A study out in June took a look at the clinical records of the Whistler Health Care Center, counting and assessing the injuries suffered by bikers at Whistler Bike Park.
The study looked at 898 cases, all of which occurred during the 2009 biking season, attempting to get a wide-angle view of the types of injuries suffered by bike riders at whistler.
Here are the major findings:
- 86 percent of those injured were male, with a median age of 26
- 68.7 percent were Canadian
- 19.4 percent required transport by the Whistler Bike Patrol
- 8.4 percent arrived by emergency medical services
- 1,759 specific injury diagnoses were identified, including 420 fractures in 382 patients
- Upper extremity fractures were the most common (75.4 percent)
- 18.8 percent of all recorded injuries were fractures of the shoulder – the most common injury of all
- 11.2 percent had traumatic brain injury
- 8.5 percent had to be transferred to a higher level of care: 7 by helicopter, 62 by ground, and 5 by personal vehicle.
- August saw the most injuries (317)
- 12.3% of riders experienced injuries that were considered potentially threatening to life, limb, or function (CTAS level 1 or 2),
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that injury rates were “significant(ly) morbid,” and that there’s a “need for continued research into appropriate safety equipment and risk avoidance measures.”
Another highlight of the Whistler study is that it corroborates evidence that the most likely type of mountain biking injury is a shoulder injury.
A previous study from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System found that 18.9% of injuries to those riding a mountain bike (regardless of the terrain) were fractures of the shoulder and upper extremity.