Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Anyone have that Number?

This post was originally written in December 2006

It's really a good idea to carry the cell phone numbers of one's co-riders when cycling. My ride today will illustrate that point. Five of us started off from Pintlala and as my recent history has been, I went pretty slowly. I was the only real Club Lite speed rider out there. The others were very nice and very courteous, offering to wait for me at stop signs, but I know the roads and did not want to delay their ride. Today would have been a great day to ride with Wendell. Where were you, Wood? Anyway, on the way north, after leaving Mt. Carmel Church where we had taken a break, the others were out of sight and I was surprised by a pit bull that galloped out from under a hedge. I didn't see him in time and I hit him, full on in his rib cage (could have been a her, I dunno). My front wheel turned right and I smacked the asphalt, first hip, then elbow, and then whiplash-y, head. The dog was yowling and took off running across the street to the trailer trash yard he was from. The occupants looked out the windows, saw me, and closed the shades. Not what we might call responsible people. I was lying in the roadway, near the edge, and could not move. I suppose, had I heard the approach of a car, I would have managed somehow, but I had to wait on the highway for a few minutes until I was sure I wasn't bleeding, or that nothing was jutting out in odd ways, and of course I had to wait until I could move my left leg, which was numb. The Trek helmet did an admirable job on head protection . While lying in the road, and realizing my immobility, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911. It rang, I was connected, but no one answered. This happened twice. Note to file: Montgomery County 911 is off on Saturday mornings. I was finally able to stand, and considered going over to give the dog's owners a piece of my mind. Bad idea. One, the yard was occupied by several amazed dogs. Two, I already knew they were unfriendly and that 911 would not come to my rescue if they decided to finish off what the first dog had started. Three, I discovered I could not walk. Not a step. My left leg will not support any gait at all. I stood on the shoulder with the bike as a support. It looked OK, except for a handlebar moved around, and I fixed that easily enough. What to do, what to do? I could call home and ask for a bailout, but I didn't want to upset anyone there, so I decided to see if I could PEDAL. Getting my leg over the top tube was really uncomfortable, and I did not clip in for fear that I would not be able to twist my feet to clip out, but I could pedal. It seems that I landed on the hip flexor area and mine are decently developed, which may have helped cushion underlying bone and cartilage. Or maybe it's that extra fat I am still trying to get rid off. Either way, nothing felt broken, just numb. I pedaled almost eight miles back to cars, up hills on that darn granny gear. Well, it's really a blessing that the bike has a granny, it was very handy today. I would have called to the other riders, had I taken any of their numbers with me. I am sure someone would have come back to help me. These are nice people, just not mind readers. So if you ever ride with me, let's be sure we exchange phone numbers before we leave. Because you just never know.

When I got home, I needed help to get out of the car and into a bath tub. The bath felt fantastic. I'm walking (if you can call it that) with one of our old Boy Scout days hiking staves. I hate to inconvenience others, and my brand new birthday long sleeve jersey is torn when my shoulder hit the road. Really lucked out on the road rash, just a bit on the elbow. The bike has not a scratch. :) The dog has new respect for cyclists. :) :).

If I'm not there next week, you'll know why. But have a rescue plan ready!

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