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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Off eating cake.

    Exclamation Why you should always wear your helmet, or how I found God in a holly bush!

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    Okay. I was going on an organised ride yesterday that even had the bonus of offering a bit of a skills clinic. Schweet. Alas the 6 miles/10km from the train station to the meeting point should have been easy for my friend T and I to cover in the 50 minutes we had to do so. One problem: it was ALL uphill, some of it quite seriously so. Combine that with a slight map issue at the beginning of our journey and we were 20 minutes late for our ride. Oh well. We decided to go for our own ride. If we located the group, sweet; if not, nevermind, we'd head back to the carpark/meeting point and at least go to lunch with the group (T knows some of them).

    Alas, I don't actually remember any of our actual mtb ride; in case you haven't guessed yet, I stacked it BIG TIME.

    From what T and I have mutually pieced together (she didn't see it and I don't remember it), my need for speed got the best of me. I was going downhill at Warp 5 (relative speed as compared to appropriate speed for skill-set) when a corner leapt out from behind a tree and caused me to skid through a fence and into a holly bush, all belonging to a churchyard. The scrapes and bruises are all on my right side, so I guess that's the side I landed on. Looking at the dents the adjusto-knob thingy has made in the back of my helmet, I'm guessing the back of my head thunked into the ground in supplication to plants with spikes. Jesus may have worn a crown of thorns, but holly is just so much more festive. (P.S. Don't worry, it's going back to Giro with my £15 cheque for crash replacement - they'd better not send me a pink one!)

    Anyway, before I get completely sidetracked (not to mention start to offend folks who don't appreciate my heathenish ways - oh, maybe my crash was a punishment from on high... ), T eventually located me ("Heeeeelp! I'm in the f***ing holly bush!") and draged me and my bike out. I was still in one piece, as was the bike (although she's going for a check-up when I get her back). As I said, we'd been planning on heading back to the carpark to meet folks for lunch, so we decided to just head straight back there. As we were riding, I became more and more disoriented so we (well, probably T - doubt I was good for much by then) decided to ride to a house and get help and the lovely people, whom I wouldn't know from a bar of soap were I to meet them in the street, tucked our bikes away and called the ambulance. No, they didn't put the siren on. (Someone here has to have been wondering - apparently I asked at least 84763901 times.)

    Don't remember the ambo ride (bugger). Don't remember anything about being admitted to the hospital. Have a tiny memory of having my CT scan (results: normal) and telling folks that my dad was a radiologist and would want to see the pictures (he is and he would). Repeated this piece of info 19764208 times (highly conservative estimate). First room I remember being in was the observation room, or whatever the one they put me into to spend the night was called. Was unduly worried that I might have been confessing my deep, undying love to complete strangers. Asked all and sundry if this had in fact occurred. I remember one of the nurses laughing at me (the one with chin- to shoulder-length dark-brown hair tied in a ponytail, as opposed to the one with long dark hair or the bloke) when I asked her yet again. Perhaps I was worried I had confessed my deep and undying love for her and she wouldn't like that..? (What's not to love about me though? ) Who knows!

    I also asked for something to eat 120849763 times (incredibly conservative estimate). It wasn't that I had forgotten I'd asked, or even that I'd forgotten they'd said no; they just aren't into feeding patients until they're sure they don't need surgery. At long last I was presented with an "NHS Snackbox", which I immediately dubbed "the Happy Meal for grown-ups" and was absolutely delighted with! My memory may be hazy in other directions, but I know that that snackbox contained a tomato and cheese sandwich made with brown bread, an individually wrapped piece of red leicester (sp?), a not-that-nice pottle of peach yoghurt (You bet I ate it anyway!) a banana, a Milky Way bar (Chocky! Score!) and a garden vegetable flavoured Cuppa Soup [NZ spelling - 'tis different in British].

    The bit where having a concussion means they wake you up every hour to take your blood pressure and pulse (was fascinated by the machine that showed you the numbers and squiggly lines and all) and shine a light in your eyes (cruel and unusual, yet necessary punishment) rather sucked. I kept waking up and wondering the same things and scrolling through my inbox and sent texts and reading the note T left me to find the answers. Eventually I wrote myself a note and remebered how I never did see that movie Memento with Guy Pierce (I think) in it. Then I woke up a couple of times and wondered how I knew that T was coming to pick me up and that work knew I wasn't coming in. Eventually I gave up wondering and figured that it must have been right, else I wouldn't have written it.

    The bit where I was sleeping in the clothes I'd been riding in was kinda gross. I thought I smelled bad - must have actually smelled awful. I did at least peel off the padded liners at some point because I was too hot.

    T got up at the crack of Gawd-knows-what past bloody ridiculous to come and get me (I owe that girl a beverage of her choice and I'm comping her the inner-tube she borrowed) but she could have slept in: I wasn't discharged until the doctor had seen me and I'd been under observation for 24 hours, so two o'clock. She kept me entertained, which is just as well - I was sorely tempted to get out my multi-tool and dismantle the call button to see how it worked (well, it's hardly a complicated piece of electronics, but I really was that bored).

    Eventually, we got out and found a bus back to Guildford Station. Guess I owe T two drinks - just remembered she paid for that. Anyway, then we got the train to Waterloo and parted ways once there. I didn't take the quickest route to get to the Jubilee Line (I walked outside and along the road and back in the Jubilee Line end), but I figured knowing exactly where I was going was important! Went to Boots in Jubilee Place Mall for Panandol (Cheaper than filling the script they wrote me!) and tissues (have cold, had run out). Hopped on the DLR and got myself home at last. Had a much needed and deserved shower as soon as the water had had time to heat up a bit.

    All in all, no harm done and feeling tired, but fine. Decided to take the day off from work tomorrow anyway just so I could have a nice sleep-in - reckon I've earned it!
    Last edited by DirtDiva; 05-15-2006 at 02:59 PM.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Marin County CA
    OMG! This is the most hysterically funny account of what could have been a disastrous event I have ever read.

    I'm so glad you weren't (seriously) injured, and moreover am relieved that you were left with such a good amount of your wit and humor intact that you could provide us with this wonderful account of your (mis)adventure!

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.

    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Christchurch, NZ

    I hope everything is ka pai now

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Wow - TL what an adventure!

    I'm so glad you survived relatively unscathed, and with sense of humor obviously intact! That may be the funniest telling of a fall I've ever read! I think your friend T deserves all the drinks she wants!

    How's your head now? Rest up and take very good care, and enjoy your day off!

    (P.S. When I told you I had taken all your clipping-related falls, I didn't expect you to make up for it with such a whopper!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    ATABOY GRRL! What a fall! And what a story!!!

    Glad you made the best of it. I'll have an Advil in your honour later today...

    Heal quickly...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I don't think I've ever giggled so much at somebody's misfortune. You need to submit this somewhere for publishing.

    I do hope you're on the mend now. TrekHawk would have offered you a cupper with Aussie spelling (I know, I've heard her say it. ).
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Although the offer to sacrifice your head to the gods of plants with spikes is much appreciated, we must decline the offer right now. Thank you and do come again.....

    Glad you came out of it relatively unscathed...

    edit: I think a small holly sticker somewhere on the new helmet is called for.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Benicia, CA
    Yep- a darned good report considering the specifics! Falling in a holly bush???OMG-that in itself doesn't sound too pleasant. Then getting lights in your eyes- eew. I can just imagine what that was like.

    Glad you are home safe and sound. Hopefully the bike is sound as well!

    Thanks for your humor in what could have been a very different outcome!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    WA, Australia
    OK is it rude to say that that is hilarious......well Im an Aussie and we are not know for our good manners so hey THAT IS HILARIOUS. Honest though I am glad you are ok. Hold on to that mate she sounds like a good one.

    I think a nice cup of tea does sound in order perhaps with a little dash of something . Oh thats right not suppose to give a head injury patient any of the hard stuff so I may just have to add that dash to my brew for you.

    Rest up.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    steuben county new york
    tlkiwi, that was such a funny little story, the best part was the asking of questions 84793901 times, that is sooo true from my job experience. I am so glad you are okay, and nothing major happened to you or your bike. If you figured out how to dismantle those darn callbells without doing cosmetic injury to them, would you send me your tip. I could, I mean WE could make all nurses (at least the ones' I know) very happy. Well wishes and enjoy your day off, you deserve it..shelly

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    I was snorting out loud as I read your post! So glad you emerged relatively ok!

    Yes, I think a holly sticker on the new helmet is definitely in order. And tell your friend she has a fan club here on TE.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    How can I be laughing at your story of landing on your head? Not very nice of me, is it?

    Your tale did make me laugh though... more important than a little laughter, I'm so glad you're OK. No more falls on your head are allowed - but helmet shopping is definitely in order.

    --- Denise

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com

    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Middle Earth
    *coffs diplomatically*

    Dirt is Gooood! Remember?

    (glad you're ok - bike has not too many scritches and scratches?)

    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area
    You got some our right guffaws out of me with this. How can someone's accident be so funny?!?

    Hope all turns out to be hunky dory.

    Discipline is remembering what you want.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    So was there any Ivy with that Holly?? Just thought I'd ask since it sounds like you had an upclose and personal relationship going on there!! I am most delighted to hear you survived your attempt to pass the Enterprise without a warp engine, and I'm ever gladder (is that a word?) to hear the nurses survived the night of waking you up every hour! Holly Sticker heck - you should have a crown of Holly painted on your new cap!! Gods love ya TL - and were watching over you that day my friend!! Glad to have you safe and sound! (who else would I have to follow my one liners??)
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"



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