Video: Kyle Strait Reflects on his Rampage Crash

Dec 25, 2022 at 8:16
by luca cometti  

bigquotesIts been just over 8 weeks now since my crash at Rampage, things are continuing to get better as the days go on. I got cleared to start doing some easy riding and continue my physical therapy towards a full recovery.Kyle Strait


  • 91 6
 Ok here is an unpopular opinion. Before I get to that i would like to say I am a big fan of Kyle Straight and love his riding. This is not directed at Kyle in any way. Although we see riders like Kyle and Gee bounce back relatively quickly and get right back into their careers, the long term prognosis is not as good. A professional sports career in an athlete's 20s and 30s, if fraught with multiple orthopedic injuries, especially back injuries, can set the athlete up for decades of intractable, debilitating pain when they retire. So as much as we laud these guys like Kyle, and he is very very impressive as an athlete and a human being, keep in mind guys like Kyle may not be riding bikes with their kids when they hit their 50s. I would never discourage anyone from pushing their limits, but there is a high price for this sort of riding, and it tends to show up in later years.
  • 23 10
 also include Football, MMA, car racing(big crashes), etc.

all these come with an end of life commitment to pain and limited mobility.....that said. You wouldn't talk a single high level athlete out of it with statitistics..

what should really be done, is an endowment in each respective sport that pays these guys, and their families, after they retire and start suffering the consequences of their choices. call it a pension, call it what you will....but they should be taken care of.
  • 14 1
 This is really important to remember. We live in an age where athletes are breaking vertebrae and limbs or tearing ligaments and we don’t blink twice at the expectation of being back up and competing in a matter of several months. Long-term impacts don’t even really cross our minds.

Meanwhile, most of us regular people still live like the athletes of 25 years back, back when this was a career-ending injury without the luxury of completely dedicated rehab and physio teams. We might not be able to ride roller coasters or bikes or ski again after that.

What an animal. Good luck to Kyle and his family.
  • 7 3
 Nothing you're saying is wrong, but what alternative path would you suggest? Truly, I get it, but I'm not surethere's another way could he live his life.
  • 3 28
flag Mtbdialed (Dec 27, 2022 at 17:53) (Below Threshold)
 @plyawn: you don't get to whataboutism someone elses life.

I mean you can, but you're a dick if you do.
  • 5 1
 @Mtbdialed: The problem is, there is not a lot of money in this sport to do something of that nature.
  • 3 12
flag Mtbdialed (Dec 27, 2022 at 19:17) (Below Threshold)
 @brianhcm1: sure there is. don't ever let the people making all the money tell you there isn't enough money for the most basic protection.

ever read 'Heart of Darkness" or "The Jungle"? it's all bullshit my dude
  • 3 0
 Bull riders too. Scary to see anyone in their prime as a pro go down hard.
  • 7 0
 @brianhcm1: they are barely being paid at all relative to the risks they take on the job. Let alone talk of retirement and endowments.
  • 4 0
 Agree. Still feel my broke my arm and have cactus stuck in my finger 20 years later. I can only image the long-term effects on something this massive. I would pull back from this much risk i have a wife a child, but never stop riding.
  • 4 0
 He says this is his third time breaking his back. At this point, he's already on borrowed time. That said, I think he's pretty aware of the risks at this point. Would he do something else if he had a different/better option? Who knows - seems like not.
  • 9 0
 Thanks for saying the quiet part out loud. I’m living with the results of a lot of orthopedic injuries from my teens and 20s, and it’s terrible.
  • 7 0
 @samdeatley: you're welcome bro. I work in healthcare and see a lot of different examples and various stages in aging... Thought I better speak up. good luck with everything.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for writing this. Sports now have an extreme section that we worship - and often our bodies are the sacrifice. It's important to for older athletes who've suffered multiple severe injuries tell their stories too. 55 seems a LONG way off from 25, but it's not. We're not ready for lawn darts and checkers at this age, and you won't be either. MTB is a stupid expensive sport, but being physically able to still ride with family members is exceptionally valuable.
  • 77 1
 The big man is a timeless classic, thank fuckin' goodness he's a tough son of a gun too.
  • 12 0
 Man it looks as if the take off lip was just too short for him to get the proper pull into the drop...gutted to see you take that fall but so glad to know it didn't take you wild bull.
  • 55 2
 Rachel entrance is so impressive!! high on adrenaline, but doesn't unleash panicking. From an emotional approach she gives Kyle what he needs in that moment.
  • 24 1
 She's as tough as he is
  • 43 25
 Rampage isn't worth the risk
  • 14 2
 To you it might not be, but to the best in the sport it clearly is otherwise they wouldn’t talk about it with the passion that they do and turn up and smash it every year.
I have to admit that I am nervous for the riders when watching it and decided to turn it off this year when my young son was around.
  • 8 6
 To many its not but to them its very much worth it. That's what separates those who push the sport and progress to a level of riding you cannot possibly imagine from everyone else who just watches on the sidelines and craps their pants.
  • 9 3
 @mwart: I agree. I don’t think most people understand what makes these guys tick. Rampage is what they do. If there was no Rampage, they’d be out doing similar on their own. Might as well make it an event, let them showcase their talents, and get paid. That said, I get why you might not want to watch.
  • 10 7
 Neither was going to the moon, but mankind is absolved to keep trying what hasn't been done before It's this thing we do called being daring, and we wouldn't have shit without it.
  • 10 1
 @ryanandrewrogers: Cue the moon landing conspiracy theories! And I'm going to officially start a Rampage conspiracy: since earth is flat (already proven obviously) Rampage could have only happened in a movie studio.
  • 2 8
flag SHEESHKAH (Dec 27, 2022 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 Then don't ride it!
  • 2 1
 I agree with your risk assessment, if we are not talking about compensation, for riding it. All the pro riders ride it for a paycheck, in one form or another. Now if Kyle was just a rider, like the rest of us, I don't think he'd ride it again after breaking 3 vertebra.
  • 1 0
 @sancho-ramerez: So what you're saying, there is no risk. Interesting, my dear Watson... hmmmm.
  • 5 3
 Congratulations!! you are not totally insane! Hucking your meat in a no fall zones for money or to fulfill some deep seated psychological void is not your thing?... you sound very reasonable. Careful, people might give you a really hard time here for coping that sort of attitude.
  • 4 0
 @AppleJack76: No. I'm saying the moon landing is real
  • 1 5
flag plyawn (Dec 27, 2022 at 17:42) (Below Threshold)
 ...and yet Strait said in this video (through Rachel) that he's gonna go out on his own terms at Rampage, so apparantely to him and a bunch of other people it is.
  • 2 3
 Isn't worth the risk to who? Certainly not to you or I, but for elite riders at the very top of the sport the boundaries are always going to be sought. That's human endeavour.
  • 3 6
 Rampage is for Alpha males.
  • 10 0
 I'm no expert by any means on digging, but the looks of that run in @0:38 IMO should had been more smoothed out for proper speed to clear that gap; getting rid of the weird looking mound just before the takeoff . Considering that's the way all Rampage lines are groomed these days for the Judging.
  • 10 25
flag Elbarto14 (Dec 27, 2022 at 13:36) (Below Threshold)
 Yeh they should have poured some concrete or pavement to smooth it out ay. maybe next rampage should be held at a skate-park.
  • 4 0
 Man I couldn't agree more - he could have used another 5-8 ft for a better angle in...
  • 12 10
 "I'm no expert" ponders comment, exits internet browser, closes computer.
  • 6 0
 As someone who broke my T8 full through, and part of my T9 and had a fusion of T6-T11, similar to Kyle, it's amazing to see him doing everything he is already! I'm coming around on the 12 week mark myself and am waiting to get the green light to go crazy. And honestly I'm not sure I'm 100% ready physically or mentally.
  • 2 0
 Take it slow man. The bones will heal (relatively) quickly given the energy involved in your/his crash, but then there's the muscle regeneration, core strength, and dynamic strengthening that needs to build to properly support your new skeletal system. That will take much longer.

I nursed my wife through a L1 compression and the supporting braces she needed to wear put her back into a position that was necessary for bone fusions/etc. but needed to be changed post-braces (physio, pilates, yoga) to be properly mobile again. Braces for 7 months; physio + light riding for another 12.

And that's (obviously) before considering the mental recovery. Noting all the previous advice (even by Waki!) the main thing is you don't want to be fighting ghost-memories while you're riding. They still hit me sometimes - and I wasn't even the person who crashed.

Take it slow; it's worth it. She's bought more bikes since and still rides fast now.
  • 9 1
 You can only rob a bank a few times until it goes tits up, thinking you robbed enough banks now.
  • 2 0
 That crash was one of the most violent I've seen in a while, glad he's doing OK, excited to see where he is going, my guess is YT, or Norco if they are still sponsoring some riders, I don't know if they pulled all sponsorships or just the racing ones
  • 4 0
 When Kyle came on the scene as a young gun there was a collective holy shit across the industry. Hes the toughest dood out there. Get well ripper!
  • 1 0
 I wonder... It looks like he is wearing body armor? I assume that is nowhere near enough, for that kind of fall... Crazy!!! Amazing athlete though and great how the missus is supporting him, given what is on the line with the little one and all... Respect...
  • 3 1
 Looks like he is making a fantastic recovery! Three level fracture is no joke, and that surgery is no joke. Happy for him and his family!
  • 3 0
 Stoked to see him on the mend.

Anyone know who his new frame sponsor is going to be?
  • 3 0
 "I got cleared to start doing some easy riding"........

Lol. Uh huh.
  • 4 0
 16ft drops instead of 60 footers!
  • 3 0
 Lyle gonna come back with a vengeance this year
  • 5 0
 Go Lyle!
  • 1 0
 Mtb is a dangerous sport. Glad to see he's mending, im still recovering from a dislocated shoulder, and am possibly going to need surgery. Wear protective gear everyone!
  • 17 14
 Make Strait Great Again!
  • 7 0
 Or at least put him back together nicely?
  • 13 0
 Make Kyle Straight Again
  • 1 0
 the split second of seeing the lander and knowing you're coming up short is nightmare material for decades....
  • 1 0
 I don't think being "tough as hell" has anything to do with it, more like lucky.
  • 2 0
 RIDE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Dual suspension cowboy always gets back on the horse...
  • 2 0
 Shred on ks
  • 2 0
 heal up Meaty Paws!
  • 1 0
 Nice one, glad to see you back on your feet big man
  • 1 0
 Glad U'r OKAY- beautiful family.
  • 2 3
 She is so so so
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