I went out for a two and a half hour ride today that turned into a six hour ordeal. About ten or eleven miles from home, I was riding on a fairly busy main road when I saw a car stopped at the stop sign on a smaller intersecting street. I had a strange feeling about the car, but I thought I made eye contact with the driver. As I got closer, the car pulled out. I was sure he would see me, since I was right in front of him, but I still swerved to get out of the way. Unfortunately, he did not see me or hit his brakes until he had hit me.
I tumbled over the handlebars and crashed to the street. As I lay there holding my head and looking at my mangled bike, I could see cars stopping all around. I thought vaguely about trying to get my mobile out of my jersey pocket, but I saw a woman in a car roll down her window and shout that she was calling 911. In what seemed like seconds, there were several people all around me, and when I attempted to move, they told me to lie still. The police rolled up quickly, and then the firefighters and EMTs.
The driver of the car that hit me was wandering around in what seemed to be a bit of a daze, and he kept saying over and over, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” A small part of me felt bad for him, as if I should comfort him, but a larger part of me wanted to yell at him for smashing up my new bike, so I’m glad he didn’t come over to talk to me. The people who were gathered around me kept him away, and when he suggested that he move my bike out of the way, they jumped all over him. “The police need to see where it is!” they told him.
In the meantime, one of the women at the scene called Dorothy and told her what had happened. A physical therapist, whose office I had conveniently crashed in front of, was on hand, helping to check me out and make sure I hadn’t done serious, vital damage to myself. Others appeared to be directing traffic and generally being good Samaritans.
Soon I was strapped into an uncomfortable neck brace and lashed to a stiff backboard. The EMTs and firefighters loaded me into an ambulance and took me to Danbury hospital. After getting my vital signs checked for the fourth or fifth time, a nurse wheeled me into the x-ray room, where I got my chest and neck zapped. Back in my little room, Dorothy was waiting for me with a worried expression on her face. I assured her I was fine, but a little banged up. I then got a CAT scan, another x-ray, and a lot more waiting around.
The PA who saw me happened to be a cyclist himself, though he confessed to having too little time to ride as much as he might like. He told me I had nothing too seriously wrong with me other than a lot of banging around and bruising. My left wrist somehow took the worst of it and is badly sprained at the least. I have to see an orthopedist soon to have it checked out. My neck got a little wrenched by the fall, but is not badly damaged, and there is some minor road rash on my right shoulder.
I have to go to the Newtown police department tomorrow to pick up my bike and see how bad it is. From my vantage point lying on the road, I could tell that both blades of the form were shattered, but I could not see it well enough to know if there was more extensive damage. This hurts the most–I have only had the bike for a week, and now it is all smashed up. The only consolation I get is that the driver’s insurance will be paying for this. That doesn’t make me feel any better, though–I really like my new bike, and it makes me very sad to see it.
The only other good thing is everyone involved was very professional and very nice. The Newtown police officer who took my bike back to the PD, the EMTs, the people driving by who stopped–everyone was very kind and helpful and made me feel a little better about our world.