Friday, July 1, 2011

The Value of a Good Helmet

Things have been going pretty well lately; finding my groove in the new job, making improvements in my riding, and just spent a couple of great days at the beach. Got back home Tuesday afternoon knowing I couldn't ride Wednesday, but planned to head out at sunup on Thursday.
Only really had one goal for Thursday, that was to ride 37 miles; that would give me 500 for the month and over 150 for the week. Simple, right? Left my house just after 0600 to meet my friend Rob at the dam at 0645 where we would do our usual route. I enjoy riding with Rob and his wife April, both are a pleasure to talk with as we ride and are great sources of encouragement for me.
Rob and I rolled out and headed toward Irmo, couple of good hills to climb just before getting into town. We turned around at the Wendy's on Lake Murray Blvd. and went back down the hill we'd just climbed, intent on taking a left on Weed Rd. and riding out to Pine Island.
We came down the hill hot, Rob in front and me behind tapping my brakes at 29mph. Just before Weed, I hit something in the bike lane that didn't pop my tire, but did puncture it. Without time to process this, I laid into the turn at about 25mph; halfway through the turn it became painfully obvious something was wrong. My front tire was soft and the front end of the bike was coming out from under me. I hit the road hard, landed on my right shoulder, bounced my head off the pavement, and finally rolled/slid to a stop. Rob said he heard me behind him and knew what had happened before he ever turned around.
If you've ever had your breath knocked out of you, you know what an alarming feeling that is. I knew no matter what, I needed to get out of the road so I crawled off to the side while Rob cleaned up the mess I left in the street. Before I stood up I knew I was injured, my right shoulder was on fire and I could hardly breathe. A state trooper took Rob to get his truck and Rob got me and my bike home so my wife could get me to the ER.
I don't like going to the ER, but I think this qualified. And if I must go to an ER, I'm going to my ER at Palmetto Health Richland. They are like family to me, and treated me like royalty. Some fluids, pain meds, and a couple of x-rays, and a couple of hours later I was on my way home; diagnosis: broken collar bone.
I was overdue. I have been riding for several years, was even hit by a car two years ago, but I had never hit the ground. I try to be safety-conscious and always wear a helmet. Had I not been wearing a helmet yesterday, I know without a doubt I would not be at my home today. I vividly remember my head hitting the road and for a split second thinking how glad I am that I have on my helmet. Things are going to happen, not everything can be prevented; but with preparation, the damage can be minimized.
I am especially glad that I was riding with someone yesterday, and wonder now if I'll ever ride solo again. Rob was a great source of comfort and assurance for me and was willing to do whatever he had to do to help. I thank God for friends like that.
So, it looks like I am off the bike for several weeks while I heal up. What does this mean for me? I really have to cut way back on the eating so I don't come back 20 pounds heavier. I dropped 14 pounds after Mt. Mitchell with the goal of being under 200 by next year's AOMM; I have plateaued since then and need to get back to dropping. (Thanks for asking Kathryn, hold me accountable!) I will follow with the ortho doc in two weeks to see what my future looks like. Hopefully I can at least be back on the trainer in few weeks, we'll see.
Be blessed, be safe.

1 comment:

Kathrin said...

I am so sorry and I hope you will have a smooth and fast recovery.

Sounds like you won't have to have surgery, so that's good news!!

Hang in there and keep us posted.