Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I'm ready for my close-up . . .

Our accident in the desert was relatively minor, as bicycle-automobile collisions go. While we each sustained injuries, we were fortunate to be able to converse with the emergency personnel and bystanders who assembled immediately to assist us, and we probably could have gotten up and walked away from the crash (although we'd have been pretty wobbly!) That's not always the case. Both Roger and I have been present when friends of ours have gone down in all-cyclist crashes, and we've had several friends killed by motorists, just in the past few years. We certainly understand that we might have suffered far more serious injuries or even been killed, and that's a very sobering thought.

Our friends here and throughout the country have been so very supportive and kind in the aftermath of the accident. Many have expressed their consolation that we were struck down so close to the finish line. And I admit - that's a bummer!  We both have been a bit at loose ends, feeling the loss of the routine we'd established over the past months as well as mourning that it didn't end as we had anticipated.  However, we have a very high degree of confidence that we will get ourselves back out to Kingman in the not-too-distant future, and complete our planned journey.  It's just not okay to leave the map with that big gap!  We have to close the loop - finish the ride - and ride on up to our home on the bike. That's the way the script ends, and that's how we're gonna film it!
Will the circle be unbroken?

In the meantime, to respond to questions about both our own and the bike's condition, here's a little post on how we are doing. Since we don't know yet the full extent of the bike's injuries, I won't comment on that at this time.  But we have now gotten our own inventory of afflictions well in hand, and are (mostly) healing up nicely. We have trouble imagining the physics of the accident itself. To wit, our injuries and how we ended up on the pavement make it hard to figure out what actually happened. I'll try to explain that by listing what happened to me.

This one got infected

On my left side, my ankle, knee, elbow and shoulder suffered abrasions. The leg and ankle were discrete, hard-impact hits - not big sections of scraped up road-rash like abrasions you would get from skidding. My left shoe, left shoulder of my jersey and t-shirt are all worn through from the impact. In fact, the wool t-shirt appears to have almost "melted" where I hit the ground. However, the right side of my face and my sunglasses were well scraped up. Both hands have minor scratches and my gloves were ripped up, so they must have scraped the pavement as well. My helmet is cracked on the left side. I ended up lying on my back, with my right leg draped over the bike behind my saddle. I was impaled on something back there, which gave me a pretty deep gash behind my right knee, and I got a big bruise just above my tailbone, where I must have hit as I landed on my back. So how did all that happen?  We must have flopped around a good bit before coming to rest.  By this point, most of this has gotten more or less healed, although the wound on my ankle was infected and I had to take some antibiotics to clear it up. I am heading out to have the stitches behind my knee removed today.

Roger also has a bruised tailbone, although it's sore without seeing any obvious bruising. He had scrapes on his left side, and a whopper of a bruise on his abdomen, but his right knee has been his most troublesome lasting injury. He has seen an orthopedist and is scheduled for an MRI soon; we think he has a torn lateral cruciate ligament. That might require a procedure to repair. We should know more soon.
These cleared up right away

We are in contact with the driver's insurance company, and we've put together an inventory of the various clothing and gear that was damaged or shredded in the accident. So, we're hopeful that we'll be "made whole" although, as anyone who's been through this knows - that's a tricky proposition. It's hard to go back to a place where you haven't been hit. I am just now trying to ride my bike a bit, and it's difficult to get over the feeling that someone is looming behind me, just about to pop me into the air. I'm sure time helps with that, as well as with the bruises and scrapes. For now, it's wait and see time.

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