Group fitness instructor Lucy Cantori's pinky finger was partially severed when she crashed while mountain biking at Tewantin.
Group fitness instructor Lucy Cantori's pinky finger was partially severed when she crashed while mountain biking at Tewantin.

Severed pinky a lasting lesson from full speed stack

Group fitness instructor Lucy Cantori's partially severed pinky finger will be a permanent reminder of a crash that could have been so much worse.

Miss Cantori is confident she would have teeth missing or even suffered brain damage were it not for the full-face helmet and other safety gear she had on when she fell while downhill mountain biking.

She was ahead of her partner Earl Downs as they tested out the recently redone Trailblazer trail at the Wooroi Day Use Area in Tewantin about 7.30am on Saturday.

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"Worst bit was though I didn't even fall off in the new parts," Miss Cantori, 26, said.

"I made sure I was slower and more cautious through the new parts of the track but then once it got to the older part that I've ridden more times than I can count I picked up my speed again."

Group fitness instructor Lucy Cantori says her full-face helmet saved her from serious face and head injuries when she crashed while downhill mountain biking at Tewantin.
Group fitness instructor Lucy Cantori says her full-face helmet saved her from serious face and head injuries when she crashed while downhill mountain biking at Tewantin.

An app on her phone showed she was going about 35km/h when she overshot a jump, got a bit sideways and ended up on the wrong side of her handlebars.

"I immediately just picked myself up because I knew my partner Earl was coming behind me and yelled for him to stop before he crashed into me."

But it was too late and Mr Downs crashed too.

"Earl dusted me off and then wheeled my bike for me through the wider parts of the trail but the trails are pretty narrow there so I had to wheel my bike for a lot of it too.

"Heaps of people stopped to check I was OK but really they've got their own bikes too so no one can really help."

Miss Cantori says her glove saved her pinky finger from being totally severed when she crashed.
Miss Cantori says her glove saved her pinky finger from being totally severed when she crashed.

The Cooroy couple walked about 2km to Gyndier Drive where Miss Cantori got back on her bike and rode with one hand back to the carpark before she was taken to Noosa Hospital.

She was treated for a fractured hand, a partially amputated pinky that took nine stitches to reconnect, ligament damage and plenty of gravel rash and bruises.

Miss Cantori's pinky finger needed a bit of attention at Noosa Hospital.
Miss Cantori's pinky finger needed a bit of attention at Noosa Hospital.

Doctors told her the pinky would remain a part of her hand but she would have to return to hospital on Tuesday to assess any further damage.

"When I upgraded to a full-face helmet a couple of people were like 'ooohh hardcore' blah, blah, blah but honestly if I wasn't wearing my full-face helmet today I would be missing teeth and have grazes all over my face for sure.

"I wear a full-face helmet because I value my face, my teeth and most importantly my brain."

Miss Cantori's hopes her injury won’t keep her from work or mountain biking for too long.
Miss Cantori's hopes her injury won’t keep her from work or mountain biking for too long.

She said knee pads and elbow pads prevented her from losing layers of skin and having much worse gravel rash.

"And of course my gloves held my pinky together until we got to hospital."

She said it could be "a while" before she returned to teaching group fitness classes that involved weights and push-ups but was hopeful she would be back teaching spin classes - which were indoors and on a stationary bike - as soon as the stitches came out.

The crash has not deterred her from returning to the slopes in a sport she took up about five months ago.

Her message was simple.

"It's always better to wear your protective gear and be safe than to be complacent and be sorry.

"My full-face helmet is now the best $300 I've ever spent."


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