Lost my K-Bike this weekend and pretty near lost my life. Everyone out there take care, cause even at slower paces freaky stuff can happen:
I only have flashes of memory of the “incident” as police are prone to call it. It was the worst kind of accident for me, the kind that doesn’t play out in surreal in slow motion, this played out fast. A series of snap shot events and fragmented time.
Entering the corner the heat had gotten to me and I “target fixated”. Bikes generally end up going where you look… I was looking thru the apex, not at the exit. This alone wouldn’t have been a problem; you just take a hair thin slice of a second and force yourself to refocus on where the bike should be going. I was moving slow enough that an instant to refocus shouldn’t have been a problem.
Except the moment of refocus was pre-empted by the bike wobbling and the rear wheel sliding out. I remember that with vivid panicked clarity. I remember trying to recover traction. Leaning the bike and probably hanging off like my life depended on it, and it did - no hyperbole there. Witnesses say I was scraping the left bag… deeply. The bike came back up, and wobbled again according to witnesses. I honestly don’t remember that part.
The back wheel lost traction again and the bike and I went down. This was probably where my helmet hit the pavement. I don’t know I only remember the instant realization I was going to die. It was not a thought just a singular fact hitting me in an instant.
The bike and I slid. We missed the cement abutment by inches and became air born. I remember the instant we launched over the edge of the ravine, because I had one of the few rational thoughts of the event. “Arms and legs in, keep limp.”
I don’t remember separating from the bike, but am damn lucky I did. It preceded me thru two fence posts and the barbed wire, cutting my path.
I remember gravel coming in thru where my helmets visor used to be – it was later found back on the road.
I came to on my back 50 feet down the slope. The slope itself was steep, about 50 degrees. The bike with the inertia of our exit, the low traction of the loose clay gravel mix of the slope and the actual contribution of gravity continued for about another 100 feet before lodging itself into the ground. I have not see the bike yet, but all reports indicate it is beyond rebuilding – unless recycling counts.
Lying on the slope, on the verge of slipping I ran the system check; wiggle the fingers, wiggle the toes, miraculously all still there, ankle and right hand rapidly swelling. Don’t move your head, incase a spinal injury. And wait.
Soon my riding partners were calling out, and I back. Ambulance on its way.
As we waited I contemplated the fact that I may have internal injuries and could die on the hillside before the ambulance got me to the hospital. I forced the issue out of my head. Focused on staying put for a while.
Followed by fire trucks and police. All parties were involved in the over and hour long rescue effort required to extract me. Two fire fighters ended up with heat exhaustion.
Thru all this my iPod had managed to hit a stream of the most insipid pop songs I never knew I put on it. Thankfully at some point one of the fire fighters disconnected it. This type of event never calls for a soundtrack involving Christina Agulara telling you that you are beautiful… really in every single way.
Once at the hospital it was discovered that my heart had developed an irregular beat, the Dr. and several cardiologists she contacted felt there was a chance the impact had inflamed the envelope around my ticker and that they may have to use “electricity to reset” it. That was a good 24 hours of stress.
Other than bruises and torn ligaments in my ankle I’m all good.
A special thanks goes out to all those who were involved in my extraction and transport to Ashcroft General and all who attended me their. These people are hero’s in my book.
Ride safe out there folks! This was the scariest event of my life, made worse by the fact my partner was made to watch it from their bike behind me.