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How Strava Beacon saved my life!

Mt. Kenya

Hi Strava community,
I am new to the community chat but I wanted to share with you my story of how Strava Beacon saved my life on March 1st of this year.
I took off for an after work solo fat bike ride on the Meadow Mountain trail in Garrett County MD, around 3PM on Wednesday, March 1st. You see, this is a trail that I normally ride 3 or 4 times every winter on the snowmobile packed surface. The trail is around 20 miles out and back with around 2,300' of climbing.
That day the temps soared into the 60's and no snow was to be found on the trail. As I left my car at the north trailhead I turned on my Strava Beacon as I do every ride faithfully. The text of my life went out to my loving wife of 35 years Shawna as normal. Somewhere on a descent at mile 19 I lost control and crashed head first. Long story short, Shawna and my 23 year old daughter Natalie had gone for an afternoon walk at Deep Creek State Park that day when she got the text. Soon after my wife noticed on her phone that something was wrong. I wasn't moving. She said it looked like squiggles on the app. She first tried to text me and got nothing in return. Next she called and I answered but I made no sense (slurring) to her. I told her I hurt my back and thought that I may have crashed. The alarms went off in their heads and they took off into action heading out to find me. They called 911 in route and she found me within the hour of my crash. I had to be extracted by MD State Trooper helicopter 5 and flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown WV. I ended up spending a week in the hospital with a fractured neck, back, left elbow, ribs, and six contusions on my brain.
If they hadn't found me so fast using the beacon, who knows what may have happened? I am now seven weeks into recovery (x-rays look good, Doc said use your common sense and see you in six weeks). I did my first outside ride with my oldest son this past Sunday!

Thank you Strava Beacon!

BTW-The articles and news (pic below) stated that I was stranded for 8 hours. Wrong! Because of Strava Beacon I was at the ER within 2.5 hours after I crashed.

Gratefully yours,
Dan Manges,

Promoter/Director of "The Quick & The Dead" gravel road race


The moset important text of my life.The moset important text of my life.Article is wrong. I was not stranded because of Strava Beacon. She found me within the hour.Article is wrong. I was not stranded because of Strava Beacon. She found me within the hour.Actual pic of my hoist!Actual pic of my hoist!Ruby Marshall ERRuby Marshall ER



Wow, so glad you are ok and recovering! 

I also use this feature, and like you had a solo MTB crash (not nearly as severe though, just a yard-sale that took me a while to find my phone, Garmin, water bottles, etc..) - I quickly was able to text my wife to tell her I was ok, but knowing that it can truly save your life is an amazing feature/benefit.  Like Scout mentions - great that your wife took quick action!

Moderator Moderator

Hi @1Danimal 

Thank you for sharing this!  I'm so sorry to hear you were hurt but happy that you're recovering and already back on your bike.  I'm sure you're thankful to Shawna for keeping an eye on Beacon and realizing that something wasn't right. I wish you the very best in your continued recovery and we really appreciate you sharing your story.

To anyone else reading this, you can find out more about Strava Beacon here.  It's useful on any outdoor activity, but especially when riding or running solo!  

Jane (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Moderator Moderator

Hi This is an incredible story; thank you for sharing! Glad to hear that your recovery is trending upwards. Big kudos Screen Shot 2023-04-20 at 9.45.28 AM.png to your wife for getting the rescue effort going that led to finding you so fast. And kudos Screen Shot 2023-04-20 at 9.45.28 AM.png to you for getting back on your bike so quickly!
Take care and hope the rest of your recovery is quick and smooth. 

Scout (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Thank you Scout! I actually got 160 miles in so far this month.