Monday, June 08, 2009

"He's a Menace!"

The other day, one of my customers was out killing dandelions. I asked him if he didn't admire them for being plucky little survivors. Unfortunately, all people hear is the part about plucking. I bet Albert Schweitzer didn't have that kind of problem.
Also, I bet when he was trying to save the world, he didn't cause so many problems. Yesterday was the Anchorage Tour de Cure to raise money for diabetes research. I had signed up to ride the 100K route. At the starting point, the man said to gather around, so I gathered myself over there, and then stood around waiting for something to happen. Meanwhile, everyone else in the parking lot kept getting ready. The man said, "Go," and they went. I still had to pump up my tires, put on my shoes, and everything else you do to get ready to "Go!" By the time I "Went!" I was all alone in the parking lot with the sound of crickets playing in my head.
It was a beautiful day for a ride, or a run, or walk with a stroller or dogs, and the trails were busy. I was bustling along, but at about mile 27 I came around a corner doing about 20 miles per hour when I plowed right into a runner, lifting him off his feet and throwing him into the bushes I slammed into the asphalt, cracking my helmet. A lot of other things happened, and then the runner and I were alone again waiting for an ambulance to come and get him. Although I was wearing spandex bike shorts, it looked like I was wearing a pair of pulsating pants on my legs because of all the mosquitoes. It also looked like I had tied a wool sweater around my head. Luckily the mosquitoes were sucking up all the blood that might otherwise have attracted the two bears that had been reported near there. A lot of people went by while we waited, including two members of my so-called team. They asked if I was okay. I said I was because that's what guys say. As they rode away, I heard one say, "Was that David?" (there might have been a question because of the blue sweater). The other guy said, "Yeah, but he said he's okay."
The ambulance finally showed up, driving right down the trail. They had their flashing lights on. I guess they weren't sure if an enormous vehicle on a bike trail would draw enough attention. They put the runner in the back to assess him out of mosquito range. One of the EMT's asked if I was okay. I told him I wasn't sure. I'd hit my head and I had a headache. He said that they'd look at me next, and then they drove away.
I decided my Tour was finished, and started to ride back to Eagle River, 27 miles away. A few minutes later, a friend (my hero, Rich) called to see how the ride was going. I told him, and he met me and drove me back to get my car.
I called around trying to find out how the runner was, but HIPAA and human cussedness kept me from finding out. I did leave my name and phone number with the fire department who said they'd give it to the hospital, to give to him, but he hasn't called yet.
As usual, I'm fine, but Rich's friend's first comment when she heard about my accident was, "He's a menace."
I'm starting to think maybe she's right. I enjoy biking, but is it really fair to everybody else for me to keep on, leaving a wake of broken glass and ribs? I don't know.

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