When you think of the name Bobby Kiniry, a few things definitely come to mind. Not only has he been incredibly fast throughout his career, but he’s also been known as a rider with a massive amount of heart and intestinal fortitude. When you add in Bobby’s infectious smile and positive outlook on life, it’s not hard to figure out why he’s been such a fan favourite. Bobby has also earned the respect of his peers and because of that the motocross community held their collective breathes when he crashed very hard last month at the Sarnia AX. To get an update on his condition, and also to see what the future might hold for this Country’s favourite American rider, we gave Bobby a call for this week’s MXP Chatter.
MXP: Hey Bobby, what’s going on?
BK: Not too much, sorry I missed your first call, I was outside working on the four-wheeler and I had to test ride it.
Well at least you’re somewhat mobile.
I’m not supposed to be, I’ve been trying to do a few things around the house because I’m just bored. But, my wife and even my physio therapist (who is also family) have been yelling at me to take it easy and let everything heal.
So maybe now is a good time to get into your injuries. What exactly did you do to yourself in Sarnia on that fateful night?
I did a few different things when I crashed, the most serious injury was my broken femur and dislocated hip. I guess I broke the head of my femur off when it came out of my hip socket and the doctors said that wasn’t easy to do. In the crash I also hit my head really hard, broke my collarbone, tore the PCL in my knee and I received a huge gash on my leg from where my knee brace broke and dug into my leg. I think that pretty much covers it (laughs).
Wow!! That’s quite the list of injuries from one crash. What did the doctors say when they started looking you over?
Both the doctor in Sarnia and my own doctor here in NY said they’ve never seen a hip that bad. The head of my femur was actually pushed back into the top of my butt up by my pant line, so it was pretty out of place. They told me that a dislocated hip is one of the most painful injuries a human can endure and usually the pain is so bad that you just pass out.
I was there and you certainly didn’t pass out, although I’m sure you wished you would have.
Oh, for sure, I was hurting. Plus, I hit my head so hard that I was confused a little. All I knew was that my hip was killing.
So what happened when you arrived at the hospital in Sarnia?
At first they thought that I just had bruised my hip and they were more worried about a neck injury that might be hidden. So they started X-Rays and that’s when they saw how bad my hip was. But the problem was that there was no surgeon on duty that night, so all night I just laid there in pain waiting for a doctor to arrive. Finally, in the morning, he arrived and they sedated me and got my hip back together. It was a really bad deal because usually they don’t let a hip sit there dislocated for more than hour or two; anything longer and there’s a risk that the top of the femur will begin to die because it’s not getting blood flow.
So how long was your hip dislocated for?
Over twelve hours!
Okay, so they got your hip back in and then you checked yourself out of the Sarnia hospital and drove back home? What were your thinking? (laughs)
I don’t know! At the time there were a number of issues, there was an insurance issue and I didn’t want to rack up a huge bill at a Canadian hospital. However, first and foremost, I was in so much pain that I just wanted to get home and see my own physicians.
So you woke up from your surgery in Sarnia and drove home. How miserable was that drive?
It was awful, I was able to sleep for like two hours, but other than that I just sat there in pain and waited for it to be over. The desire to get home outweighed the pain I was in I guess.
Once you arrived home you went to see your own doctor and then you had another surgery?
Yes, in Sarnia they only put my hip back in, they didn’t fix my femur. So my doctor got me hooked up with this special hip doctor and I went in for a second surgery where they pinned and screwed me back together. That doctor said I was a mess. There were pieces floating around and I had a torn muscle, it was definitely a tough deal. Even after that second surgery I was forced to stay in the hospital for almost a week because the pain was so bad.
That’s quite the story and quite a list of injuries. I guess it always could’ve been worse. Do you remember the crash?
It’s weird because I hit my head; the entire situation is kind of foggy. I remember the crash, and then I remember guys like you, Blose, Andre and Kyle Thompson there were helping get my boot off and holding my hand, however I don’t remember the ride to the hospital.
That was obviously the trickiest part of the track. How did you end up crashing that hard?
All day we were going triple/triple through that section and I think I was the only rider on a 250F to be doing it consistently. During the main event I was chasing Chris Blose and he was having trouble with the first triple, so my plan was to jump the section clean and then get to the inside of him in the next corner and hopefully make the pass. I still don’t know exactly what happened but I ending up getting kicked and clipping the top of one of the jumps. From there I just remember my hands getting blown off the bars and going into the face of the final jump. The bike drove me into the ground and then I got thrown through the air before coming to a stop.
I only saw you flying through the air and it was obvious that your situation was not good.
Although I was knocked out for a short time and pretty dingy, this was the first crash I had where I was scared to do that quick body scan that we always do when we’re trying to assess the damage. I remember being scared because I didn’t want to not be able to feel something, I didn’t want to be paralyzed! Once I realized that I could wiggle my toes and feel my legs, it didn’t take me long to feel how much my hip hurt.
I know your injuries are bad this time, however this wasn’t your first hard crash this season.
No, it definitely wasn’t, I’ve a few good ones in the last few months. At first I didn’t know why I was crashing, but after talking to a few people I now realize that it’s just my age. I’m 30 and there’s a reason why there aren’t a lot of top pro riders who are this age. Whether we know it or not, our ability to make quick decisions change at 30. I know a few riders manage to race into their thirties and everything is okay, but it definitely gets tougher.
Well, as former pro and a guy who still rides, I certainly know what you’re talking about. So obviously the plan is to heal up and get healthy, but I think a lot of your fans want to know what’s next for you?
I don’t really know what I want to do right now. I know I’m done with professional racing and I’m totally cool with that. While I didn’t want to go out like this, I know it could’ve been worse. I feel like I’ve had a great career, I’ve been a pro for a long time. I’ve travelled and got to see a lot of cool places, and I’ve met a lot of really cool people along the way. I actually feel pretty blessed for what I’ve been able to experience in my life and now it’s time to turn the page and take on some new challenges.
Bobby, you’ve had an incredible career and I’m not just talking about your results on the track but also how you are off the track. You’re definitely a class act and we in Canada have been lucky to have you for the last five seasons.
Well, I appreciate that Palms, it really has been fun and I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent in Canada. Like I said, I’ve met some great people and I’ve made some lifelong friends. It’s going to be weird not to be on the starting line next year, but I’m excited for what the future holds, whether it’s driving a truck or fishing or just spending more time with my family. I’ve had a great racing career but it’s time to move on.
I think I speak for everyone when I say good luck with whatever you chose to do and we hope you heal up quickly. It’s been a pleasure watching you race and a pleasure chatting with you tonight. Let’s keep in touch Bobby.
For sure, thanks for everything and hopefully we’ll make it up there next summer to watch some races.