Injuries are part of life let alone mountain biking. Sometimes they are minor ones that we can shake off and ride through. Other times they are extensive which means weeks … months off the bikes. Those are the tortuous kinds. I am reminded of an ACL injury in college which steered me away from basketball toward mountain biking. However, it is basketball which is why I’m off my bike once again.

It started off as a simple and fun idea. A pick-up game of basketball with a group of overly-competitive friends. I should have known better. Besides, it has been about 17 years since I even played a game of basketball. The last time I played a “real” game I ruined my knee again which meant a 2nd surgery. While I was mindful of that it actually wasn’t my knee that gave way but my shoulder.

Around my household my left shoulder is affectionately referred to as the “Wii shoulder.” You see, when the Wii first came out in 2006-2007 we picked one up as a family. As I was getting acclimated to the nunchuck controllers I didn’t immediately realize that a flick of the wrist was all I needed to play baseball or other Wii Sports games. Instead, when I played baseball on Wii Sports I was pitching … actually simulating throwing … with the tenacity and force like it was Game 7 in the World Series. I wrecked my shoulder. Partial tear in my rotator cuff. It’s as embarrassing as it sounds and even more so explaining to the doctor what had happened.

It was the recent basketball game that really did a number on my shoulder to the point that I can’t bike nor lift weights. I’m stuck. It’ll be a little while before I get into see the doctor but my suspicions aren’t good. Yesterday’s gym workout consisted of sitting on a recumbent bike trying to make it work like a trainer bike. While I spun for an hour it wasn’t the same. Injuries suck.

Injuries vary in seriousness and length of recovery. While I don’t race competitively it is still difficult to be off my bike regardless of how long this will take. I’m sure once the initial swelling and pain subsides I’ll try to sneak some rides in the see how everything feels and works. I’m sure I’ll only make it worse. How about you? What do you do when you’re down and off your bike due to injury? How do you stay busy? How do you stay positive? How do you keep your fitness levels up? Obviously the answers to those questions depend on the extent, location, and seriousness of the injury.

Injuries are part of life and mountain biking for sure. Many of you have had very serious injuries and others deal with small but nagging ones. Either way it usually means taking time off the bike which no one enjoys. We’d love to hear from you. How do you cope with being off your bike? (Maybe the answer should be “drink more coffee?)

Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photo by Jason O'Neil