Oct 30, 2012

Runner visits Emergency Room

Ok, so it is ironic that my last post was about bicycle safety. I found myself in the Emergency Room at a local hospital less than a week later trying to stem the flow of blood from my broken nose and assuring everyone around me that I was just fine. My pride and my vanity were actually hurt more than my nose, due to fact that I was sitting in a room full of strangers for hours on end in my bicycle shorts.

It started out as a beautiful fall morning with the sun just coming up over the horizon to set the stage for a nice 75 degree day along the seacoast. I figured I would take the day off from running- I'd already put in over 30 miles that week. I inflated the tires on my road bike, grabbed my water bottle, my helmet, an energy bar, and my phone and headed out. Note the phone... it is perhaps the most important piece of equipment to carry with you on a long ride.

I was really into a rhythm by mile 14. The pace was about 18-20 mph and I was feeling strong. I crested a hill and things changed instantly. The first thing I saw was a vehicle stopped in the opposite lane. The driver had taken it upon himself to stop and wave two walkers across the road. Nobody behind him, nobody ahead of him. Why he stopped and felt the need to direct traffic is beyond me.

The first walker stepped out into my lane. I am 60 feet away. She looks at me and steps quickly across the road into the safety of the other lane. I am 40 feet away. Walker number two looks at me and steps into my lane. I am 25 feet away. Walker number two waves her hands and steps back off the road. I am 10 feet away. Inexplicably, walker number two decides to cross the road after all. I am 0 feet away. We collide as I try to avoid her and bail to the left. My nose hits the cross bar and I leave some skin on the asphalt. My brake lever gets twisted and my chain derails.

As I said, I was feeling strong. My blood was coursing through my veins. Now, it was pouring out of my nose and dripping on the white paint of the cross walk. The pain hadn't set in yet, it was just the ticklish sensation of the blood falling in drips from the end of my nose that told me something wasn't right.

I checked on the pedestrian that I had knocked over. She was fine with the exception of a sprained ankle. I told her the fault was mine as well as hers. It was simply an accident. I called my wife and told her my location and asked that she hurry if possible. That was enough to get my message across. The details would only cause her to worry.

That's how this runner ended up in the emergency room. Be safe out there. Run, cycle, and walk defensively. Nobody cares about your safety as much as you do. Remember that.

Oh- and the car that stopped and waved the walkers across the road.. it took off immediately after seeing the accident. No offer to assist, no apology, no class.

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