Skaters in the News > Michael Sandler

Accident Postpones Blade Across America
ADD activist Michael Sandler suffers broken bones in trail fall
Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

photo of Michael SandlerIn preparation for his planned Blade Across America skate trek, Michael Sandler has been putting in lots of hard miles on the trails in and around Boulder, Colo.

But Sunday was supposed to have been an easy day. He skated out to the end of the Boulder Creek Trail and then gave himself a break.

"I took off my skates, put my feet in the mountain creek and actually meditated for 20 minutes," the 33-year-old Colorado man says.

Then he put his skates back on, turned on his mp3 player and started back. He was listening to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book Inspiration.

"I felt absolutely great," he recalls. "I was listening to a story by Wayne Dyer about how he was inspired by a butterfly that started following him one day. I skated about 200 yards, came to a gentle left hand turn and after I took the turn, they wandered onto the path."

They were a father and his young son. The boy, a toddler, was attempting to walk. Sandler said it looked as though he were taking his first steps. He was "wobbling" across the right side of the trail. His father was crouched down on the left side of the trail.

"The boy was right in front of me. I wasn't going fast but there still wasn't much time to do anything. I called out to the dad. But he was preoccupied with the kid. At that point, I made a decision that I wasn't going to hit him."

So instead, he hit the trail.

He fell backward on his left hip and arm. The fall broke his left leg in three places just below the hip and broke his left arm above the wrist.

Surgeons operated to mend his left femur. He was recovering at the Boulder Community Hospital today when we reached him by phone. He is expected to remain in the hospital until tomorrow, when he may be moved to a rehabilitation hospital.

His doctor told him he will not be able to walk for four months.

Sandler had planned to start his Blade Across America trek on Aug. 6th. The trip will have to be postponed until at least the fall, and probably later, he said.

Blade Across America is planned as a 4000 mile skate from Los Angeles to New York. Sandler had planned to skate 100 miles a day and finish the trek in 40 days.

Sandler is promoting the trek as an effort to raise awareness and money for Attention Deficit Disorder. He is a national coach for people with the disorder, which he has himself.

Sandler was wearing K2 Radical 100 skates with 100mm wheels equipped with SmartWheel brakes when he fell. (SmartWheels is one of his sponsors.)

He estimates that he was 40 to 100 feet from the toddler when he spotted him and traveling at 7 mph. "There was no time to engage a brake or anything," he said. "It was hit or ditch."

Sandler was wearing a helmet and cycling gloves. He says he doubts wrist guards would have prevented his broken arm.

"I've replayed it and replayed it — and on this one, I can't think of a way I could have done anything different."

The accident hasn't damaged his commitment to Blade Across America.

"In my opinion, everything in life happens for a reason. Maybe this means that I need to do more logistical work to make sure about safety. This means having more time to get that in place. Which is a good thing."


Add your comment on the Planet Forum.

Related reading

• Go to Skaters in the News.

• Go to Planet story: Skating for Attention Deficit Disorder.

(posted on April 4, 2006)


Add your comment on the Planet Forum.

Related reading

• Go to Skaters in the News.

• Go to Planet story: Skating for Attention Deficit Disorder.


Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

The Basics
Beginner's Guide to Inline Skating!
Top Seven Mistakes of Inline Skaters
Protection From Mr. Bumpy
First Time Buying Guide
Skate Safety
News Departments
Product News
Skating Events and Updates
Racing News
Skate Industry News
Skate Governing Bodies
Skaters in the News
Olympic Inclusion

Skate Trips and Travel
Skate Seminars
Where to Skate
Race Previews
Race Reports
Racing Skates and Equipment

Inline Marathoning
Advanced Skating Skills
Skate Previews
Product Reviews
Buyers Guide
Skate Maintenance
Speed Skating
Ice Skating
Roller Hockey
The Inline Edge!
If You're Injured
Skating Laws
Inline History