Don’t try this at home!

All it takes is a moment’s inattention.

The reason I am posting this is simply because it might help someone else out there.

I go bike riding three times a week; weather permitting. Usually with a group from close by: Jim; Richie; Pam; Dordie; Ken.

Two days ago there was a break in the wet weather and Jim rang round seeing who was up for a ride. It turned out that four of us could go riding: Jim, Richie, Dordie and myself.

We decided to ride down Hugo Road, turn left onto the Merlin-Galice Road, follow that right to the end of Galice Road, very close to Junction 61 on Highway I-5, then turn left along Monument Drive, left again down past Grants Pass airport then back on to the Galice Road this time heading west back through Merlin to meet up with the foot of Hugo Road and then home.

All had gone very well for all four of us and it was a great ride and already we had some 14 miles under our belts.

Coming back into Merlin there is a railway track that crosses Galice Road. It has quite a wide shoulder to stop us cyclists having to mix it with the road traffic. But the tracks across that shoulder are not the smoothest of rides for a cyclist.

I did my best to cross the tracks square on but didn’t manage it. My front tyre slipped on the wet, metal rail and in that instant I lost my balance. Tried to recover but just a few yards later went down falling heavily on my left side and knocking myself out.

Luckily I was not riding on my own (Lesson Number One) and Jim and the others were quick to check me out. Jim said later that many drivers stopped including an off-duty medic who quickly summoned the ambulance.

But I was still out!

Dordie had the presence of mind to capture what was going on and it is her photographs that are in today’s post.

I continued being unconscious and later Jim said that I was out for eight minutes.

I was placed in a gurney with a neck brace because the medics were concerned that I might have damaged my neck.

Then carried across to the ambulance.

 I only properly regained consciousness when the ambulance was speeding its way to Three Rivers Hospital in nearby Grants Pass.

The attendant caring for me in the ambulance remarked how lucky I was to have been wearing a safety helmet, for had I not been: “We wouldn’t be taking you to the accident ward!”

Plus, I realised that the other stroke of fortune is that I was riding with a group of friends. Had I been riding alone, something I have been doing, I might not have been helped in such a prompt and timely way.

So that’s my lesson for today! If you ride a bicycle don’t go out alone and never, ever ride without a safety helmet!

Oh, nearly forgot! Lesson Number Two: Don’t ride across wet railway tracks – Get off and walk!

UPDATE 14:20 Friday, 24th

In view of the many helpful ideas and suggestions I thought it would be good to present the follow information.

When I was discharged from the Emergency Department at our local Three Rivers Medical Center, I was given 4 pages of guidance and information. Page 3 of those notes included:

WHEN SHOULD I SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE?

You should get help right away if:

  • You have confusion or drowsiness.
  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous) or have continued, forceful vomiting.
  • You have dizziness or unsteadiness that is getting worse.
  • You have severe, continued headaches not relieved by medicine. Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, fever, or discomfort as directed by your health care provider.
  • You do not have normal function of the arms or legs or are unable to walk.
  • You notice changes in the black spots in the center of the colored part of your enemy (pupil).
  • You have a clear or bloody fluid coming from your nose or ears.
  • You have a loss of vision.

Thought it might be useful including those.

Plus when I saw the pharmacist at our local RiteAid, he took a look at the wounds on my left knee and recommended a transparent dressing; namely a product called Tegaderm. It is a product made by 3M and more details may be read about it here.

Thanks everyone for you caring responses!

51 thoughts on “Don’t try this at home!

  1. Oh My Paul, I am so pleased you are alright.. I don’t know you fly planes, gliders, and lone sail half across the ocean, and then you go and fall off your bike.. Thank Goodness for friends and safety helmets.. I always insist our granddaughter wears hers when we take her out, We walk.. I never did manage to balance on two wheels lol
    I hope the aches are easing.. Know only too well how that side will hurt for a few days.. And hope you recover well..
    Take it easy over the next week.. I will be quiet next week as I am away..
    I am sure Jean will be giving you lots of TLC.. Big hugs too from the UK
    Sue 🙂

    1. Sue, all in past when it comes to those things. You are certainly right about that side of me hurting for a while! 😳 Very hopeful it will ease off in the next few days. Don’t be too quiet, Sue. You be careful as well!

  2. And big hugs to you Paul from ‘Down Under’ in Tasmania. (Coincidentally I have just bought myself a bike for my 64th birthday – not having ridden since a teenager, so I will take extra special care now…)

    1. Yes, if at all possible do ride with others. Plus, note what Tony said below about it being ‘when’ not ‘if’ you will fall off! Plus his advice concerning biking gloves. But it is great exercise! Best of luck!

    1. Bit too bloody dramatic, if you ask me, Emma! But the point about being with friends is such a key item. Don’t want to think about that happening with me on my own! Fingers crossed I will over the aches and pain in the next few days! Thank you so much, Emma!

  3. Glad to hear that you survived, Paul. As a near daily rider here in Chicago, I felt your pain. Would like to add one other caveat, though. Besides wearing a helmet you also need biking gloves. When (not if) you fall, the first thing you do is extend your hands in front of you for protection. If you aren’t wearing gloves, you are likely to shred your hands on the street when you hit. I wish you a full recovery from your fall.

    1. Tony, yes, I do wear fingerless biking gloves and had them on Wednesday. That’s good advice you offer. I gather you have come off your bike before? Thanks for your recovery wishes!

      1. I am reading this a bit late with some incredulity. I hope this will not leave any lasting impact Paul. You need rest time before getting back on your wheels.😵💞

        I have never been good on a bike and gave up trying after bucking over handlebars when hitting a rail. I wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fortunately I managed to keep my head clear of impact. I was lucky too… Bushes and undergrowth broke my fall.

        Please take care of yourself. While biking does keep you fit, walking is a little safer, and you can take the doggies with you…always fun!💕😊

      2. Thanks Colette, that is most kind of you! I sense I am recovering quickly albeit very aware that the hospital said I must pay close attention to any head developments, as per the list above, for at least a week after the incident. I, too, hope there are no lasting effects.

      3. Hopefully, it didn’t spoil Thanksgiving too much for you and Jean. I can imagine she is very thankful that you are back in one piece. Take care and rest… Your blog can wait I’m sure! 💕

      4. The focus of Thanksgiving for Jean and me was being VERY grateful I was more or less in one piece. Thank you, Colette, and sitting in front of the computer is pretty restful so not out yet!!

  4. Whew! That must have shaken you up a bit Paul. I’m glad you are okay. There was a lot to be thankful for yesterday … and every day. Especially friends and safety helmets 🍁🙏🍁

    1. Spot on when you say “Especially friends and safety helmets.” Truly don’t want to think what would have faced Jean if I hadn’t been wearing a safety helmet! Thank you so much, Val. What a good friend!

  5. I was speaking with Alex, my son, a short while ago and also a very keen cyclist who had a bit of a tumble in May and he offered some good advice about using colloidal dressings that help wounds heal more effectively. Plus giving the bruised areas time for the bruising to ‘come out’ and not getting back to riding too early. Also, speaking to the pharmacist at our local store, in our case RiteAid, and seeking advice about the best way of treating the cuts, scrapes and bruises. Will be doing that later this morning and will report back.
    Plus, the key advice not to re-use one’s cycling helmet. They are strictly one ‘bang’ only helmets. As the label in my helmet reads (in part) “Destroy and replace helmet after impact”!
    More later today once I have seen the physiotherapist and sought advice from the pharmacist at RiteAid. But thought it important to pass on what Alex said to me without delay!

  6. That’s a better alternative ending for this story. I actually carry my insurance card in my pocket when I go for a walk in my neighborhood. You never know what can happen. i don’t carry a purse then so just the card has to do the job along with the cell phone. I’m so happy you will make it to ride another day. 🙂

  7. Wow and mercy. I am so very glad that you are okay. Did the ER MD order a CT scan of your head? I am thinking you must be very sure that you do not have a blood clot on your brain. Do take care and make sure always to ride with at least one other person. That was a close call.

    1. A CT scan of my head and neck was undertaken immediately I was admitted to E.R. Very relieved to hear that it was clear considering that the impact of the side of my head on the paved road was enough to have me out for close to 8 minutes!
      Your caring wishes are wonderful! Thank you. Yes, it was a close call!!

      1. Hi Paul – Carol and I used to ride 2-3 times a week, and I organized and headed up a cycling group from a local bike store (I volunteered in their shop). Sadly that is not currently possible as a result of Ray’s separation issues, but we’re working on him!!!! I have told him that either he gets comfortable being left on his own, or I am going to teach him how to ride a bike! 🙂

      2. Tee-Hee! I’m going to be curious as to how I feel about cycling when it’s time for me to get back on the saddle! Not for a couple of weeks at the earliest!

    1. Thank you so much. That is very kind of you to send me those wishes. Still a few days before I can be certain it has ended well but it most certainly is looking that way. Big hugs, Marina.

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