As I blogged about previously, during my One Sheet Wonders class a few weeks ago, my husband was involved in a serious bicycle crash in southern Ohio, about two hours from our home.
First a little backstory. My husband is an avid cyclist. When we began dating, almost 20 years ago!, he rode his bicycle A LOT! Some insane number like 10,000 miles a year - ON A BICYCLE?!?! What? Yeah, that's him.
And he's really good too! When I did my first century (that's 100 miles!), which was also my LAST century, at about the 80 mile point, we were going up a rolling hill and I was done! I stopped pedaling my bicycle, and figured I'd just get off the bike and he could come back and pick me up! I was that done! Put a fork in me, whatever your saying is, that's where I was.
He advised me that I could finish the last 20 miles and he placed his hand on the back of my bicycle seat. With him riding next to me, and I wasn't pedaling at that time, he pedaled the BOTH of us up this stupid hill. Never lost his balance. Neither of us fell. He just pedaled us up this hill.
Now I don't know about you, but when I cycle, I look at the sky, watch the road for bumps, watch the cars, chat with other cyclists, look at the ducks and geese, etc. I enjoy cycling, but there is no way that I could cycle me and another person up a small hill without crashing! NO WAY!!
So, after he got me over that stupid rolling hill, I continued to cycle and we made it through the 100 miles. I still have a bicycle and I still ride it on occasion. But I am NOWHERE near the cyclist my husband is.
Ok, so you have a visual picture of the type of cyclist my husband is. Fast forward a few years. In 2012, hubby was able to go to France and was able to cycle on some of the same roads and same courses as the Tour de France. The group he was with was able to get their photographs taken on the Tour de France PODIUM! Here is my hubby's photo:
Well, fast forward to April 25th. He was riding his bicycle with some other avid fitness gurus. Most of them are triathletes, so they are really in shape and know what they are doing. Paul's back wheel hit something (diesel fuel or oil), keep in mind that these guys ride on each other's back tire, and Paul fell. His friend Dan Wesley (Wes) was right behind him and thankfully Wes is equally skilled on the bicycle. Wes also fell, but it was a controlled fall (is there even such a thing?). He was injured and was treated as well.
Paul doesn't remember the crash. His friend Christine held his head while they waited approximately 45 minutes for the emergency squad to arrive - they were WAY out there in rural Ohio. Cell signals and reception are hard to find. The emergency squad transported Paul by ambulance to the Columbus area from Portsmouth. That's usually about a two-hour drive. Paul said they made it in about one.
And here's what my husband looked like when I got to the Emergency Room in Columbus:
He always has such a positive outlook!
And here is his helmet:
|That "ding" is the front left side of Paul's helmet.|
|The back of Paul's helmet.|
It basically shattered.
BUT it did its job!
So what this very long posting is about is...
- Please wear your helmet. On every ride, even the short ones. This elite group of cyclists were only about 2.5 miles into their ride when this accident occurred. For me, that's a bike ride to the grocery store and back. It can happen that quick. Wear a helmet for your family's sake.
- Make sure someone knows where you are and how to get in touch with your emergency contacts. Both hubby and I (and even the boy) have Road IDs. Their website is HERE. I'm not receiving any monies from them. That's just who we use. There are a number of styles that should fit most lifestyles. Thankfully, Paul was able to call me himself about 90 minutes after the accident occurred.
- Make sure you are with people who know what to do. They don't have to have advanced lifesaving skills. If they can just call 9-1-1, that's good! Thankfully, Paul's friend Christine Pfaff knew what to do! She didn't move him around and she held his head still. She basically made herself his human cervical collar so his head didn't move and she did this for about 45 minutes. Talk about someone being a Godsend. Thank you Christine for being there.
- Paul's friends packed up his personal belongings and placed everything, including the bicycle into his car. And my husband had a LOT of stuff! He hangs with some WONDERFUL peeps!
- His friend Rocco Maiolo drove Paul's car home for me and parked it in the driveway so that I could concentrate on Paul. I didn't have to worry about finding someone to drive 2 hours, one-way, with me to get his car and bring it back home. Thank you Rocco!
- Wes met with us a few days later to check on Paul and to give him the few items that were left behind. Keep in mind, Wes was injured in this accident too! What a nice guy! Thank you Wes!
I know there were others involved in helping my husband, I just don't know everyone. I'm confident I missed at least one person, and I hope they will forgive me for not listing them. But I am so thankful that my husband was ok on this accident. I have never been so thankful for a bunch of bumps and bruises, and even two black eyes!
Bottom line. Safety first and always - wear your helmet. And always surround yourself with wonderful friends. Friends are just BEST!