I figured a good 20 miles or so would be a good way to work off the frustrations of a less than stellar day. As I pedaled down the last bit to the valley floor, I noticed a car coming up. It looked like what my friend drove, and I looked a bit harder to see. It wasn’t her, it was her husband, and as I turned my head back to what’s in front of me, I distinctly remember thinking, “ Get your eyes on the road, idiot, you’re moving pretty fast!”
That’s the last thing I remember before waking up on a stretcher with some EMTs and my wife looking at me. One EMT asked me who was president. I confidently answered, “Ford!” My wife got a horrified look on her face and asked if they were going to put a cervical collar on me. They said they would if I – an obviously addled crash victim – wanted it, and looked at me. I nodded, mimicking the movement of my wife. I was soon strapped, and trussed, and off to a short stay in the hospital. My garmin read 31 mph, 0 mph, then 70 mph.
I escaped with 3 broken ribs, bruised lung, dislocated clavicle, some glorious road rash, holes in my shoulder, and a significant concussion, that to this day, I think caused some changes in my personality. I’m much more sparkling now, obviously.
Fast forward to this week, when my brother said, “Pfft! That’s nothin’! Hold my beer!” I was coming this way to enjoy some trails and beers ( in Oregon, that’s “hookers and blow”), when I get a text from him saying he’s had a bike crash on Sunday. At the time he sent it, he was at home, but moving slow. That was Monday. Tuesday morning, while I’m on the road, I get an update that he’s in ER and getting admitted. Apparently, he really wasn’t okay.
Turns out, his list of injuries is: 6 broken ribs, bilateral hairline pelvic fractures, and both a pneumothorax and hemothorax. Oh, and a glorious bruise! Good thing his face wasn’t scraped like mine; he’s already ugly enough. It is unfortunate that he and I won’t be spending any time on a trail together, but I do get to sit with him in his hospital room, when I’m not sampling the excellent beer Bend had to offer.
I’ll hold his beer, when he can hold it himself.