Friday, August 26, 2011
Two types of bikers
As I was being wheels away yesterday in the ambulance, the EMT said "there are two kinds of bikers... those that have gone down and those that will go down". A wise man! Lucky for me, for the last seven years I was the later. Last night I became the first kind. :(
I've never been scared of my bike. I feel comfortable on it - more comfortable on it than on my own two feet sometimes.. I like riding in a group and although I ride my TT bike, I never go down in my aerobars (unless I'm pulling). I tend to stay toward the front of the pack. We only ride two wide. I'm super nervous getting close to the person in front of me so I probably leave more space than I need to. We always yell out for gravel, potholes, roadkill (we are in the country), and anything else that might cause a wreck.
I don't know what I hit last night. All I remember is talking to Kelly and then saying "Oh Shit" as I'm smacking down on the pavement. I was only the third rider in the line and that meant a whole slew of riders behind me. Before I know it, someone hit me and went flying over me. As I cringed, another person hit me. Then it just got crazy. I didn't know if I should cry or what. Could I move? My left leg was still attached to my pedal but my right leg was somehow stuck around my handlebars. I immediately think I'm alright, just shook up. But seeing Keith lay in front of me was the scariest thing ever. He's my buddy. When he hit me and went flying, I saw him smack the ground and he wasn't moving. As a matter of fact, he was barely breathing and our friend Mel looked scared to death as she sat with him. I got untangled from my bike. Nothing felt broken. Someone sat between me and Keith, probably to prevent me from seeing him. He was pretty beat up. I was able to move. Just a little bit of blood. No tears in my clothes. I got off to the side of the road and just sat there. And that's when the tears came. I think I was so scared for Keith... this was my fault. I tried to stand and just felt really dizzy so I laid down. The quads came and although I could move everything and only had a little bit of pain where Keith's tire had hit me, I couldn't stand without being dizzy so they suggested that I get in the ambulance and get checked out. Turns out no broken bones. I have a little bit of road rash on my arm, but the blunt of my fall was felt on my left thigh which is really swollen and a smurf shade of blue - it's not pretty. My back is really swollen from the impact of Keith's tire I'm guessing, and very bruised. I'm kind of walking like an old lady.
I know that at some point, everyone will go down on their bikes and I am very fortunate that nothing was broken or seriously damaged. I keep replaying the incident in my mind, wondering what I did wrong, or what I might have hit. I keep picturing Keith flying over me and landing on the pavement. I'm glad to know that he is home and safe... some stitches, a concussion and maybe some broken ribs. I feel horrible for Tom because he was in front me of, heard the crash, looked back to see it was me and then saw the two bikers hit me as I was laying there. He's been replaying what he saw over and over too.
One thing that struck me was how many people said "Thank you for wearing your helmet". I would never consider getting on my bike without it. And today I threw mine away because it was dinged up from me hitting the ground (not to mention the mysterious blood in it even though no one could find a scratch on my head). I have another and when I get the courage to get back on my bike, it'll be the first thing I put on.
Thanks for all your comments on facebook, your texts, your calls and your emails. It means so much to me that so many people care about me! Be safe out there... I thought I was doing everything right and look what happened.
I know I'll always be the kind of rider that has gone down. Hopefully it's out of my system and I can move on.