Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Parable to Safe Cycling


Heh. I guess I should never try to imitate the people on Mountain Bike UK because they are all waaaaaaaay ahead of me. I went off-road today and it was fun at first, but you know... MBUK all portray their riders going downhill so fast that I thought I was a bit too weak if I went down the hill with my brakes on.

Bad idea. I decided to go downhill with no brakes, and it was OK at first until I met with a deep crevice on the ground. This wasn't a problem if I had chosen the left-most or right-most line, but my line just decided to go directly into the crevice. All of a sudden, my bike stopped but I didn't. Instead, I flew off the bike, supermanning until I landed on my right side.

The first moment I landed, all I could do is scream. It hurt so bad. I have never had a cycling injury that was so jarring. The shoulder was destroyed - I couldn't rotate my arm without having it hurt. Standing up was a problem because my hip was also destroyed.

It was so bad that I decided to call my mother to come get me. I was alternating between calling an ambulance or my mother, but in the end decided to call my mother because I was worried about my bike. But at that point of time, I knew it was more practical to call an ambulance... the pain was just so excruciating.

My dented helmet.... THANK GOD FOR IT

What's worse was that I needed to walk out of the forest. Every step was painful. I was clutching my right arm, taking a rest every ten metres and having a hard time lifting the bike over drains and other indents in the ground.

In the end, I went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. My favourite hospital since my army days, and today I'm back there. Apparently, there are a lot of people like me. People having fractures, drunk foreign workers bleeding from the brain, and a skateboarder on a wheelchair. Heh, it must be a Saturday Syndrome.

In the end, all I got in these eight hours in the hospital were two jabs, one ATT/tetanus jab and the other a painkilling jab. I also have a cast on me now which is good, since it keeps me from moving the arm in awkward angles. The X-rays showed that my collarbone is fractured.

At the end of the day, such accidents remind you to reprioritise your cycling goals. Unfortunately, after seeing a few misleading pictures, "being garang" replaced "safety". Today, "safety" is back up there when mountain biking. Expensive lesson and a world of hurt, but at least I'm young and things could be worse.

I remembered Alicia Keys saying "one minute of pleasure can lead to a lot of pain". While she was referring to casual sex and AIDS (which incidentally someone has been cured of), it's true in a lot of circumstances while cycling. I tried to get that quick adrenaline fix, and all I got was $90 in hospital bills, an arm that doesn't work without complaining, and the inability to cycle for at least six weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Dude... they put brakes on bikes for a reason. Still glad u are alrite... well 6 weeks of no riding means u can write blog entries!
    Get well soon and spin safe... with brakes!
    best regards, Taiwoon!