Action County: Andy Meulemans
Breckenridge resident Andy Meulemans is a typical Summit County local. The Wisconsin native moved to the county 12 years ago for the skiing. Since then, he’s developed a love for mountain biking and off road enduro motorcycling. Meulemans, the general manager of Blue River Sports in Breckenridge, is as active as anyone in the county. When the snow melts and he can’t strap on his tele skis anymore, his attention turns to his bicycle. And with off-roading just a short drive away, his options are always open.”I’m always excited about the next season,” Meulemans said. Last week, Meulemans’ season ended. On his Honda XR 650 enduro bike, he was following a friend through a creek bed just outside of Grand Junction. They were almost done for the day.
After rounding a corner, Meulemans found himself in a cloud of dust thrown up by his buddy. Temporarily blinded, he was unable to see a rock jutting out in front of him. The rock clipped his right leg, snapping his tibia and fibula.”At first it felt like someone punched me really hard, and I thought I just took a hard blow. Then I looked down and saw my leg,” Meulemans said. The 32-year-old later found himself in surgery, where a doctor put a titanium rod in his lower leg. The doctor also prescribed a heavy dose of hanging out. Meulemans will try to stay off his feet for the next six weeks, and gets the rod taken out in two months.”That’s the hardest part,” Meulemans said. “I’m not used to sitting around.”
After six weeks is up, he’ll be rehabing as much as he can. He also expects to be back at work within the next few weeks. Do you feed off of the rush you get from doing these sports?”I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I’m pretty chill in everything I do. I backcountry ski, but it’s not dangerous. I just like to ski in powder and solitude. When I ski or ride my bike, it’s relaxing. A good workout. And when I off-road, I’m not a big-air guy. This can happen to anyone.”Will this injury keep you from getting back on a bike?
“No. I’ve always worn every piece of safety equipment in whatever I do. Maybe now I’ll be a little more cautious. Maybe I was riding too close, and next time I’ll back off my buddy a little and let the dust clear.” Is the risk of getting injured part of what makes these sports great?”No. These sports are fun. You weigh the risk with the fun of these sports. The fun usually wins out.”
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