Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I wear a helmet, therefore I am.

When is a commute not like a commute? When you get hit by a school bus. School buses are large objects, large wide objects, large wide objects with mirrored protruding arms of steel ready to give you that great big hug from behind. Feel the love baby! Yes, large objects indeed. They also have large flat fronts and heaven help you if you get hit dead center on the front like a human fly on a grill. Fortunately I was not that fly today. I was but a bovine swept away by the cow catcher.

Actually swept is not the best word to describe it. Clubbed, smacked, rolled, bowled over, those are better words. I don't know if it was just the mirror or the corner of the bus but all I knew is I got hit HARD on the elbow and felt a serious smack on my head which I didn't really remember until I'd gotten to work. I knew my neck was sore but I didn't remember my head getting hit right away since kind of everything got hit at once. I got smacked and I saw the ground rushing up at me and then I was rolled out on the ground and the bus came to a stop up the road about 100 feet. I figured he was going pretty fast. At first the adrenalin was rushing and I thought about brushing myself off and just heading on my way but then the sensible side kicked in and I decided I was just going to sit there and wait for everything to happen around me. Within 2 or 3 minutes several people had dialed 911 and a passing roadie came over to make sure I was done right by (right on brother!). 4 or 5 minutes after that the fire department and paramedics showed up.

Me elbow hurt a lot. Like the funny bone whack that just kept whacking. It is now evening and my little finger is still tingly. My neck was stiff, I had a little road rash in various places on my body, mostly places that protrude, and my knee hurt a bit. They checked me out and offered me an ambulance but I figured I would just head up to work and take it from there. The police made out their report and gave me my slip to obtain the report once it was complete. My bike was at least rideable. Kudos go to Dahon, any bike you can have hit by a bus, flung up over your head, and slammed down into the pavement with just damage to the rear rack and reflector is a good bike, much less a folding bike.

As I bid adeu to the school district transportation director and the driver and rode off up the street I realized that my knees hurt. They hadn't hurt too much until I started bending them. Fortunately I was able to make it up to work. I originally thought I would tough it out at work but as I sat at my desk and things started to stiffen up and hurt I thought perhaps that prudence was the better part of valor and asked my wife to pick me up and take me to the emergency room to get checked out.

Being kind of hurt in an emergency room is not fun. You get to sit around while everyone else gets seen before you. We got sent back to a room fairly quickly but we sat in that room for hours. It was about 2 hours before the doctor saw me. During which time we were forced to watch nick jr since the tv remote didn't work. It had been a long time since I had watched those kids shows. I was a little annoyed as I couldn't get comfortable due to my head hurting a bit on the back of it. Then there was also the fact I had two really sore knees, an elbow that was useless, and when I took my shirt off my wife noticed that I had marks on my shoulder which, interestingly enough started to get stiff, being late to the party.

The doctor who checked me out had to be a cyclist as he kept commenting on how cool a sound it was to have cycling shoes tap tapping in the emergency room when I stood up. He checked my collar bone and my arms and legs to see if anything was broken and ended up only getting my elbow x-rayed. It took another hour or two to get the results of the x-ray back. he said the bones looked good, I just had a pretty good contusion on my elbow and the nerve that ran through there got a sever whacking.

It was 4PM by the time I got home having been hit just before 8 AM. Amazing how something like that can ruin your day. Anyway, the good news is I am just sore and hopefully I won't lose too much training time off of this. I figure I got off lucky, or blessed, or both. Anyway, my first two purchases are going to be another helmet and another take a look mirror. That cheap mirror I bought at performance the other day just doesn't do it. I probably would have seen the bus coming if I had had my old trusty "take a look" mirror. Oh well, what ya gonna do? Woulda coulda shoulda didn't. No use whining now. Now is the time to steel the nerves and prepare to get on the bike again remembering that I have ridden over 30000 miles and 10 years without an accident. Remembering that struck from behind collisions are statistically rare. Remembering that it is usually the guys riding against traffic that get hit. Remembering that life is to be lived and not feared.

1 comment:

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Holy Shit!

You doing okay?

I've almost been hit by a bus twice--each time I felt the bus driver was aggressively trying to teach me a lesson that buses are king of the road--and I can see the result of just being grazed--

You are lucky you were not killed.

I'm glad you lived to tell the tale-- Best, Bruce