A couple years ago I went on a fantastic road-trip to BC with my oldest brother Bernie. The purpose for this trip was to go riding- and we did ride. We had a fantastic time on the bikes and the social time between rides was almost as fun. I wrote a story about the first few days of that trip and one of these days I will write the second chapter.
Our first stop in BC was in Kimberly and we stayed at the beautiful Trickle Creek Lodge. In the evenings we gathered for feast and merriment at the Montana's Steak House that was conveniently attached to the lodge and once we filled our bellies, the stories commenced. The first few stories were about aviation, which is great, but before too long, the bench-racing began.
Bernie Cox is known for spinning some good yarn. He has been living a life that organically generates fantastic tales and Bernie has become very good at conveying these adventures. I have tried to convince him to write some stories for vintagemoto.ca and while he is certainly willing to do so, he has yet to deliver. While sitting at the bar in Montana's, in Trickle Creek Lodge, in Kimberly BC, Bernie told a famous story of anguish, a story I had not heard in many years but when it made its way from tongue to ears, I pulled out my phone, turned it onto record and slapped it on the counter beside him.
Sitting at the bar was Jordan Hatch who, while guiding us through the single-track around Kimberly, fell and broke his thumb in a couple places. Being young and tough as nails, he gutted it out and rode with us for the day before going to the hospital for the prognosis. Jordan joined us for dinner and bench racing so the audio recording is mostly Bernie telling the story and Jordan commenting and posing questions along the way. So here it goes...
Bernie: So this is at Blake Hall, it is a grass track and we are sand guys. Atikokan boys are sand masters and we get on that grass track and its hard as rock when it is dry and dusty. It is greasy and slippery and no berms in it and it is kind of challenging to ride that when you are used to having berms.
Jordan: What class were you riding? Expert?
Bernie: No, Senior, I had moved from Junior to Senior and they were racing the seniors and experts together and I get the holeshot. So I take off and I do about a lap or two and somebody is trying to get by me.
Waitress: "Do you want another drink?"
Waitress: "Do you want to do a boot of it?"
Jordan: "Yes... I have never been so sure about anything in my life"
So you guys are out there and you are on this grass track...
Bernie: So I get the holeshot and it is the first time racing after moving from junior to senior. I do a lap and I am coming around for the second lap and there is a jump on the track. Kind of a lip and then a downhill jump and this expert came to pass me and we met in mid-air, crashed at the bottom of this jump. It was really dusty, really dusty, couldn't see anything. Two or three bikes behind me, it is that really fine dust. When I crashed, my bike fell off the track and I am in the middle of the track. The guy I hit with, his bike fell into the track and he fell off the track. And then the whole pack comes, about six bikes come down and "Bam!" I just get mowed down by the pack, they don't see me. They run over his motorcycle and then run over me and they continue going. So they had to stop the race. And I got drug by my arch rival Gordy Martin.
Jordan: You mean Gordy Martin from Atikokan? I know him, I have ridden with him.
Bernie Yeah, he is a friend of mine, known him all my life. So anyhow... his foot-peg hit me right in the bag, tore my bag open. Ripped my pants open.
Jordan: (holding up his freshly broken thumb) Ohhhhh... last time I complain about a thumb.
Bernie: So I got 42 stitches in my sack. It ripped it right open but it didn't drive the nuts into the groin or anything, it just kinda snagged the bag and did a big tear thing. So I didn't lose my nuts, but... it was still pretty bad.
But not only that, he (Gordy) kept on going as fast as he could and he's got me like this. He's tore my pants open and he's dragging me along with him. He drags me to the top of the hill, stops, unhooks me and takes off to go win the race. Just like I'd do!
So anyhow, it rung my bell, you know for a few seconds I didn't know where I was and I remember sitting up and seeing my pants and they were brand new pants, they were leather over nylon, brand spanking new, first time I wore them and I peeled them back and I am bleeding by my crotch and I think "what the hell!" And then there is a crowd starting to form and there are these women and I felt embarrassed.
Anyhow, next thing the ambulance comes and they stop the race, the medics come and they roll me onto a stretcher and at the races they have this little van. They poked me in the van and we start down the road where we'll meet a station-wagon ambulance coming from the hospital and they'll make a swap with me. So anyway, we're riding along and the medic is a big heavy guy and I guess he was eating garlic or something that day and he didn't want me to go into shock. All I wanted to do was to close my eyes and gather my thoughts and you don't close your eyes, "don't close your eyes". I said "alright, you just quit breathing on me and I won't close my eyes".
The other ambulance meets us half way and I say "well, I can walk". "If you want to carry your testicles in your pocket you can walk". "Alright, I will lay down."
Jordan: (laughing) Is that what they said to you?
Bernie: Yes! Exactly, exactly. So we get in the station-wagon and off we go. The next thing we are at the hospital and they are getting me out of the station-wagon and right away they start with the cutting of the jersey. I say "Wait wait wait, don't be cutting nothn', just take it off!'". They were going to cut the boot "Don't cut boot, just take 'em off!". So they took the stuff off and then I don't remember anything. And then I wake up in the hospital room.
Jordan: What... you passed out from the pain or did they give you something?
Bernie: No, I went to the operating room and they sewed, they put 42 stitches into my sack and then they put me into the hospital room and the hospital bed and my parents came down and they woke me up and people were there, the doctor says "look, I sewed you up, you're going to be fine, it was just the skin, we sewed all that skin up, you don't have to worry. And I put self dissolving stitches in there and you won't even have to pull them babies out, they will dissolve." I say "thanks doc." So anyhow, the foot-peg got me here (points to chin) and I got three stitches in my chin here and I also bit my tongue about half off and busted off one of my molars and my mouth was swollen so I couldn't talk well. My tongue was all swollen from biting. So anyhow...
Jordan: (Laughing) Go on...
Bernie: Anyhow, it also broke my collar bone.
Jordan: Oh, it broke your collar bone, so you were really busted up.
Bernie: Yeah. So I didn't know my collar bone was broken. Actually, wait a minute, that's not right. They didn't know my collar bone was broken, I did!
Jordan: Did you tell em?
Bernie: But I had this electric bed and I lay there and I push the button eeeeeneeeneeenee... and I sit up in the electric bed and "ahh oh oh" and I start trying to tell them about my collar bone and they are thinking "his nuts!" and they give me another shot of Demerol and then aaaaaah. I wake up about two hours later and (muffled moaning sounds) and they think "his nuts!". The nurses think it is my nuts but my nuts don't hurt... nothing! There is nothing there, they are fine, it is this collar bone that really hurts. This went on for I don't know how long. Four or five cycles of this shit. Finally my Aunty Marg comes to visit and she walks in there, she's "hey, hey, where's the doctor?" You would have to know my Aunty Marg. "Get that goddamned doctor in here, I can see right away his collar bone is broken, what is the matter with you assholes"
Jordan: (laughing) I like your Auntie Marg already and I never even met her!
Bernie: (laughing) She just walked in there had one look and knew what the hell was the matter. They put a sling on there and I was "Ahhhhoooo Thank you, thank you, that was all I needed.
So anyway, every second Sunday there was a race. This was a Sunday. Another Sunday goes by. The next Sunday, I won! I went to the races two weeks later, broken collar bone like everything else. I holeshotted, friggn' walked away and won.
Me: Did you beat the Experts?
Bernie: Well, the Senior class there. I beat most of the experts, I didn't beat Halstead or the top two or three guys, I was about fifth with the experts in there. But when you are young, you heal up quick.