By Marcus Poptez, former BMA president

Hey friends! I wanted to share a personal story that unfolded on October 15, 2023 – a day that will forever be etched in my memory. It was just a casual Sunday, ripping down the trails with my biking buddies, when fate threw me a curveball.

I took a nasty spill, resulting in life-threatening internal injuries. Fortunately, the stars aligned, and my friends sprang into action. Their quick thinking, along with the incredible efforts of Rocky Mountain Rescue Group volunteers, literally saved my life. They called 911, kept me warm, and swiftly brought in a backboard to evacuate me to safety via helicopter, getting me to the hospital just in the nick of time.

This experience sparked some profound discussions among us about the importance of being prepared for the unexpected in the backcountry. Here are a few takeaways that could potentially save lives:

1️⃣ Equip Yourself: Consider a satellite communicator like a Garmin InReach. Staying connected can make all the difference in summoning help when every second counts.

2️⃣ Knowledge is Power: Take a Wilderness First Aid course. Being equipped with basic medical skills can turn you into a valuable asset in emergencies. BMA is coordinating with Backcountry Lifeline to host a mountain bike centric Wilderness First Aid course to Boulder on February 10 & 11. Register.

3️⃣ Community Matters: Support your local backcountry rescue group like Rocky Mountain Rescue. These dedicated volunteers are unsung heroes, ready to answer the call when adventure takes an unexpected turn.

If you’re feeling inspired to make a difference, consider contributing to my ColoradoGives.org Fundraiser for Rocky Mountain Rescue. Every donation goes a long way in supporting their crucial work. Let’s pay it forward and ensure others have the same chance at a second lease on life that I was blessed with.

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