Ride dirt bikes long enough and you'll encounter any number of setbacks that impact your favorite pastime or career that prevents you from riding days, weeks, even months at a time.
If you ride professionally a significant crash can affect short-term and long term success. Just this year alone, Ken Roczen and Trey Canard's bid for a Supercross Championship ended early thanks to injury. Jimmy Albertson called it a season after Round 10 and Justin Barcia missed eight rounds.
A few weeks ago MotoSport employee and Whip master Brett Cue went down on his 2015 Honda CRF450 during a race and the outcome wasn't promising. There's never good timing when it comes to injury but unfortunately for "the most famous dirt bike rider who has zero accomplishments," bad timing couldn't be more apropos.
Cue, 28, talked to us about what happened and how it might impact his summer.
1. You're not riding right now, tell us what happened.
I was up at Horn Rapids racing at the MotoSport.com NorthWest National series. During the first lap of the first Moto I caught a bit of a swap in a right hand corner, stuck my leg out and took a nice little face skid for a bit. I ended up tearing my ACL, MCL and PCL.
2. Did you know right away something was seriously wrong or were you hoping for a sprain?
I had a pretty good idea right away that I had torn my knee up. When you go to roll over and everything goes with you besides your lower leg, it's not too tough to tell that something isn't right. It swelled up almost immediately. Of course, you're always trying to think positive and hope for the best, but unfortunately your body usually doesn't agree.
3. Is this the most significant injury of your 10-year professional riding career?
This is by far the worst knee injury I've had, but not the worst of my career as a whole. I've torn my ACL and MCL on both knees in the past, but the PCL made things quite a bit worse. I broke my back and pelvis back in 2009, and that was definitely the worst of my career.
4. Like your whips, you didn't just mail in an injury, you ruptured three ligaments. What does rehab look like for you?
The doctor had told me from the start it would be at least 5-6 months before I was able to ride again. I feel like I'm already way ahead of schedule, but with recovery on a knee, you always feel better than you really are.
5. When do you think you'll start riding again?
I am thinking by the time four months comes around, I should be able to go do some Moto if I take it easy and make sure not to dab my right leg.
6. Now you and Trey Canard can trade track trauma stories. Did he have any advice or words of encouragement for you?
He definitely always has some positive words for me, no matter what the situation is. I can't say enough good things about that guy.
7. How about Ronnie Mac? He offer any sympathies?
(Laughs) No way! Ronnie is a jerk!
8. A few days after surgery you got a surprise email. Who was it from and what did it say?
Well, after three years of working towards getting into Best Whip at X Games, I finally made some headway! I got an email that says I'm an alternate for this year in Austin.
9. Bitter sweet, I'm sure, but injury aside what's this mean to you and your career?
To me, it's just awesome to see something that I, along with many people around me, have worked so long to accomplish become a reality. Before we started our Road to X Games series at the end of 2012, I had always wanted to be in the event, but was honestly scared to death. I didn't want to go out and embarrass myself. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. With Dayton's (Dayton Daft is MotoSport's Video Production Manager) awesome video skills and the amount of support we have received from fans, my career has turned into something I never could have imagined.
10. What's the process to being accepted by X Games. Do you apply? Send in video of your ability?
Well, I had always thought video was the best way to go, so that's why we started the Road to X Games series. When that didn't work, we just kind of scratched our heads. I think it's just more about getting your name out there in the mainstream. The more people who know who you are, the better your odds.
11. You're considered an alternate position. What does this mean?
It means I am in line if one of the competitors with a guaranteed spot gets injured or has to back out for some reason. Not sure exactly how many alternates there are or what order we are in line, but I can't complain. But I do know that alternates are able to ride practice with the guaranteed riders before the show.
12. With your bum knee, obviously straight up racing is out for a while but not necessarily a whip contest. What will factor into your decision to go to X Games?
Definitely. Having less than two months to heal a five to six month injury isn't at all ideal. Not to mention the fact that riding beforehand is nearly out of the question. It will be a game time decision on making it down to Texas in June or not, but you can bet I'm going to do everything I can to make it happen.
13. Is the knee injury on your dominate side to throwing a whip or is the concern more with landing?
I'm really not concerned with the takeoff much, because I always seat bounce the ramp. Landing really doesn't worry me much either because you can favor one leg or the other there. Where the question is to me is in the air. The way your body twists and moves in the air changes every single jump, so I just need to be sure to keep that in mind while I'm in the air and I'll be fine.
14. You're one of the happiest guys I've ever met. Mentally, how are you handling the injury and now possibly missing out on your dream?
It's definitely tough. I just try my best to look at things in a positive way. Everything happens for a reason, whether you like it or not. You just have to trust in God's bigger plan.
15. If you can't go to the X Games are you a lock for next year or does the invitation process start over?
I don't think you're ever a sure invite unless your name is Travis Pastrana or Jeremy Stenberg. I would like to think I have a head start on where I was at this time last year, but who knows? I am just going to keep doing what I do and see where it takes me!
16. Ok I've got to ask, Mr. 365. In a leap year, do you take Feb. 29 off from riding?
(Laughs) Actually, I ran #366 before I started using 365. When I rode beginner class at the World Mini in 2001, they assigned me 366. The next year when I came back to race novice, I assumed I would be 366 again. When I got there, someone else already had my number, so they gave me the closest one open, which was 365 and it stuck. See? Everything happens for a reason and you have to trust that! But to answer your question, I don't mind riding 366 either!
To learn more about Brett check out our original profile of him when he first started working at MotoSport.com.
Written By: AndrewT