Every year, every season, there is always that one first bike crash looming on the horizon, almost like a rite of passage, that every cyclist has to get out of the way. Well, the good news is that I got that non-elusive first crash out of the way yesterday. The bad news is that #!#$%&^$@!! headache I’ve had all day today, and the 5 hours that I spent in the %%$@#$!!&^!! ER last night.
And it was a stupid crash. Oh, so very stupid. Somebody needs to give me a stupidity prize for it: I actually run into a car. Yes. *I* hit the car. From behind. Guess who won.
The thing is I should have not been riding yesterday, as I had a bit of food poisoning and not feeling quite hot. But I am addicted. And as a good addicted, and one feeling pretty out of shape to top, I *had* to go train. So I did.
I started riding in some sort of autopilot mode, in a fog, not really paying attention to my surroundings and just pedaling. I’d be fine, I thought, as disaster could strike only if something out of the ordinary that needs quick reaction happens, but that is never the case, right? RIGHT? Shuddup.
The first lap at Hains Point went ok. The second lap was better. The third lap…. Well, this is when trouble started. My asthma kicked in, and I slowed down, was coughing and looking down (First rule of riding bikes, kids, always ALWAYS keep an eye on the road). Then that Illinois minivan decided to stop in the middle of the road, go figure out why. And I was looking down. When I finally looked up, it was too close and personal for comfort.
I did not have time to brake or swerve to the side. So I got plastered in its back. Laws of physics apply: action, reaction and gravity, and they did not like me too much yesterday. So, I bounced back falling and hitting the back of my head on the curb (second rule of riding bikes, kids, always ALWAYS wear a helmet, no matter how much it messes up your hair and how dorky you look. It is always better to be a lively dork than a stylish tardy or, worse, a stylish corpse). Sometime during my crash (which I have not been able to fully reconstruct), I also managed to make a big gash on my chin that required stitches along with assorted hits to the rest of my body that made no sense whatsoever. Oh, well.
I strongly refused an ambulance and tried to sneak out on my bike to ride to my car, drive to my house and hide under my bed while hugging my dogs. I was utterly unsuccessful in my sneaking out efforts. At this moment my friend and teammate LP appeared and turned into my guardian angel. I am sure I saw wings on her back at some point. We found someone who could drive my car to the GW ER (seriously, I think more people need to know how to drive stick) and off we went.
Once we got to the ER, we discovered that "I hit my head and neck on a bike crash" are the secret magic words to be seen right away. But they do not help much when you just want to go home. We spent 5 wonderful hours there, with me wearing that horrendous collar along with my boobs, bra and jersey all bloodied and both of us starving to death. We spent our time talking about bikes, crashes past, present and future, scars, men (we were absolutely shocked of not seen ANY cute doctors around, WHERE WERE THEY?), and mostly daydreaming of pizza, hamburgers and beer.
The head and neck CTs said that I am ok, just a small concussion (remember that helmet!), and not any crazier than usual. I also got some pretty cool stitches on my chin that will make me look tough and will hopefully make for a sexy scar.
An observation from our long ER hours, apparently two women walking like ducks on stiff cycling shoes and wearing the same spandex outfit on an ER can turn into some sort of celebrities (or maybe just a tourist attraction or something like that). Both of us overhead few conversations about us and riding bikes, and were asked questions about it and about clipless pedals. We were even called professional cyclists. HA! If they really knew... Also, we took pics (hey, those were *5* LONG hours), and upon sharing them on Facebook I have discovered that, apparently, the pic of me with a neck brace, a bloody bra, a bloody cleavage and a bloody jersey is considered hot by other cyclists. Go figure. Cyclists are weird (no, I am not complaining).
Oh, well. I’ll be back on my bike tomorrow as some magical premonition led me to buy a helmet online last week that arrived YESTERDAY. Talk about timely.
I also ordered and additional helmet today. It is good to be prepared. Now I need to get ready for that second crash of the season...