1 0
 Soooo great to see you this happy!
  • 1 0
 Great stuff!!! Love the flying stoke!!!
  • 1 0
 Thank for sharing with us on your journey. Excellent!
  • 1 0
 Awesome! Great to see you are thriving Smile
  • 1 0
 This story needs to be at the Banff Mountain Film Festival!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Alicia, great read!
  • 1 0
 This is just wonderful.Thank you, Alicia.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic!!
  • 1 0
 Great!
  • 1 0
 great recovery Alicia
  • 1 0
 Hey dork, you're badass.
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