I’ve had a year from hell. 8 months of injury and 12 weeks of sickness. I have had 3 weeks without incident. A record for 2016 and starting to feel strong again. These were thoughts going through my mind on my commute last night. I was on my way to meeting my brother-in-law and was in no rush. Approaching the underpass under Boronia Road on the Eastlink trail I stopped pedalling and coasted. There’s a dangerous blind corner up ahead so slowed down going into it.
I come around the bend and an old guy riding a mountain bike is riding on the wrong side of the path coming straight at me. There’s only a second before impact. I was almost riding against the wall and had nowhere to manouveur. All I could do was brake. He shat himself and turned his front wheel 45 degrees. Wrong move as the bike started to drop from under him. “turn to your left, turn to your left” my mind was willing. He turned to the right. Into me. My front wheel connected dead on with his front wheel. The impact sent me flying straight into him and we headbutted which stunned me. Next thing I knew I was lying on the ground, bleeding everywhere and in shock. My left arm had gone numb. Figured out pretty quickly what the damage was as blood was pouring freely from a cut in the arm and a big pussy substance was coming out, & looked a bit like bone.
A rider had pulled up (Nic). I was trying to remain calm and immobile until I could assess the damage. Nic took charge and I could hear him straight onto emergency. A broken lens from sunglasses lay at my feet. Pretty much knew what I headbutted. The other guy was walking around aimlessly and seemed ok. I was in shock. Don’t panic!
Ambulance was on the way so no dramas. No concussion, no dizziness or blurred vision which was the good news. I had a cut on my left eye that was bleeding but wasn’t bothering too much. Why was that guy riding on the wrong side of a blind bend? 8 months of injury and 12 weeks of sickness. This has pretty much destroyed the rest of the year. I won’t be riding for awhile.
I was pissed but venting doesn’t solve anything so I said nothing to the guy (David). He was probably feeling bad enough about the head on collision. He made a half assed excuse of cutting the corner at one stage, which both of us knew wasn’t the case.
Before I knew it the Ambo’s arrived. They wrapped my arm up in a splint, cleaned up the eye and whisked me off to the Box Hill Hospital. I checked my phone and there was a message from the brother-in-law “what’s taking you so long?”. The story of my day.
4 hours later and I was discharged. No fracture or break. Just a lot of pain. The doctor stitched me up and that was that. I am typing this a day later. One arm in a sling. I am likely going to be out of action for awhile, possibly for the last three weeks of the year. I’m pretty angry. This accident should not have happened. It was not a pleasant experience rounding a bend to be confronted with a head on collision. I was helpless and there was nothing I could have done to avoid the accident. I shook the guys hand and said “no hard feelings. Just please be a bit more careful in the future“. He was spurting out excuses why it wasn’t his fault but stopped himself. I could have said so many things. Many not nice, but I chose to tell him to learn from his experience.
One of the guys who stopped at the scene wrote a comment on his feed which summed everything up perfectly;
“Brendan was brought down by an old fart on a clunker on the wrong side of the footpath”.
I was touched by all of the offers of support & wellwishing that I received. I’m down at the moment but I will be back on the bike soon.
To be continued…….