This is How it Happens.

One minute you’re speeding along with adrenaline pounding in your ears surrounded by other cyclists, in a good position going into a sprint finish. You can smell the jump coming. You can see the opening forming in front of you. Your whole being is focused on getting across that line first.

And then you’re hitting the pavement at speeds that no one should, taking the brunt of the fall on your temple, where no one ever should.

The cyclist I mentioned earlier this week that was seriously injured in the Silverton crash over the weekend was Ryan McKnab. He is in an induced coma while doctors let his brain heal and prevent swelling. No one really know the prognosis right now – there’s more healing time before and MRI can be performed.

I am really shaken by this as I think we all, in the racing community, are. Worse yet is having Sal out of town during this time. While I’m elated that his fatefully-timed surgery kept him out of that race, I’d really like to squeeze him right now.

This note just came across the OBRA list in regards to Ryan’s condition. Please send whatever you are able.

As many of you know by now Ryan McKnab suffered a serious brain injury at the finish of the cat 4/5 silverton RR. He is still in an induced coma but is doing well. Visit for updated information.

Because his recovery will be a long road we are asking for donations to defray the costs.

We have set up an account with Paypal to accept donations. The fund is call the “Ryan McKnab Recovery Fund” and you need a paypal account to make a donation. To make a donation simply click the ‘Make a Donation” button on the web site.

For those folks that would like to help out with a simple check in the mail, you can send checks to:

Elizabeth Martin
attn: Ryan Mcknab Recovery Fund
2120 Harrison
Corvallis, OR 97330

We are sincerely grateful for any amount of help…and for all of the donations we have already received. Especially to the GSC United team for organizing the donation of race entry fees to the Ryan McKnab family.

Thank you,
Paul Shirkey

My heart is with Ryan and his family tonight. My heart is big and messy, per usual.



UPDATE: This (somewhat promising) update came to the OBRA list this morning from Ryan’s wife:

They took him off of both the Propofol (sedative) and Fentanyl (pain stuff) so he’s no longer sedated. He is still comatose, but every hour the nurses are doing neuro checks. The last one was around 7 pm, and he was able to move his left hand and again, opened his eyes and looked around a bit. Who know what he’s actually seeing, but there are no words to describe the feeling of seeing your comatose husband open his eyes for the first time and then continue to do so on later checks. I feel so hopeful right now, but they keep telling me to prepare for the long haul. But at the same time, take it day by day.

That’s it for now, Ryan’s parents are arriving tonight so maybe he will wake up a bit for them.

Keep up the love and moral support, we all appreciate it so, so much. We have so many great friends and family, and I am grateful beyond words.

love, Jessi



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