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A trip to the ER

Wheeeee. A bike ride that results in near disaster.



Before the story... sitting here in the ER admitting area feeling thankful I have good friends to take care of me. Jeremy to pick me up at the accident site in his car. Axel to help translate at the hospital. I'm messed up at the moment, but still blessed.


Ok. The story. I'm leading a group of 113 students and 11 advisors on a day to a water park near the school on Thursday. My admin asked me to go check the place out before we went so I would have a better idea of what to expect. I asked my buddy Matt to go with me as his Mandarin is excellent. It's not a long ride so we opted to ride our bikes. We arrived. Met management. Got a tour. All good.


We left the water park and Matt noticed this Pagoda way up high on one of the nearby hills. Was I interested in a ride to the top for an excellent view? Sure. We had time. Let's do it. Take a look for yourself.



Top was nice. Could see forever in all directions. An ocean of tall buildings in all directions where millions of people live.


The climb to the top was SUPER steep. The motor on my eBike couldn't handle it and I had to walk the bike up the hill for parts of it. Of course this means the road down was crazy steep with switchbacks. It out a serious task on my brakes. About half way down Matt came to a full stop in front of me. At the same time a car was coming down the hill behind me. I couldn't stop and could swerve around him. My front tire clipped his rear tire and I went ass over tea kettle directly over the handlebars. Landed fully in the top of my head and it compressed my neck and spine. All my weight right into my neck. I'm typing this as I wait for the results of a CT scan.


After the crash I did the thing all old people do after a fall of any sort. Assess the damage. Inventory check. Arms and legs? Mobile. No breaks. Bad cuts? Don't think so. Head and neck? Uh oh. Got myself into a seated position and Matt was as freaking out. I don't blame him. I think it looked pretty bad. I was able to get my friend Jeremy on the phone and he came to pick me up. Matt got ahold of Axel and he came too to help translate if necessary. There was some debate about back to the apartments or hospital. We opted for hospital.


As I sat there on the hill my mind started racing. How many responsibilities do I have that won't be able to meet? Damn. I was going to make another apple pie tonight as I wanted to make sure the ayis at school got some. And Tia just got back from the hospital after a procedure. Crap.


Bike helmet did its job well. At the hospital Jeremy took these photos showing where the force of impact on my head occurred.



I've been riding bikes my whole life, but didn't start wearing a helmet until I arrived here in Hangzhou.


Still waiting for CT scan results. It's getting late. This just turned into a cliffhanger! Tune in tomorrow to find out what's going on in my red neck.

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6 Comments


Pam Haverstraw
Pam Haverstraw
Jun 28, 2023

Sure glad you had the helmet. A lifesaver!!

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Kari Bosley
Kari Bosley
Jun 27, 2023

Yikes! Glad to see your helmet did its job well. Hoping your CT scan results come back with good news. Take care of yourself, dear cousin. Wishing you a speedy and healthy recovery ;-)

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Jun 28, 2023
Replying to

Thanks. Scan showed now fractures. I'm pretty stiff and sore today. Not a lot of range of motion in my head. I'm sure I will be fine eventually.

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48protz
48protz
Jun 27, 2023

Wow! Sure looks like road rash head! If you don’t experience any tingling in your limbs, that’s a good sign. Repeating this experience might require a motorcycle helmet.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
Jun 27, 2023

"The motor on my bicycle wasn't powerful enough so I had to walk".


Wait, what? Not one single word in that sentence makes sense to me, including "the" and "and", to paraphrase Mary McCarthy.


Glad you seem to have come through it relatively unscathed, however. I was listening to a podcast recently where he talked about the difference between 25 year olds and 75 year old. At 25, you break a leg and in six months you're playing tennis. At 75, you break a leg and you probably die in the hospital of unrelated ailments. Take away: Don't fall down! I know, you aren't 75 but as you point out, "things old people do when they fall"...

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Jun 28, 2023
Replying to

A better way to say it was that I had to dismount the bike and push it up the hill for a spell.

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