“I am so thankful for the leatt neck brace and protective gear”
May 10th, 2015 started like any other race day, this time we were in Odessa New York for Round 6 Of the GNCC Cross Country Series (Dunlop Tomahawk).
My Son Ryon McManus competes in the Open B class, (currently in second place in points) and has been riding dirt bikes since he was 5 years old. His Mom and I have always kept the best protective equipment on him that we could buy. Todays equipment consists of many different pieces but none more important than his Leatt neck brace, Leatt Chest Protector, Leatt Elbow and knee guards, and his Suomy helmet.
The race started as it always does, course description, prayer, and the National Anthem. During the course description they made a point to tell the riders that it was extremely dusty in places, nothing new for Summer. After the GNCC crew does what they do before the race I always say my own prayer asking for God to protect Ryon, help him make the right decisions, and to always race with good sportsmanship. I always give him a little last minute advise, tell him I Love him, and then walk away from the line before the start.
The Open B class is next to start, Ricky Towery gives his famous 10 second call, and Rodney Tomblin waves the green flag, Ryon pulls another HOLESHOT and leads the race into the woods. First lap ends with Ryon in third place, Second lap ends with Ryon taking the lead, moving to first. The third lap is that lap that could have changed Ryons and our life forever.
Midway thru the third lap Ryon hit an area that was full of dust, to the point that he couldnt see 5 ft in front of him. The track made a bend to the right and as he made his move into it he was knocked off his motorcycle by a low hanging tree. The tree hit him directly on the bill of his helmet, shattering it immediately. Ryon was laying on the ground shocked and confused over what had just happened. Immediate headache and a pain in his upper back seemed to be all that was wrong. He climbed back on his motorcycle after getting his wits about him, and on he went. When he came around to our pits (it was our time to pit / gas) the first thing I noticed was that his helmet had been blown apart, It had two huge holes in front and on top, and the visor was gone. During the pit stop Ryon told us what had happened so I made him get off his bike so we could check him out and at least get another helmet. When he took his helmet off you could tell that he was in pain, and was feeling pretty beat up. He told me that he hit a tree with the front / top of his head. To be safe I thought he should be checked out by the medical staff at the track. When they came to the trailer they asked a bunch of questions and started checking him over real well. They removed his chest protector and then his Leatt neck brace. Ryon was complaining of a little upper back pain (“Its like a bruise Dad”) When the medics removed his shirt they found two bruises about the size of a quarter each right where the leatt brace ends. The medics suggested that he call it a day and not to finish the race. After the medics were done I was talking to them and they said with the amount of impact that Ryon suffered, if he had not had the leatt brace on that they thought he would have broke his neck. They said with the amount of pressure that it took to shatter the helmet the way it did, and that pressure pushing his head back and down toward his spine that something would have had to give. This gives me chills to even type this part, so scary!
As his Father, I am so thankful for the leatt neck brace and protective gear. If you look at the situation and the trauma that his head and neck went through and you look at how the leatt neck brace did what it was designed to do, I feel like it saved Ryon from a devastating injury. Maybe even something that he couldnt recover from.
For those of you that do not wear the leatt neck brace and all of their other great products, please reconsider. Its a small price to pay for protecting you or your loved one while racing. Ryon has never rode without wearing the leatt line of products and as soon as the new leatt helmet comes out he will have one of those as well.
McManus Racing #519