2 Wheels of Fun

Mountain Biking, Road Cycling & Dirt Biking

Mountain Biking and Poison Oak

About 11 days ago I went out mountain biking with Billy at our usual Wednesday place to ride. We were going up the big hill when some guy decided not to yield the right of way and tried to cut on the inside of the switchback going downhill while I was climbing up the switchback on the outside. Of course dude lost his balance and knocked me off my bike into some bushes on the downhill slope. I got out of the bushes and fixed my rear disk rotor so it wasn’t rubbing anymore and went on my merry way. I sustained some small scratches on my right knee so I cleaned my knee off with some alcohol wipes then continued on the ride. 6 days after the incident I started seeing these red itchy blistery bumps appear on my knees and elbows. This really sucks because I had NO idea I landed in poison-oak. I took a look around at the bush and never saw any indicator that there was poison-oak there. Below are a few lessons we learned from this experience and some positive re-enforcement on things like carrying a first aid kit and the benefit of it. Had I not stopped and washed the injured knee it would have an even worse poison-oak rash than it does now.

A few things you should do before you go riding in the woods.

  • Before you start riding ALWAYS be sure to wear full fingered gloves. This WILL protect your hands if you happen to fall in a poison-oak bush. I have experienced this first hand and will ALWAYS wear full fingered gloves. I was wearing a set of full finger Fox mountain biking gloves that were under $20 and didn’t get any of the urushiol on my hands.
  • Be sure to carry a first aid kit that includes enough alcohol wipes to clean a large area of your body.
  • Have a box of tecnu in the car to apply before you leave.

Things you should do the instant after you crash when your out mountain biking.

  • Get the hell out of that bush your in ASAP. Don’t dilly dally getting out of the bush, get out in a manner where you make the least amount of contact with the bushes around you.
  • Take a look at your surroundings. Forget your bike for a moment here and look to see what you landed in and slid thru. Do you know what poison-oak/poison-ivy look like? Knowing what bushes you landed in can save you a lot of pain and suffering in the weeks to come.
  • Clean off the parts of your body that came in contact with the ground / bushes. You may or may not be bleeding but get the alcohol wipes out of the first aid kit and cleans all areas that came into contact with the bushes / ground. It only takes about 10 – 15 minutes for the urushiol on a poison-oak plant to completely soak into your skin.
  • Now go see whats up with your bike.
  • Once you get back to the car don’t worry about loading up the bike and zooming home. Pull out the tecnu and apply this to every exposed part of your body.
  • Change into something other than your riding cloths. You don’t want to spread urushiol on your car seat or any other part of your car.
  • Get home and shower ASAP! “tecnu” claims that it can wash off the urushiol from poison-ivy/poison-oak up to 8 hours after first contact. Be sure to follow the directions EXACTLY as written. If you do you should be able to remove all the urushiol from your skin and prevent a blistery nightmare of a rash.

June 28, 2010 Posted by | Product Review, Riding with Billy | , , , | Leave a comment