As most of you know, I’ve had fun riding my bike with friends for many years. And I’ve been fortunate in that I have largely avoided accidents or injuries. Last week, however, my number came up. Wednesday night two friends and I rode a fun Slow Roll Chicago ride in Uptown, followed by dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. Afterwards, we were riding South on N. Broadway back to our car when a fluke-y momentary distraction caused me to hit an obstruction in the street, sending me flying hard and fast off my bike, and landing face-first on the asphalt.
One of my biking companions, Tracy Markowitz, got to me within a few seconds. Not only is Tracy a wonderful friend but she’s also an experienced medical professional, which is what I needed. She’s also a Mom, which is TOTALLY what’s needed in ANY crisis! smile emoticon She quickly took charge, got me and my bike up and out of the street and into a nearby Target store, where she got some first-aid supplies and went to work on my face, and stopped the bleeding. I briefly lost conciousness in Target, which automatically generated a 911 call. But after all that, Tracy drove me to the ER at Skokie Hospital and stayed with me and my wife until 3 AM.
Obviously I suffered some pretty good facial cuts and bruises, plus a partially-chipped tooth, and two badly-injured rotator-cuffs, probably as I tried to get my arms out quickly enough to break my fall.
Under the best of circumstances I’ll be out a couple of months undergoing rehab and physical therapy. (The goofy picture below was taken the next day at Skokie Hospital, as I was undergoing a brain-scan to check for possible head trauma.)
Although it’s bad, I’m fortunate it wasn’t worse. And I owe thanks to lots of people, starting with Tracy, who really was my personal angel that night. To the driver behind me who, defying the stereotype of car-bike hostility, immediately pulled up beside me and offered to help. To the folks at Target @ Wilson Yard, who couldn’t have been more helpful in my time of need. To the super-professional Chicago Fire Department 911 crew.
To our family physician Dr. Jasmine Chao and the folks at Skokie Hospital for my medical care. And finally to my wonderful wife Kay, who will be by my side through this, just as she has been through everything else for 41 years!
To my biking friends – you may not see me for a few months, but I GUARANTEE I’ll be back early in 2016 and ready-to-roll! And for those of you who choose to “like” this post, I’ll assume it’s not because you like that I got hurt, but rather that I’m okay and getting better! smile emoticon
Stay alert and safe out there folks. Bicycling has very real and present risks.
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