My First Real Crash.

Kayakguy

Member
First crash—and it was a doozy. Happened Tues, Oct 13. Some of you might remember that I was the guy who pointed out that bikers can now treat stop signs as “yield” signs in Washington State. So, ironically, my crash involved an intersection where I did not have the right of way. But it did not involve running the stop sign. Quite the contrary, I had stopped and looked very carefully both ways.

The problem was I was unable to see clearly traffic coming from my left. This was on NW Avenue in Bellingham, and the cross street was E. Connecticut. I was heading west. NW just to the south of Connecticut makes about a 45 deg. turn (technically, Elm turns into NW at that point—Bellingham is a crazy town). On the east side of NW, south of Connecticut, is a tap room, one of my favorite stops before covid19. And all along the street in front of the tap room were parked cars, patrons of said tap room. They blocked my view of traffic coming around that bend.

So after checking carefully both ways, I shot out onto NW and crashed into the side of a passing car. I didn’t get more than a split second glimpse of that car before all went blank. I woke up as the EMTs were loading me onto a gurney for the trip to the ER. Don’t know how long that was, but there are fire departments both directions on NW that are less than 2 miles distant, so it couldn’t be more than 5 minutes or so. As I was being loaded up, I could see a fireman picking up my bike. As I was returning from a shopping trip, my cargo bags were loaded with groceries, which apparently got home okay; even the beer seems to have made it. My wife said that as she walked the bike out back to put it in the shed, it seemed to roll okay, but for a ticking sound. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but I suspect a bent front wheel, and I’ll carefully check for any cracks in the frame. The bike, by the way, is an Ariel Rider C-class, which I was (am, because I intend to get back on it as soon as possible) enjoying very much.

The damage to me was a mild concussion, broken pelvis, and bruised ribs on my upper left side. Bruises often appear slowly, and this morning I noticed a massive one on my left chest. It’s sort of sore there, but a CAT scan at the hospital shown nothing broken. I did not “fall” off the bike, but rather the collision slammed me forcefully onto the pavement on my left side, because that’s where all the damage is. My helmet suffered contusions and abrasions on its left side, too. Glad I was wearing that thing.

Lesson learned: beware intersections where you can’t be sure of traffic. I can avoid the NW-Connecticut one by crossing a block further south, where I can see clearly both directions. I could also have used the crosswalk at Connecticut (would have walked the bike across, not ridden). As for the financial damages, the insurance people are sparring over that. Could be a substantial hit. My next missive may be from deptor’s prison.

And a philosophical note for those who are into such things. During my blackout period, there was nothing but blackness. No light at the end of a tunnel, nor any flames of hell. Just nothing. If I had been dead, it would have been the most instant death imaginable—no fear or regrets, no lamenting my misspent existence, not even any pain. Just silence and nothingness. My wife, by the way, gets a little upset when I say this to her.

I’ve been home since Friday, and seem to be healing up nicely.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Wow, you’re lucky to be alive. Here’s wishing you a very quick and painless recovery!😎👍
 
I’m sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you get well soon and are able to get back riding again. Thank you for sharing your experience of being unconscious; very interesting!
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
And a philosophical note for those who are into such things. During my blackout period, there was nothing but blackness. No light at the end of a tunnel, nor any flames of hell. Just nothing. If I had been dead, it would have been the most instant death imaginable—no fear or regrets, no lamenting my misspent existence, not even any pain. Just silence and nothingness. My wife, by the way, gets a little upset when I say this to her.
You made it to ride another day!🍻
Years ago, my aunt Mary and her husband had a small fire in their shed in their small town. It was a beautiful sunny day and the small fire department showed up, put the fire out very quickly with a minimum of damage. Mary and the firemen were having a laugh about how messy her shed was when she dropped to the ground in mid-sentence. Try as they might, the firemen, who were all EMTs, never got another heartbeat or breath out of her.
I don’t have a clue if she saw anything but I’ve always wanted to go that way! After volunteering for Hospice, I've seen far too many slow, painful deaths and I just want to go quick.
 

erider_61

Well-Known Member
Glad you survived this major accident. Curious as to your age and whether you feel you were traveling too fast and just did not have enough reaction time.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
Glad to hear you are healing. Thanks for sharing, as it's a good reminder for all of us to be more diligent. Stay safe :)
 

ki11a

Active Member
Yeah dying or getting knocked out is just like falling asleep...its an odd peaceful feeling, I died from aspiration pneumonia for a minute or so at the ER...its pretty much like you said.

Gotta be careful out on these roads, people are not as careful as they should be and are usually distracted :(
 

Kayakguy

Member
Glad you survived this major accident. Curious as to your age and whether you feel you were traveling too fast and just did not have enough reaction time.
I'll be 84 in Sept (2021, that is). No, I wasn't traveling at all, until I shot from a standstill out into the arterial. As the crash was instantaneous, there was no possibility of reacting. I never saw the vehicle, before, during, or after, except for the momentary blur at the instant of impact. I can't even tell you the color of the car, or whether it was a MiniCooper or a Mac Truck. Come to think of it, the rapid acceleration of the ebike might have been a contributing factor. But don't we usually say the jackrabbit start enables us to cross traffic quickly, thereby avoiding that long, vulnerable lingering in the intersection that we are used to on analog bikes? I dunno.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
First crash—and it was a doozy. Happened Tues, Oct 13. Some of you might remember that I was the guy who pointed out that bikers can now treat stop signs as “yield” signs in Washington State. So, ironically, my crash involved an intersection where I did not have the right of way. But it did not involve running the stop sign. Quite the contrary, I had stopped and looked very carefully both ways.

And a philosophical note for those who are into such things. During my blackout period, there was nothing but blackness. No light at the end of a tunnel, nor any flames of hell. Just nothing.
If I had been dead, it would have been the most instant death imaginable—no fear or regrets, no lamenting my misspent existence, not even any pain. Just silence and nothingness
.
My wife, by the way, gets a little upset when I say this to her.
I’ve been home since Friday, and seem to be healing up nicely.

Welcome back to the land of the living... may you have a speedy recovery and be back in the saddle soon! :)
 
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BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Having experienced my own crash/blackout... I wish a fellow survivor fast healing and a speedy return to riding.

I hope you didn't try to be macho like me and skip on the pain meds too early... I thought I was tough by not taking Advil the 3rd day and that was the worst day for me ever... could not sleep, could not breathe without pain etc.

It's been just over 4 weeks and my major cuts/rashes are still healing and my leg contusions are still evident... Wolverine healing factor not like it used to be when I was younger.
 

percymon

Active Member
Wow - thank goodness for your helmet - it should be a lesson to us all that no matter how short that trip to the mail box, paper shop or the grocery store you should never be without one.

Good luck with your recovery.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
It is so sad to hear about your ordeal, @Kayakguy! Get on well fast and ride on! (Good you wore the helmet...)

I'm personally apt at doing crashes. Getting older and more experienced, I'm trying to ride more carefully. "No see, no ride" is the rule my brother taught me. I shudder when I think I might have experienced yet another crash by being careless...
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Wow, that was quite an ordeal. Glad you’re on the mend Kayakguy. Makes my jammed finger of a few weeks ago seem even more trivial!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Kayakguy it's really good of you to share this here, where it can help. You must be in pretty good shape to come away from that with limited injuries. I hope you heal fast and get back on the bike soon.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
I confess that I have had some close calls in the past but reading about your recent experience just emphasizes how precious life is. Sounds like you are well on the road to recovery and hope that you're back on the saddle soon!
 

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Yikes! A broken pelvis at 84?? Don't be in a hurry to get back in the saddle: take sufficient time to heal. May it be your last real crash!