Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gettin' the Bird

We leave my house to go for an after work bike ride. Nice day, warm and sunny. About a quarter of a mile down the road live some people who fancy themselves as small farmers on about an acre of land. There are a couple of goats and a small flock of six or seven guinea hens. The hens, of course, run free.
This part of the ride is slightly down hill, so we are slowly picking up speed, I am in the lead, and my riding partner is drafting. As we get to the house I see the hens are in the ditch on thr right side of the road. When we get a little closer the start to run parallel to the road. No problem. Until we get along side them. They turn left. Checking my computer after, I find we were going 19.9 mph at that moment.
One bird hits my front wheel and at the same moment my partner hits my back wheel and we both go down. On my way to the ground I see a pickup truck going passing us. He ,fortunately, moved all the way into the other lane. I also see one of the hens run straight into the side of the truck. Then I hear the crunch of my helmet hitting the pavement. The next thing I know I am trying to move off the road and asking my partner if he is ok. He is - he fell in the grass on the side of the road. I am a little less than ok. I find out later that I had been unresponsive to questions for a little while, so a concussion was evident (especially given how I felt the next few days), My left shoulder and arm hit next - road rash and some bruising - followed by my left hip. Huge black, blue, purple and yellow bruise and swelling. Of course I refused to go see a doctor -a few days later I regretted that decision, but it was too late then. If I had known I was unconsious I'd probably have been smart enough to let someone else make that decision. Maybe not, though. Who knows.
So, one new helmet, new handle bar tape, and having to true the front wheel, plus the time in pain and healing when I couldn't ride. Thanks, birds. Of all the dangers out there from people in cars (more on THAT later) I never thought a flock of birds would try to kill me.

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