On the weekend of May 28th and 29th, I undertook my first mission with the A.M.I.S (Assistance Médicale Inter Sport) association during the “Enduro des Châtaignes” event held in Privas.

I got to know the weekend team on Friday evening upon arriving at the hotel. We shared a good meal and organized the next day, mainly distributing teams to different strategic locations to secure (who will be at the special stages, who will close the race, etc.). The distribution works in doctor/rescuer pairs.

We met on Saturday at 6:30 am for breakfast, and I was assigned to special stage 2 to start. When I arrived at the special stage, I immediately understood that the level would probably be too demanding for me! But I reassured myself by thinking that it was a “special stage” and that the liaisons would surely be easier (naive!!).

When the pair came to take over at special stage 2, we set off on the paths to reach special stage 3. The goal was to ride the liaison to relieve the pair that was present at special stage 3.

Except that from the beginning, I struggled! Olivier had to pass my motorcycle at a place that impressed me too much, then I had a first small fall without consequences… it was starting well! I activated my brain in “courage” mode, and we started the liaison… Small paths filled with big stones, through the woods… I did my best to both concentrate on the path and let the riders behind us pass as they arrived… but after a few minutes, in a descent, I lost control of my brain, my apprehension, and therefore my motorcycle… My handlebars hit a tree on the left, which threw me to the right of the path, and I fell off the motorcycle, into a hole, with a stone hitting my back…

A good scare and a good pain as gifts! After recovering from my emotions, I tried to get back on the motorcycle because the following seemed doable… But what a pain trying to straddle the motorcycle!!

So, I walked to the road (it was only a few meters away), and we returned to special stage 2 by road so that Yann, the doctor who took over, could examine me! Fortunately, no breakage but probably a nice hematoma in progress… After taking some medication, we set off for special stage 3, by road! I was still glad to be able to get back on the motorcycle, but it remained painful!

I was very disappointed in myself because I understood that I had been too ambitious and that my level was far from sufficient for this course!

So I finished the day on special stage 3, where I took care of a young rider who was quite stunned after a fall… But nothing serious in the end, and I was able to see him finish his last special stage of the day the next day and, hopefully, his entire race!

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, a colleague had to be airlifted to the hospital after a bad fall that broke his femur…

We all joined the paddock to manage the end-of-day “boo-boos” and to maintain the motorcycles. Once all of that was done, we were able to enjoy a well-deserved aperitif at the truck, and the Privadois Moto Club, which organized the event, offered us a good meal.

We didn’t ask for more and quickly went to rest for the next day!

Sunday was rather calm from a medical perspective. We started the day at special stage 1, on the heights of Privas, at the foot of the wind turbines!! The view was magnificent, but there was a lot of wind!

We then joined special stage 3 by road, where we finished the day calmly…

I really had a great time, even if I would have preferred to ride more, and I met some super nice people and learned new things! Including a whole vocabulary specific to races (CH, Special stage, liaison, Marshal, commissioner) and the different categories of riders (elites, nationals, hopefuls, juniors, women, veterans, super veterans…)!

I also reconnected with emergency medicine, a field of medicine that has always appealed to me!

I can’t wait to go back, choosing the race carefully this time! And until then, there’s no secret, I’ll have to keep riding to improve!!