I don’t think there’s anything worse than seeing a loved one hurt. Being the good dobies that we are, we’ve been wanting to get more exercise since sitting behind a computer causes big a behind. We went in search of bicycles and after about a month of trying on, shopping online, and price comparisons, we finally each got one. Our first ride was last week and it was great. It was nice to be outside and the evening after work gave us perfect temperatures and conditions for a leisurely ride to get used to our new bikes.
With the return of Monday, we hopped on right after work once again. As we approached one section of the trail, I pulled over and asked if we should go to the left or the right. On our previous ride, we went to the left and found a single lane trail just after a blind turn. I was uneasy about it and expressed it to my partner. She said that we should just go slow. It would be fine. I made my way slowly down the hill wishing that I could fly down it because downhills are the best part of bike riding but I was cautious. I tapped my brakes until I got just to the corner and saw that no one was in the lane. I took off to hurry and get to the other side before more people came. There was a man on a bike on the other side but I was sure that he would stop, seeing us in the lane. He crept closer and closer to the entrance as I sped through the tunnel. There was a concrete wall on my right and a thick wooden fence on my left that separated the trail from water leading up to a dam. Just as I got to the corner of making it through, he was at the entrance and still creeping into the single lane of the tunnel. I quickly and sharply turned to the right so as not to hit him and thought for sure my handgrip was going to hit the concrete wall. As I cleared both the wall and the other rider, my tire hit the embankment just on the other side of the wall and shot me hard to the left. I recovered quickly and let a “Wooooo!” I couldn’t believe I didn’t bite it.
And then it hit me. Oh no. I turned around to look behind me just in time to see my partner hitting the ground. She’d done exactly what I’d done but had not made it. The guy was in the tunnel when I looked up. I hopped off my bike, laying it down on the embankment and ran back to her. I asked if she was ok. She didn’t say anything and kept looking herself over. I asked again. She said she thought she was ok and then asked why he didn’t stop. I told her I didn’t know. I looked up to see him on the other end of the tunnel. He yelled “Are you ok?” I wanted to run towards him and beat the shit out of him. I couldn’t muster an answer and thought I shouldn’t focus on him anyway. I asked her to bend her elbows and her knees to see if anything was broken. It didn’t appear to be so I told her we needed to get her up. She asked that I give her a minute but I couldn’t. She was right in the middle of the path along with her bike. I was terrified someone was going to come down around that corner and hit her. I went over and moved her bike to give her a second. I tried to help her up but was afraid to hurt her more, not knowing where I could touch. I pulled on one of her arms and we got her up and off to the side. A couple of people stopped but more raced by without uttering a word. It was nice that some people were concerned. I kept asking for bandaids but no one had them. Everyone had ibuprofen though. We figured we’d wait until we got home for that. I got her some water and let her sit while I checked out her bike. It was a little scuffed up but seemed to be in pretty good shape otherwise. Another guy stopped and thankfully had bandaids. He gave us three big ones. We pulled them apart and put them on the worst spots. We were able to get her up and walking. I couldn’t believe what a trooper she was being. She rode the whole way back home. We had to stop once to fix her bag under her seat. I just took it off and strapped it to my bike. I’ll give the bike a once over at some point.
It was hard to think that I could’ve prevented the crash. If I hadn’t pushed us to squeeze through, it wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know what the guy on the bike was thinking. I was sure that he returned later but couldn’t say for sure. He was with a woman then to whom I’m sure he never mentioned that he was the one that caused the accident. It just keeps going through my head that it’s not right, not fair. I can’t let it go. The bikes were her idea. She’s been so excited about riding and then she wrecks her new bike. And let me just say that bikes are really expensive these days. The bike is ok. It’s just the premise. I see her sitting there, bleeding and hurting and it hurts me. She’s ok. She has road rash on her knee. We thought there might be bone exposed but we think it’s just really deep in a few spots which is making it white whereas the rest of it is red. She has several gear punctures on the inside of her leg. I thought for sure she was going to need stitches. Those are what we put the bandaids on but they stopped bleeding. We have to work on them some more tonight because it appears there’s bike grease in them. She has a few abrasions on her arms and two fingers on her left hand are really swollen and hurting from bracing against the boards. She thought she was going swimming so basically stopped herself with her hand after her handle bar grip hit the concrete wall.
I want to fix it. Make it like it didn’t happen. She says she wants to go riding again. I believe her since she rode all the way back home. I just hate that image in my head of her sitting there. It’s like a horror movie replaying in my head. I think we’ll stay in tonight.