A member of our riding group had a really close call while in Oregon on a bike trip. This was her email when she returned. I felt compelled to share.
"Well, on my bicycle trip to Oregon last Thursday, I thought I had seen my last daylight. It was a long day, and I was close to the end - probably 83 miles into the ride. Our sag vehicle had stopped us at mile 78 to see if we wanted to be sagged into the motel. They said we still had several miles to go and we were going to hit a very busy interstate (In Oregon you are
allowed to ride on interstates in most places). I asked if the interstate had a good shoulder. Yes, it looked pretty wide but there was a lot of trash on the shoulders. Of course, being macho woman, I had to complete the ride so Mimi and I headed out for the final miles. When we hit the interstate and passed one exit, I decided this was not the place for me. It was scary crossing an exit and trying to make sure no cars were coming off the exit. I thought I will get off at the next exit and find a safer route to the motel. However, there was a bridge on this stretch of the interstate and the shoulder was reduced to barely wide enough for a bike to ride. Next to this there were those big concrete chunks they use when there is road construction being done. I had to ride on the white line There was a lot of fast traffic (it was 5:30 PM) and lots of tractor trailors. I decided to pick up the pace going down this hill and across the bridge and get pass the area as quickly as possible. As a tractor trailor passed me, I heard an explosion. I thought, 'Oh my god, was that my tire???' Sure enough it was my front tire - a blow out. I was wobbling all over the road trying to keep the bike up and not go down under the tractor trailer. I thought 'Well this is it.' I am a goner. Then, I was down but no cars or trucks ran over me. I was in the lane on the expressway. I was crawling as fast as I could towards the small shoulder. When I got there and got myself upright, I reached for my bike because I thought if something hits it all the pieces will fly into me. My handle bars were all turned wrong and the front tire was flat but I managed to walk slowly with my bike down the bridge and pass the concrete barriers to a wider shoulder. Luckily, Mimi was far enough behind me that she didn't crash into me. She walked behind me until we were safer than on the narrow shoulder. She then called the motel and told them we needed someone to pick us up. They were not sure where the truck was but would send it as soon as they could. I was bleeding liked a stuck pig, but Mimi and I decided to walk the 1/2 mile to the next exit and at least get to relative safety. Besides it gave me something to do other than worrying about what had happened to my body. As we were walking an ambulance with his lights on drove by us on the expressway. I thought maybe he was coming for me, but he just kept going. As we got to the exit, the ambulance was there. He said someone on the expressway had called to say that a biker was down on the highway. He saw us, but we were walking! When they didn't see anyone else, they headed back. As they were taking a look at my leg, the sag arrived. The ambulance
drivers said I had a large puncture wound and needed to have it checked. I decided to go in the sag vehicle rather than the ambulance. At last, I felt relatively safe. At the emergency room, they took xrays of my leg and cleaned up all the wounds and stitched the deep puncture wound. I decided later since my bike shorts weren't torn, that the puncture was from my bar
end shifter. It is curved on the end and had blood on it. I feel so lucky to be alive."
Of course the best part was the end.
" Anyway, I am alive and on my way to recovering. I am ready to ride this Wednesday."