Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Oops, I Dropped Something
Car vs. bicycle usually means the cyclist looses, as in this case. Cyclists should realize that on a brisk Saturday morning, the most a cell-phone-toting weekend driver is concerned about regarding such confrontations is the minimal paint transfer a collision would incur. So running a stop sign on a slow traffic morning is morally justified. Boy I’d like to shove that cell phone up that beige Volvo driving mother puss bucket’s arse!
The above accident happened Saturday morning while I was trying to push the limits of both bicycle and cyclist. I was racing, estimated 30 mph in top gear, to a regular morning meeting giving myself just the required ten minutes to make it on time. Shoes tied tightly into toe clips, MP3 box playing that forgotten song, I didn’t hear the approaching car, but I saw it. Because of that, I narrowly missed it by turning my front wheel sharp, too sharp to stay upright. I kind of knew it was going to result in a pitchpole of the front forks. With feet securely attached to pedals, the bike and I were one. With all the energy of forward momentum transferred to pavement via my back and head, I hit the deck. Well, I shouldn’t say all; I do believe I took flight. When I finally made contact with Mother Earth it was in the form of a spank to my back and a pop of my head; a bounce is more like it. Thanks to the sacrificial Schwinn helmet, my scull was never touched nor damaged by the pavement. This was by design. However, I’m out one helmet.
When all had stopped, I lay motionless on my back staring at the Volvo that caused my injuries. While taking inventory of my injuries I was distracted by what I can only describe as a Jewish soccer mom who while keeping constant eye contact stopped the offending vehicle from doing more damage by running me over. Later I would learn there was a reason for this.
“Are you alright?” she responded. While still in the midst of inventorying, I stopped to answer, but in doing so took a deep breath and discovered I’d been winded. Like a prize fighter with the wind knocked out of him, I felt like I was punched in the gut, only from behind.
“Can you get up?” she asked. Good question, I thought. Continuing my bodily inventory, I realized the crowd forming. My urgency to get up was tempered by the feeling a football player must have when his internal couch reminds him the world is watching.
“Wait. You might be injured. Don’t move,” the soccer mom warns.
Screw that lady, “I’m fine. Help me up,” as I painfully expel air without wincing. I force my outstretched hand in greeting style in order to elicit a hand shake gesture, which she habitually responded to. I reach a bit further and grab her hand giving her a signal pull to notify her that yes, you are going to lift me. As she pulls me up, I let out a whimper of pain. “Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea?”
“I’m okay, really,” I reply.
“I watched you as you hit ground and kept eye contact.” And why was that,, I thought? “I’d slipped on ice this winter, hit the back of my head, and lost consciousness. It didn’t seem like you did. Your helmet is broken pretty badly.” Oh, really, as I removed it, looked at the damage, then rubbed my scull where it took the hit and felt no pain, bump, warm blood, nothing.
My back is a different story, and as I type it is still bothering me. I was in so much pain that it justified a hospital visit. The nurses put the fear of God in me, talking of CAT scans and X-rays. When the doctor examined me and my urine, he reported nothing but muscle trauma, gave me the Rx equivalent of aspirin, and sent me on my way. I didn’t fill them for fear of cross addiction.
I’ve got other minor scraps and bruises, and one badly scraped ankle. Because it was attached to me at the point of impact, the only damage to the bicycle was a derailed chain. My back is okay today. We’ll see how it pans out over the next week.