Beloved frame builder Dillen Maurer loses foot in accident
Characteristically, Maurer offered first responders a free bike once he gets the hang of using a prosthetic.
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Update Oct. 3, 2022:
Cycling Weekly's public records request have come up empty twice. Meanwhile, the Maurers have hired a legal team to help pursue further information and Dillen Maurer has started the long road of rehabilitation.
Update Sept 7, 2022:
Jenn has started a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs.
Frame builder Dillen Maurer of Baphomet Bicycles was involved in a mysterious yet horrific accident over the holiday weekend in which his left foot was severed a couple inches above the ankle.
On Sunday, Maurer reported on social media that he’d been hit by an ATV while riding his bike close to his home and Baphomet Bicycles headquarters near Toas, New Mexico. His left foot was lost during the accident, and he was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
Characteristically, he thanked the “amazing medics” for getting him to the hospital safely and offered them “a free bike once I get the hang of using a prosthetic.”
The accident is under active investigation as conflicting reports of what exactly occurred in the event have since come to light.
The Taos News retracted its original 'ATV hit-and-run' story angle and now reports that the incident was falsely called in by the 9-1-1 caller. The incident involved a chainsaw rather than a bike - ATV collision. But details are still emerging, and Cycling Weekly has submitted an official public records request for more information. We will post updates as the story develops.
In the meantime, Cycling Weekly spoke with Maurer's wife, Jenn, who was out of town at the time of the incident and is still trying to piece the story together herself. Maurer has a history of traumatic brain injury and his recollection is spotty.
"What we know is that around 10:30 in the morning, Dillen was out on a bike ride, which is a very normal Dillen thing to do. But the only thing he remembers from the ride that morning is that he was on his way home and then distinctly remembers a feeling of getting hit and spun around," Jenn said.
"Multiple witnesses said they saw ATVs out riding as we live near the National Park trails and it was a holiday weekend. He was also wearing riding clothes and clipless shoes when he was transferred to the hospital — these details are consistent with his story."
A blood trails suggests that an incident of some kind occurred only 600 feet from their home, and his bike was found inside the garage. Maurer says he had to return to the house to call for help as he had left his cellphone on the kitchen counter. He used his bike to prop himself up to get inside the house via the garage.
He also remembers crafting a tourniquet for himself and going to the outside porch to call for help while elevating his leg to further slow the bleeding.
"The doctors say that by making a tourniquet and propping his leg up, Dillen can be crediting for saving his own life," Jenn said.
Maurer's mother was the first to arrive at the scene. She drove Maurer out to meet the ambulance who then transferred him to the helipad from where he was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
Jenn said that because they own an electric chainsaw and the medical reports indicate a clean amputation, the Sheriff's office quickly jumped to self-harm.
"But self-harm is wildly inconsistent with his character. His whole life is being active. The night before this all happened we were talking about how excited we were for ski season and we also have a bikepacking event coming up," she said.
"Unless he gets his memory back, I fear we'll never know what actually happened."
Jenn said she's urging the police to further investigate the incident.
The good news is that Maurer appears to be doing well, all things considered.
“[Dillen] is in reasonably good spirits but also rationally grieving the loss of his foot,” she said, and asks the community to continue showing their support.
A former professional cyclocross racer turned handmade bike builder, Maurer, 28, worked at Sugar Wheel Works, a custom wheel building company in Portland, Oregon, before setting out for a new life in New Mexico with his wife and various rescue animals in 2020.
“We were all saddened by the news that this had happened to him,” Ira Ryan, co-owner of Breadwinner Cycles and Sugar Wheel Works, told Cycling Weekly.
“Dillen was super enthusiastic and a really great technician and great wheel builder. His focus was on wanting to learn how to build frames and dabbled at it after hours.”
Maurer is known in the bike community for his infectious joy and for being an all-around good guy. His business practices speak for themselves.
Maurer started Baphomet Bicycles from his garage in the midst of the Corona pandemic with a goal to not just make beautiful, utilitarian bicycles, but to use his skills and passion to redistribute wealth.
Operating under a tagline of “bikes that play for cyclists who give a shit,” Baphomet Bicycles donates 50% of its income to a number of social and environmental advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Trevor Project, Silver Stallion, Honnold Foundation and Outdoor Alliance.
“Look, Baphomet bicycles are built by a privileged straight white guy — gotta use that privilege somehow - the best we can do is give back while doing what we know best,” Maurer states on his website.
Additionally, sustainability is front of mind in all of Baphomet Bicycles’ practices. The bikes are made of steel, which is recyclable and reusable, and the shop itself runs fully on solar power and all packaging materials are recyclable.
“Our favorite human is going to be a badass bionic cyclist once he’s healed. I promise you that,” Jenn wrote on social media.
This story is developing and we’ll provide updates along the way.
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Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.
Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.
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