Last Sunday, my wife and I drove to Redding California from the coast in order to ride in some warm weather. We rode along the Sacramento River Rail Trail (MUP).
At one point she was a little ahead of me, descending a hill. I came around a curve, and found her on the ground, bloody and not moving. She was totally non-responsive at first, and I called for an ambulance. It was hard to describe to them exactly where we were, but the Garmin Edge 205 helped by giving latitude and longitude.
She gradually recovered consciousness, but had no memory of the crash, and kept asking the same questions over and over. Her helmet was cracked.
The ambulance got there 30 minutes later. A fire emergency truck also came, and the took the bikes back to the station. She started vomiting in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At the hospital we found that she had one broken rib and four cracked ribs. Road rash but no other broken bones. She had bleeding on the surface of the brain, and was put in the ICU.
In addition, when scanning the abdomen, they found a cyst on the pancreas, which will have to be removed soon.
The bleeding on the brain stopped, and she'll make a full recovery. She was released yesterday (Tuesday), and we are home now. We'll probably exceed the deductible on her insurance, so the crash will cost us $5,900.
She says she doesn't ever want to ride again. She may change her mind, but I understand how she feels.
Right now, I'm kind of feeling that it's not worth it. When someone was killed on my regular route it didn't phase me at all, but seeing my wife bloody and unconscious on the ground makes the whole thing more real in a way you can't appreciate until it happens to you. If I didn't have a century coming up, I'd take a break.
Have any of you thought about quitting after something like this? Did you change your mind?
After a crash a few years ago, I was thinking about this, and a friend say "It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You might, for example, just avoid riding on dangerous roads." But what could be safer than a paved MUP, right?
Actually, I think that the cause of my wife's crash was that the curves on a MUP are unexpectedly sharp. That is, much sharper than you ever experience on a normal road.
She still doesn't remember the actual crash.