I’m Pronounced “Normal;” I’m Disappointed

In1968 or ’69, I was coming back from an assignment when a farm tractor hauling a wagonload of kids pulled out in front of me from a side road. Instead of hitting the tractor or the kids, I opted to steer off the road into a ditch.

I knew the trooper who showed up to work the incident.

“I guess that’s the quickest you’ve ever gotten to the scene of a crash, huh?” That’s what passes for trooper humor in Ohio.

I had one of those moments this afternoon. I found out that (a) two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and (b) the Law of Gravity has not been repealed.

I’ll go into detail about my bicycle accident later. Right now I’m sore and the pain pills have me a bit more confused than usual.

“Don’t worry, Doc. He’s always like this”

I declined to take a ride with all the fancy lights and sirens (at about a hundred bucks a minute), but I did opt for Wife Lila to take me in to be checked out. The ER doc was a bit concerned after questioning me until Wife Lila said, “Don’t worry, Doc. He’s ALWAYS like this.”

I landed hard on my left hip, left shoulder and knee, and painted the concrete with a fair amount of skin crayon. To be on the safe side, they X-rayed me from knees to the tip of my head and sent me through a CT scan.

The Doc came out about an hour later and pronounced me “normal”.

My feelings were hurt. Mother told me all these years that I’m above average.

The photo above shows why I wear a helmet. That and the life lesson I got from my riding partner Mary, who WASN’T wearing one once.

Back to regular programming Tuesday, I hope.

21 Replies to “I’m Pronounced “Normal;” I’m Disappointed”

  1. Glad you’re okay. I never wear my helmet because it looks so dorky, but you can bet I’ll seriously consider it from now on!

    1. Miz Hilary, Mam, I’m not one of those fanatics who believes that a foam hat will protect you against all evil, but I looked at the damage my helmet sustained and decided that I’d rather have it cracked and scraped up than my head.

      Dorky beats dead, scarred up or hurting any day.

  2. Glad that you are OK, Ken. I plan to share your helmet’s picture, and story, with my Silver Wheels (Oberlin, OH) pals as another reminder that wearing a helmet is the safe alternative. ( I do recall your life lesson from your riding partner, Mary)

    Take care, gary

  3. Whether it’s bi-sickles, in your case, or motor-sickles in mine it’s always best when you dress to fall down. (Because, you will).

  4. Very glad to hear you survived your quick lesson in physics. How did your Surly Long Haul Trucker do in all of this? And did you go over that tree of handlebar stuff you have on your bike or get ejected from the side? There will be more details on your bike blog, http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/ later? For a guy who has a flashing strobe light on the front of his bike and a taillight the size of a hardback book on the other end, plus you wearing high visibility neon green, I can only assume the driver was either legally blind, having a seizure or had it in for you?

  5. Glad you were wearing your helmet. I always wear mine. I’ve had helmet-pavement contact once, and that saved a lot of agony. I’ve also had chin-pavement contact, where it didn’t help, but (hopefully) I don’t think with my chin. There’s no accounting for the negligent, belligerent, or downright stupid driver. Hope you are well soon.

  6. Sort of looks like a Bell Delirium helmet which is what I use. They have saved my head on several occasions. I say ‘they’ because I replace them after the crash. But not with cheap, because if you have a $10 brain just get a $10 helmet. good luck

    1. It was a Giro Atmos. I bought it because it was the coolest (least hot, not best-looking) on the market at the time. I figured if Lance Armstrong could go up the Alps wearing it, then it had to be good.

      The difference is that Lance rides fast enough that there’s cooling air blowing through the vents.

      I have to check Giro’s replacement policy. They used to heavily discount helmets damaged in crashes.

  7. Flesh heals (as my head, helmetless that day there now three years ago, proves), but what I really wanna know is, how’s the bike? Seriously, man, I am so glad you’re okay. Did your driver, at least, stop?

  8. OOh! Ow! I feel for you brother! I’m glad it was “a mere flesh wound”. But it sure beats being run over. Believe me; I had my run-in with the front tire of a 2000 Toyota Tundra pickup Good Friday, 2011. Up the inside of my left leg and across my right leg just above the knee. No broken bones, so I made sure I went to church that night and said many prayers of thanksgiving, as I will for you as well. Hope you heal fast.

  9. Just now seeing this, glad your “normal” and that you had that helmet on! I will make sure and pass along the shot of your helmet so everyone I know is aware of how important it is to wear a helmet while riding anything with two wheels!

  10. I’m so glad you’re okay. NO MORE STUNTS!! Just when I decide to ALMOST take up cycling of some sorts you pull this!

  11. If it was in Florida, you’re lucky you didn’t get drug 100 yards before he tour you out from under his car and drug off, like happened to one of my friends. We hate riding in Florida.Our last trip there we were told to get on the sidewalk where we belonged (illegal). As weird as Arizona is, at least the drivers are civil.

    Don’t give up the riding, it’ll more likely save your life than end it.


    1. I’m waiting for the dust to settle before writing my account of the crash. Any encounter with a motor vehicle you can walk (limp) away from is a good one.

      I prefer the word “crash” to “accident,” but I’m going to classify this one as an accident. Neither the car nor I did anything exactly wrong. It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances that put us both in the same place at the same time.

      On the plus side, everybody has been great. The motorcycle cop who was first on the scene was clearly on the side of the two-wheeler; the hospital emergency room staff got me right in on a busy night; a witness left his card with my riding partner; even the insurance folks have been easy to deal with.

      Road rash and bruises are almost cleared up; the broken rib is getting less painful and I’m walking with much less of a limp. I’ve already replaced my crushed helmet and my bike is in the shop for what I think will be minor repairs.

      Pedaling will probably be less of an issue than getting my leg over the bike. Maybe I’ll rig up a hoist.

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