David McMillan Shares Injury Update After Crash While Testing Hardline Tasmania Course

Feb 15, 2024 at 7:42
by Ed Spratt  

David McMillan has shared an update on his injuries after a massive crash whilst testing the new Red Bull Hardline course in Tasmania.

In his post on social media, David says that he didn't have the right speed while attempting a 100ft double leading him to have a crash resulting in a "snapped femur, dislocated ankle, a bunch of broken bones in my foot, cracked pelvis, half a dozen facial fractures/ facial nerve damage & a missing tooth."

After the crash, David was quickly taken to hospital where he had surgery on his femur and after 11 days was able to fly back to Queenstown. The build crew have since made changes to the course to ensure rider safety when the event officially starts.

bigquotesHad a massive bust up a few weeks ago while testing the #redbullhardline Tasmania course.. Unfortunately couldn’t quite get the speed and came up short on a 100ft double resulting in a snapped femur, dislocated ankle, a bunch of broken bones in my foot, cracked pelvis, half a dozen facial fractures/ facial nerve damage & a missing tooth.

A huge thank you to the medics on site and the whole crew for getting me in the chopper and to hospital nice and quick.

I got surgery on my femur and spent 11 days in Hobart hospital before flying back to Queenstown to begin rehab with @remarkablephysios

I could not have got through it without my amazing girlfriend @daniellehartley flying over from NZ to be with me and look after me, She has gone above and beyond to make sure my recovery is smooth sailing and I feel very grateful to have her by my side through this

Building a course of this scale is an extremely massive task, Unfortunately this accident was a huge learning curve for everyone involved. Guinea pigging jumps that size is no joke and can come with big consequences... The @dirtart crew have since made the necessary changes to make it safe for the event & the riders. Super bummed not to be joining everyone in Tassie next week but after riding the rest of the track it’s going to be a really cool event.

Also a big thanks to @redbullau for looking after me through this injury and @rod.drury for the wheelchair friendly accommodation

I’ve got a long road to recovery but feel very lucky to only have some broken bones and not have any brain or internal damage. My @iamspecialized_mtb helmet did an amazing job at saving my noggin .

I haven’t had too many serious injuries over the years so I’m going to take this time to focus on healing, stay positive and come back swinging

Big up to @kaosseagrave for launching it with me and glad that he came out relatively ok! Loosest guinea pig ever

Thanks to everyone that has reached out, I appreciate it a lot!
David McMillan

We wish David all the best with his recovery.

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88 Comments
  • 121 0
 That’s gotta be the most savage list of injuries since Gee mashed himself in Wales, geeez, heal up dude
  • 100 1
 Snapped femur, dislocated ankle, a bunch of broken bones in my foot, cracked pelvis, half a dozen facial fractures/ facial nerve damage & a missing tooth.... AND A PARTIIIIDGE IN A PEAAAAAR TREEEEEEE!

Seriously though, woah, dude... Massive one. Heal up soon.
  • 7 0
 I believe that was actually changed to "and a beer!.. In a tree!" Heal-up sentiment from me as well.
  • 5 17
flag Matt115lamb (Feb 15, 2024 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 From the photos above he ain’t fractured his femur ( thigh bone ) !
  • 6 0
 @Matt115lamb: I’d bet they plated the femur and tossed that compression sock on to keep it from clotting in his lower leg.
  • 3 0
 @Matt115lamb: i was wondering the same but a friend who is surgeon said that these days it's either plated or you put a bolt through the inside of the bone depending on the fracture. meaning he just probably has a nasty scar on his hip or somewhere on his thigh
  • 5 0
 @asapyohanes: You can see the end of the wound cover in the last picture near the pool in the wheelchair.
  • 2 0
 @juanmenendez: yeah just noticed that and it looks swollen.
  • 31 0
 @Matt115lamb: Im not a dcctor but, I think dave would know if he broke his femur or not......
  • 2 0
 @asapyohanes:

Here is what my shattered tibial plateau looks like: www.instagram.com/p/C1cMKJoAmjB

Hnd here is what my broken humorous looks like: www.instagram.com/p/C3LxUElP3ZU

Plates require large incisions! I crashed my gravel bike and did the leg, a toe and the arm
  • 2 0
 That is big toll.
  • 54 1
 Our spouses and loved ones really should get a shout out for taking care of us when we get hurt like this. I know that I will never be able to return the bonus points my wife got when I was busted up for a few months.
  • 28 1
 We can always help with the small and often invisible things. Not pointing this at you because idk yall, but just shouting out to the men; tidy up, clean the dishes, clean the bathroom. Don't expect it to always be noticed, but it will make life nicer for everyone.
  • 12 9
 @Froday: I think I might have accidentally just logged on to mumsnet.
  • 13 0
 One time when i was really hurt I was pumped full of all the drugs in the ER. I somehow knew my mother in laws cell# and called her crying explaining how much I loved her daughter and how rad my website is, I don't have a website and I couldn't tell you what my mother inlaws cell # is.
  • 2 0
 For sure kudos there. I got really bad sciatica a few years ago and my wife took care of everything for a month. I felt so helpless. PSA to do your stretches everyday, chronic foot & leg numbness sucks.
  • 1 0
 @Tmackstab: this is genuinely one of the funniest and also most heartening injury stories I have ever read. Brilliant!

Hope you’re all healed good. And I hope you one day have a successful website. You deserve it
  • 28 2
 Wild the dudes building the jumps aren't the dudes testing.. Also weird to having some of the riders that are IN the race as the testers.. Sending my best to Dave, you're a savage!
  • 4 0
 They are threaten as cheap Crash test dummies.... Hard line to take...
  • 20 1
 Not really weird at all considering there are only a very limited number of guys in the world that can hit these types of features. Aren't many guys who can build something like this and also hit it. I don't even think Dan hits the new features on the UK Hardline course anymore.
  • 7 1
 I was under the impression Dave is a huge part of this course given that he is NZ-based and has worked with Hardline and Fest Series building before. If anything I thought this course was kind of his baby along with the bike park. He seems like the lead tester for every feature so I can't imagine he's not having a say in the building. I think the biggest issue is the soil type here. Not only slow but seems super variable based on weather. Whereas Bernard was still sending the 90s in Wales in the wet and wind. This soil looks sketchy for do or die features imo
  • 12 0
 Hmmm... Bernard did also get the lip of that very jump lowered a bit. Not sure how significant that is. Maybe this crash is why the vid ended so abruptly.
  • 15 6
 you're gonna be surprised to learn that the guys who ride the halfpipe at xgames don't build that either.
  • 3 0
 @everythingsucks: yes, but this is not something that somebody’s done for the first time. The X games guys have been making half pipes were very long time versus this trail Crew clearly has not written or built jumps like this ever. It’s wild that none of the fest guys and known builders are very large stuff like like Nico, Sam Reynolds Clemmens literally any of the top riders who involved in anything like fest or not there is wild
  • 6 0
 @everythingsucks: the concept of your point had merit but using x games ramps is like... the last example to use lol. Those are all built to spec to be the exact same whether its the vert ramp or the mega ramp. at most you could say the park and street courses are a bit more creative but at the end of the day those features don't quite equate to 75-100 foot dirt to dirt gaps.
  • 10 0
 From following social media and a few podcasts, Simon French and his team spent time over in Dyfi, then had some of the Dyfi-based builders come to Tasmania as well. All of the knowledge was there.

As much as people try to create a ‘safe’ 100ft jump, there’s still risk involved and that can’t be discounted.
  • 7 4
 @samnikora: A truly safe 100ft jump, pre first hits, would have a 20 - 30ft down sloped and tapered case deck for testing that can then be either left in place for the event or pulled out once the speed is figured out and sweet spot is perfect. There are plenty of ways to mitigate the risk rather than just leaving the riders to figure it out and realistically yeah, not many people in the world are capable of riding this stuff, but the build team should have at least 1 person who is competent at building and have the ability/ willingness to test ride most of if not the whole course.
  • 10 0
 @phil-mclean: they did. Two of them. Baxter and another dude. Both entered as athletes for tas hardline.
  • 5 0
 Darcy Couts.
  • 3 1
 @phil-mclean: 'truly safe' and '100ft jump' do not go together. No matter what, the speed and air time means there will always be a risk associated with it, theyre almost matching the wright brother's first flight in terms of distance ffs, and they're just some guys on push bikes.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking that surely they could check the jumps with some kind of maths before anyone hit them, but then I realised that there's too many variables and people have just got to test them. Slight variation in wind, different level of pop off the jump, 1mph difference in approach speed, etc. All will have a massive effect on where you land because of the sheer length of the jump. It makes you realise just how dangerous it all is and how talented the riders are. I went to a Hardline a few years back and it's the technical drops that look the worst, but this stuff makes you realise that even the long 'smoother' jumps are just as nuts...
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim: technically, yes, they can, where for a given mass, speed and take off radius, there is a calculation for the trajectory arc, but, as you say, that can't take all the minor variables into account. I believe an educated guess is the best they get, I was a trail builder for over a decade, and you kinda just get used to estimating trajectories, got reasonably ok at it in the end for 10-20ft jumps, you just need to get a feel for it
  • 3 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: "an educated guess is the best they get"
I liked Brendan Fairclough and Olly Wilkins' term for this, "Lad Science"!
  • 1 0
 @lepigpen: yeah I should have been more specific. I was talking about winter X games. And the guys who build big air don’t hit those jumps either.
  • 2 0
 @Joe89: yeah the media I've seen is.
- Simon French's interview with downtime or one of those guys.
- BK's vlog.
- Insta from the builders.
- BK's interview with Olly and Davi.
- Ed Bull's vlog.

What I think is being over looked here is BK's ego. And I think BK telling Baxter to shave the lip is where his ego nudged into the 'unhelthy', from a healthy ego. Baxter said it felt good and I think he was ready to guinea pig it, but it would have been hard to say no to BK given he's won a few and yeah, this is their first hardline build. But they're not rookies at building big jumps and guinea pigging them. I think that gully is where they had a 60ft gap for nationals, which had to be peared back to 40 I think for OHS reasons (i.e. it's national champs so you need to make it a bit more doable for the average racer). Baxter is running his Notion Jam. I think there's a few guys there who have built big jumps before and can ride them, although yes of course, this is the biggest they've done.

But at the end of the day, BK says he wants to be the first to do all the features, and he told the builders to change the jump. Mcmillan isn't blaming anyone, but that's what I think happened.

@phil-mclean of course a tapered case pad isn't a bad or new idea, and I bet next time Dirtart/ Simon French will insist on one being built before testing. Maybe it got scrapped because of the schedule. But I think the rest of what you're saying is wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Mitchvg: Initially i never realised how much Baxter had to do with the build and that he had also tested a lot of the features already. I do think it's wrong though to expect the athletes to be testing the track if the builders are capable enough to ride it and say everything works. Although rider feedback is a good idea, they shouldn't be expected to do first hits on anything.
The flatness of a lot of the landings out there should have easily been picked up before anything was even packed in though. Hardline doesn't mean physics don't apply
  • 1 0
 @phil-mclean: yeah I kind of agree. Put another way, people who can't do those features probably shouldn't be building them. The flatness, that's kind of hardline isn't it? That big on off thing in England that they were raving about was pretty flat. So I think that's kind of the scope of the project.
  • 1 0
 @Mitchvg: what's the sarcasm reading on this?
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: 0. I know the landing of the road gap was steeper but that wasn't the big new cool thing last time
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Calling it England instead of Wales is taking the piss though, my bad
  • 2 0
 @Mitchvg: I misunderstood your post. Yeah, Wales, that can be a fatal mistake.
  • 9 0
 Very curious if this happened trying to bail or casing, and same for kaos, did he bail or ride out a case?

Watching the BK’s vid the sounded pretty confident that they had the speed for it.
  • 12 0
 I wonder if it happened right after BK's vid ended. BK had just been saying "let's take it slow, take some more runups" which I feel like he never says
  • 1 0
 It didn’t look like you could have too much speed in the video. Big gap … but also don’t want much lip at those speeds
  • 8 0
 Ya just watched BK's video and surprised it ended when it did... basically when they were about to hit the gap. This must have been the result and why it's not shown??

From the video they all seemed to think they had more than enough speed and that overshooting it was the main concern. But, perhaps even after they cut down the lip a bit, it still sent them higher, and not far enough, than they anticipated... and that's why he came up short?
  • 6 0
 Nothing like a real chick when I had my spinal fusion from bad bike accident racing at mountain creek ..if it wasn't for my girlfriend I don't know what I would have done ...she cooked cleaned lifted my legs and put pillows und we whenbi couldn't move she helped carry me to the bathroom and was determined for me to walk again it took 9 months but I finally got strength feeling and motion back ..this gunna be long journey for him atleadt 6months of seriuos PT and seriuos pain ..
  • 6 0
 Jeez.. Heal up man, that's a heavy list of injuries. Good to see you're smiling at least.
  • 15 10
 Is it just me or, having facial fractures, facial nerve damage, miss a tooth, etc. is a sign the helmet wasn't that fantastic?
  • 17 0
 Well it depends on the impact, I’m sure there could’ve been even worse outcome.
  • 21 0
 i think at that speed it was probably the most the helmet could do
  • 3 0
 Would be interesting to see the helmet, probably the chinbar broke.
  • 13 0
 Clacking your teeth together hard could do a bunch of this. Mouth guards wouldn't be a horrible idea for stuff like this.
  • 10 0
 At some point, you do want the chinbar to break. Otherwise all that force is going to snap your neck back.
  • 5 0
 @nateb: According to some doctors, lots of tooth damage happens when they snap together in a crash. Mouthguards are probably a good idea for MTB in general. Might even provide some minor protection when wearing a half shell.
  • 14 0
 Or the helmet was brilliant and prevented fatal head damage.
  • 7 0
 its a 100ft gap, doesn't matter what helmet you wear you will be hauling ass to clear it and if it goes wrong it's gonna go bad every single time.
  • 5 2
 It's a sign that he came up short on a ONE HUNDRED FOOT DOUBLE. Go jump off a 10 story building and tell me how your body does... regardless of the helmet you're wearing.
  • 2 1
 @onemanarmy: Rodres and the people up voting him don't understand physics.
  • 12 0
 In some cases not being dead or in a coma may suggest that it worked well, which was the sentiment I got from the Instagram post. What a legendary attitude from Dave by the way !
  • 4 0
 It makes you wonder if they'd be better served with a motorbike helmet at those speeds?
(Just a thought, not a comment on rider safety)
  • 1 0
 @slimboyjim: I think a lot of riders at this level do wear Mx lids, but even then, it's kinda borderline for intended impact speed ranges, dh is approx 20-30mph, Mx is 60-80, from watching Bernards video on it, they're doing about 40-50.
  • 1 0
 @slimboyjim: This topic comes up every now and again. Which helmets are safer and why.

Here's one thing to consider:

Bell Moto 10 is their best Moto helmet. 1600 grams. $920. Dot/Snell/ECE cert.
Bell Full 10 is their best DH lid. 1000 grams. $650. NTA/CPSC/CE/ASTM/DH Certified.

So just on the surface... you're talking about 600 more grams and $300 more dollars to go with the Moto lid. At what point is that extra weight actually a negative.

Looking a little closer, you see no bike certs on the Moto and no Moto certs on the full. Bell doesn't do this on accident. These are designed specifically around use case. They're tested that way. They want you to use the right helmet for the right use case. The impact types and the impact speeds are usually different. Now these fest guys are ones were you could draw an argument for using either because their impact speeds and styles are much more inline with Moto than a standard mtb rider.

Kali and some others have dual rated helmets but that was specifically what they were trying to do.

Long and the short... I think with what these guys are doing it's user preference and you could come up with a solid defense for either style of helmet.
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: I agree bud - For meer mortals a normal bike helmet is king, and anyone that rides Hardline is an extreme case! It was very much a question about that extreme case only...
An interesting point about the weight, and that would very much pay into what the rider is used to and feels comfortable in.
  • 3 0
 These guys aren't (presumably) paid enough to debug a course like this. Super grateful that there are folks willing to do it, because the event is amazing to watch, but at what cost? Seems like there should be some sort of insurance clause that kicks in to cover your living expenses in the event you destroy yourself to the point you won't be working for years to come. Maybe this exists? Hoping riders guinea pigging these features have some sort of guarantees.
  • 3 0
 Ouch, nasty list of injuries, many of which I've had, rest, heal ,ride. I snapped my left femur twice, second time a week after the metal was removed, I found out then that not much will stop me riding.
  • 2 0
 Damn that sounds nasty. Eek
  • 2 0
 Damn that’s one hell of a send, heal up mate.

On another note, sounds like Kaos followed him in a train and also crashed (hope he is all good) ,We recently saw couple guys go down hard at Darkfest on the 110ft, and the guy behind had to bail because the rider in front bailed..

Anybody else think this is a strange way to Guinea pig features of this magnitude? Like surely, just let one person take the risk of figuring speed/pull to clear the jump, instead of risking two injuries?
  • 2 0
 You're talking about Carson Storch following Tom Isted. I didn't think Carson had to bail because Tom bailed; they both bailed because they were going to case it badly. Carson was presumably following Tom because he was the only rider who had ridden it yet this year.

See for yourself in Matt Jones's video:

youtu.be/QEMwFJEUVjM?t=937

Edit: I just checked Carson's Instagram and indeed he says he didn't want to land on Tom so he bailed. But neither was guinea pigging since it had already been ridden successfully (with a backflip, no less).
  • 3 0
 I’m think this crash happened a couple weeks ago. Kaos was posting vids from Darkfest and seemed fine.
  • 4 0
 I'm probably gonna get downvoted, but surely someone was filming?!?
  • 3 1
 Heal up homie, seem to be in good spirits. Let’s us see the carnage footie tho
  • 4 3
 Femur is the thigh bone which has no cast or brace. Lower leg is tibula and fibula which looks to be impacted. Just wondering if he meant fibula?
  • 6 0
 Likely a titanium rod down the center of the femur, tough one to cast.
  • 4 0
 Depending on the style of break you don't require a brace of any kind for a femur snap. Often times they reset it, pin it and want you back on your feet as soon as possible so it can get blood flow and start healing itself. Not surprised at all that you don't see any obvious damage to the femur. Look at the last photo. You can see the bandages. I'd imagine he knows what a femur is. They don't feel good to break.
  • 3 0
 Damn...heal up.
  • 2 0
 talk about a hugey.. heal up dude
  • 2 0
 Jesus I hope he was paid well. This is heavy.
  • 1 0
 That girl looks like solid wife material. Heal up dude, tis but a scratch! You'll be back
  • 1 0
 Didn't know Kaos had been out there too. kept that quiet, wonder why?
  • 11 0
 In Bernards video he mentioned that they were 3 weeks out from the race but that you wouldnt see the footage until race week. Redbull likely had some kind of media blackout in place like they do for Rampage.
  • 3 1
 Tis but a scratch.
  • 6 6
 wtf i respect dave hes the steeziest rider but this sport has become so desensitized wack af comments
  • 1 0
 Happy wife, happy life. Wink
  • 1 0
 Wheels on dirt.
  • 1 1
 Life is more than biking man, relax and sit back! Track side isnt bad!!!
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