Well, my 3 week old bicycle and I have just had our first (and only I hope!) accident this morning. I was on my way to work with my roommate to pick up my check and then go to the bank to cash it. She has been riding over a year now, and I have been riding just over a month after a long hiatus. She was well ahead of me, and I was about a block or two from my work, when I decided to ride on the sidewalk instead of in the street. The driveway I was going to use to get to the sidewalk had about two inches of standing water, but I did not think anything of it, except that it would just clean the dirt off my tires. Well, I did not know there was moss at the bottom of the water, and when my front tire hit the little one inch ridge at the end of the driveway, it instantly veered left, and my momentum carried me to the right...
I remember thinking "This was not a good idea" I closed my eyes before the impact, and remember hearing the helmet hit the pavement. I could feel pain in both knees, my right elbow, and both my hands. As I am laying there, I am now thinking "How the heck am I going to get up?" Since my right leg does not bend more than 60 degrees, I would normally need something to lean on like a chair or desk to get me off the ground. Well, for some reason this driveway had neither.
A passing motorist stopped, and came over to see if I was okay. I remember hearing her voice, but not seeing her. I must have looked dazed and confused because she decided to call for paramedics. By this time Aspen ( my roommate/best friend) had realized I was not behind her and had returned to where I was. The lady who stopped was with her adult son, and he moved my bike out of the driveway and over to the side. By this time, a motorcycle cop had arrived to see if any assistance was needed. The lady (who I found out later was a nurse) said she had called for paramedics, but they had not arrived yet. So the cop gets on the radio, and has them expedite the call. Then he calls and tells them to come code 3. I didn't feel bad enough for that, but I was complaining of feeling nauseated, and I guess they felt I had a head injury.
A second Police officer arrives in a car, and blocks the entrance to the driveway behind the other officer's motorcycle. Then I hear an ambulance, and pretty soon, they are asking me all kinds of questions, and wanting to know how it happened, and if I was wearing a helmet etc. I told them I was, and that I felt okay considering the accident, but I had felt nauseous right after the fall, but not so much right now. They tell me I should go to the hospital just in case, so I agree and they take me to the hospital. The lady who stopped offered to take our bikes back home, and Aspen got to ride in the back of a Police car as they took her home as well.
As far as my injuries, it is mostly just the road rash from hitting the driveway. My right elbow got the worst of it, followed by my right knee. Somehow the back of my left hand got scraped up and I think the pinkie finger has a slight sprain. My right palm has a big red circle on it I am guessing from hitting the handlebars or the brake lever or something. My cellphone was destroyed. It will no longer work, even though the lights do come on. Since I keep it on my right side, and fell on that side, I guess it was too much for it to handle.
During the ambulance ride to the county hospital my lower back started hurting. I informed the EMT, and he said it was a good thing we were going to the hospital. Once there, they took X-rays of my back, but found no problems. They also took my blood pressure several times, and informed me it is way too high. It is supposed to be somewhere between 120-130, and mine was between 174 and 189! So it looks like I will be altering my diet, and going on blood pressure medicine.
I honestly don't think the bike accident injured my back per se, as much as it just aggravated the problems I have had with it since my auto accident in 1998. Right now, I am moving around very slowly so as not to cause anymore back pain. I called wok and let them know what is going on, and will have the next 4 days off. I am scheduled to go to the clinic across the street from the hospital for a follow up exam.
When I got home, I took a look at the helmet and there is only a minor scratch on the right front side of it. I then looked at the bike, and other than a reflector coming off of the right side pedal (which I have already popped back into place) you can't even tell it was in an accident. So I consider myself very lucky today. No real damage to the bike, no damage to the helmet, only scrapes and bruises to me, and now 4 days off (5 counting today!) It could have been worse. If I had not worn the helmet, I am sure I would have suffered a concussion at the very least. And the passerby was a nurse, so it looks like the Lord was looking out for me today.