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Friday, December 29, 2006

Trigger Gumm rode the Baja 1000 2006

Spectacular crash didn't stop motorcyclist.

Trigger Gumm, of San Clemente, is trying again for a world record.

SAN CLEMENTE – Moments after Trigger Gumm's spectacular motorcycle crash that shattered vertebrae and caused a concussion during his world-record setting attempt last summer, he stood up and walked away. He was taken to a local Miami, Oklahoma hospital, where doctors wanted to perform surgery immediately on his back.
"I was thinking, 'Dude, I am in Miami, Oklahoma, not Newport Beach," the San Clemente resident said. "There's no way they are going to operate on me."
So Gumm removed the IV's from his arm, turned to his mom, Judy, who was at his bedside, and said let's get out of here. Judy booked a first-class flight and the pair booked it back to Orange County.
Home, Gumm wasn't in the clear. He was referred to a back specialist since he still had five fractures in his vertebrae and his ribs had detached from his spine.
"The doctor told me I was fortunate to leave when I did," Gumm said. "He said there was no way I needed to have surgery."
But Gumm did need rest. Lots of it. He was fitted for a body cast, one that he wore for a day then "hucked it."
"It was super uncomfortable," he said. "I just laid on my bed. I was flat on my back for a month and a half. It seemed like forever. I was on such gnarly narcotics. But pain is good. If you feel pain, you are still in the game."
And Gumm is still in the game. Recovered, he's ready to return to Oklahoma for another shot at setting the world record for the longest motorcycle jump. He was attempting 315 feet when he wiped out. He issued a press release in early December announcing he will return June 16.
"I'm going back to Miami," Gumm said. "I'm gonna smash it. I told everybody I coming back out. I was taught as a kid that you get back on the horse that threw you. I do what I say. That's my word."
Word spread on Gumm's crash fast. It quickly became the number one viewed video on CNN.com for a day. Fans sent him papers from Australia and the Czech Republic. But before Gumm returns to Oklahoma, he has another jump lined up.
"The big one is now in March," he said. "I signed a deal with a company to jump the Grand Canyon."
To be exact, a 250-foot gap with a 2,000-foot drop. Gumm received a call from a promoter gauging his interest. It was a short conversation.
"Of course," Gumm said. "That's what I want to do. I'm a daredevil. I've always wanted a picture of something like that."
Ironically, Gumm is afraid of heights.
"What did I get myself into?" Gumm asked.
He's been practicing jumping gaps at the dirt lot next to Saddleback Church. Gumm's meticulous when it comes to doing his homework.
"I can't take anymore crashes," he said. "My poor wife, Erin."
Risks, on the other hand, he'll keep taking. Besides the Grand Canyon and Oklahoma jumps, Gumm is in the midst of working out the details for a jump in Lake Placid, N.Y. He would be jumping off the ski jump used in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
"If skiers are going 400 feet," Gumm said, "why not on a bike?"
The possibility has Gumm excited. He said it would be his "crown jewel," if not the Grand Canyon jump.
"There's things I haven't got to accomplish yet," he said.
Gumm hasn't been back to the doctors since receiving his body cast. He's said he feels normal again.
"There's no better doctor than yourself," he said. "Your body tells you so."
Three months after his crash, Gumm was on his bike again. He was a judge on the reality show "Camp Crusty." He filmed two seasons.
"Things were so out of control," Gumm said. "Halfway through they stopped it."
The producers eventually started it again. Next, Gumm did a promotional ride for Etnies and Harley Davidson on Fuel TV for two weeks before leaving the tour.
Gumm also rode in the Baja 1000 in November. He rode a 330-mile stretch. He had the Desert Assassins motorcycle team in the top five when he handed the bike off at Mile 771. However, the next driver got a flat and quit, unbeknown to Gumm.
"I was at the finish line waiting for the bike the whole night," he said.
Needless to say, Gumm was disappointed the bike didn't make it to the finish line. He had hit up all his sponsors and they had thrown $25,000 into the bike. Gumm personally wrote apology letters to his sponsors Service Honda, Lost Energy Drink, Kush Cash, Alpine Star, FMF, Hammer Head, Hoven goggles, Troy helmets and Nichols Racing to name a few.
Gumm already has his sights set on the San Felipe 250 in March. And ultimately, Gumm would like to win the 1000.
He'll have to wait until next year. By then, who knows, he might have completed three more of his goals by jumping the Grand Canyon, setting a world record and launching of a ski ramp.
"To any little kids out there," Gumm said, "keep after your goals. Try, work hard at it and you can succeed."