Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bike Wreck

I wasn't planning on posting today, but the day's events left me no choice but to share. It's funny, most posts that I write would have a theme song playing in the background if I knew how to do it (Jim, another training on blog night?) For example, on my "Windfall" post, I would have Pink Floyd's "Money" playing. For "Surviving Motherhood," I would have Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." For this post, I would choose D.C. Talk's "What If I Stumble, What If I Fall."

I can remember 3 different bike wrecks I had in my childhood. The first is when I was six years old. I was playing bike tag with the neighborhood kids, and when I reached over to tag my friend, I fell off my bike and cracked my head. My parents took me to the ER, I was diagnosed with a mild concussion, and Mom was a little concerned that night when she put me to bed and I said I didn't know how to give her a kiss goodnight. But I survived, and the next bike wreck I remember was in 5th grade. This wreck happened in our driveway at the conclusion of a bike race between my brother and me - we arrived at the same time. This was the last time we raced around the neighborhood. The third wreck I remember was when I was in 6th grade - I was riding home from the corner store. I fell on some rocks and gashed my elbow. I felt pretty cool the next day going to school with my elbow all wrapped up.

Today's triathlon training called for a 60 minute bike ride. Since the ride was so lengthy, and I really wanted to go at least 12 miles, I decided the Cardinal Greenway would be the best place to bike. The closest place to get on the Cardinal Greenway from our house is at 8th and D St., about a mile away. I had a little trouble finding it because to get on, you have to go down 8th street a little ways, but I followed another biker and was fine. I biked 5.75 miles on the Greenway before turning around and heading back. As I approached 10th and Nebraska St., I saw an easy exit to get off the Greenway, so instead of risking missing my turn, I went ahead and took 10th street to Nebraska. Once on Nebraska for about 1/2 block, I heard a car behind me, and out of courtesy, I decided to go on the sidewalk. The way the sidewalk looked, there didn't appear to be a bump to cross when exiting the road. Apparently there was a little incline, because the wheel of my bike skidded, and two seconds later, my right cheekbone was saying hello to the sidewalk. Have you ever been involved in an event when either right when it is happening or right after, you don't know what to do but you have to do something? It's like everything is in slow motion, and you can't move a muscle because you can't believe what just happened. Then, instead of cleaning up the mess, you just want to run in the opposite direction instead of dealing with it. For example, I've watched one of my children throw up, and while she is in process, the logical thing to do would be to run and grab a trash can or grab her and take her to the toilet, but instead I stare at her, dumbfounded, as she is spewing all over my mom's white carpet. Then the last thing I want to do is clean her and her mess up, but I have to. Today's wreck was just like that. I jumped up quickly but then just stood, not sure what to do next. Do I examine my injuries? My bike? Look to see if anyone saw anything? I went with the bike examination first - it seemed less threatening. The handlebars were twisted, but after turning them around, the bike seemed fine. Then there was me. Okay, throbbing pain in the right cheekbone (I can see my cheekbone, not a good sign.) Left knee with several gashes and blood running down the leg. Rocks in my right palm. Shoulder definitely in pain. Well, what could I do? I was at 9th and Nebraska (ironically, just past the Indiana Health Center, which was closed) with no cell phone and noone I knew nearby. Then I heard a voice behind me. "Are you okay?" I turned around and saw a man coming towards me - he had probably been coming the opposite way when I crashed. At first I thought it was someone I knew from the Chronicle, someone I would have accepted a ride from if it was him. But the closer he got, I realized this was not who I thought. Yes, I am okay, I told him, though I know my looks were to the contrary. I told him I lived close enough that I could just ride my bike home and take care of things there. I thanked him for stopping (it was nice) and he drove away. Then I got on my bike. Great. My chain was messed up and my bike would not pedal. Now what do I do? I have no choice but to start walking. So now I'm walking down Nebraska St., the right side of my face puffy, blood streaming down my leg, pushing my bike. I get to Gas America, 4 blocks closer to home, when I see another man coming toward me. Great, maybe he has a cell phone, I think. However, the closer he got, the more I noticed he was not a "nice" man, he was a "strange" man. I know that is stereotypical, but it's true - I could tell by his mannerisms that he was not going to be helping me. He looks at me and says..."Oh, I'm sorry, you won't be able to help me. You don't have a pocketbook. Have a nice day." And he walks on by. That would have been icing on the cake - getting mugged right after the wreck. So I walk another block to Corey's Tanning, go inside and ask to use the phone. The nice teen working (who at first was giving me strange looks, probably thinking I had been in a fight) let me call Jason, and she also gave me a towel to wipe up the blood. I called Jason, and knowing that Anna was napping, I told him I would just walk home, because by the time he loaded both kids in the car and found me, I could be home anyway. So I made the 1 mile trek home, feeling once again like a six year old wheeling her bike with two skinned knees after a crash. So three hours after the crash, here is an update:

The bike - Jason fixed the chain, and the bike is back in working order. I think I will still have it serviced before the race day.

Me - I'm sure I will have to endure the next few days of "What happened to you" when people see my face. Jason's a little nervous - it does look like someone popped me a good one. My shoulder and left foot are definitely sore, but they seem to be the types of injuries that will gradually fade in the next few days. My right knee, however, is the concern. It is gashed and swollen, but it doesn't hurt when I am not on it. When I've been sitting awhile, it does hurt to walk on it, but the more I am on it, the pain becomes duller. My worst fear about the triathlon was that I was either going to get injured training, or worse yet injured during the race. I'm really hoping that in the next few days, this injury slowly fades away as the others will.

Oh, and another shower fact - I took a post wreck shower to clean up my injuries , but I wish I was a "face away from the shower" showerer because the hot water really stung!


Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

It's too bad you have that bonus to work for so you cannot even take off a day for pain and suffering...glad to hear you are "OK" but so scared to read about the accident. Wow, Deb!

August 27, 2006 8:39 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Holy Cow girl! I'm glad you're alright. Maybe you guys should be training together in case of emergencies. BTW- I was in service this morning. I was running that nice, tear-jerking video in the sound booth. :)

August 27, 2006 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just read about your accident--sounds like it was pretty serious! I have some anti-inflamatory pills the dr. gave me for my knee. You can have them for the swelling and pain if you need them. We'll be in meetings tomorrow, but call on the cell if you want. Take care--beware of strangers, but thank goodness for good Smaritans!

August 27, 2006 10:25 PM  
Blogger Hummel Family said...

Ouch! Ouch! I hope you will be in good working condition for the triathon. Its a good thing you still have 2 more weeks!

We'll miss you guys that weekend...hopefully you received Caislyn's invitation...but I knew weeks ago you wouldn't be able to make it...I knew about the triathon. BUT I'll be cheering you on, clear over here in OHIO!

Love ya

August 28, 2006 12:16 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

OUCH!!!!! I was cringing inside as I read your post. Thanks for adding all of the details of the accident. I could visualize it all even what road you were on... :) Glad you're ok. I hope your knee heals! What a freak accident!

August 28, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

This morning at school Shelli R. told me about your wreck. OUCH!!!

August 28, 2006 5:42 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

So - - - Jaena, what shall we talk about on THIS POST to help Deb and her comment total???? (re: her last comment under the Robot post)

August 28, 2006 5:51 PM  
Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

How about thoughts on bicycle safety...let's see, wear protective gear (especially a helmet). Your turn.

August 28, 2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Very funny. I'd laugh if it didn't make my face hurt :)

August 28, 2006 8:50 PM  

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