December 10, 2008 by welshcyclist
I had alot of sympathy for Doug, mnbicyclecommuter, in Minnesota, when I read about his unfortunate accident on some ice in Duluth, I have even more now. I don’t know if reading that post has had some sort of effect, but I’ve now fallen because of ice, twice since. The first one I reported in this blog, in my last post, sadly I have to report another.
Yesterday, Monday my pre-commute to work began with an inspection of the outside street and path, a little frosty, but nothing to be concerned about. Then I packed all my gear, and went to the shed to get my Subway 1, by this time I could feel it had started to rain a little, so I went back inside and changed my long trousers for waterproof ones. By 05.30, I didn’t need to be in work till 07.30, I was riding through the village on my way down the Neath valley, within 10 minutes the rain had stopped.
The ride was great, didn’t see any cars on the old road at all, and I was enjoying myself, even got up that stretch of hill I hate, without too much bother. My ride continued as normal into Neath itself. I decided to cut through Morrison’s car park, that’s a large supermarket in this part of the world, I’ve done it loads of times before. I crossed the entire car park with no problem, and as I thought no hint of slipperyness or ice, then as I left the car park to go into the pedestrianised area of the town, the next thing I knew I was smacking into the ground.
I think it was shock that made me lie still for a few seconds, my leg was hurting, and my first thought was, ‘ have I broken my leg?’ , then ‘ had anyone seen me fall?’ Though my leg was hurting I decided it wasn’t broken, and gingerly got to my feet to discover my left shoulder was really painful. I got my bike up, and despite the pain, again probably because of shock, I started to um and ah about continuing on to work. Like this I dithered for, I guess 5 minutes or so.
Finally, I rang my work, told them what had happened, and that I wouldn’t be coming in. Then I rang home, because I knew Tierloch would be up, getting ready for work, it was now 06.20. Well then I spent 20 minutes shivering, and getting more and more uncomfortable with both a stiff and sore left knee, and a really painful left shoulder. It was a great relief to see Tierloch drive round the corner into the car park.
We loaded the Subway 1 onto the bikerack, while Tierloch told me of the numerous car accidents he’d seen on route, and also how he’d almost lost control driving because of ice, on the roads and especially when he came into Morrison’s car park. I just couldn’t understand it, I hadn’t seen a sign or felt any kind of slipping or sliding.
I soon saw for myself that there was a problem with ice, in the form of another very forlorn and sorry looking cyclist, pushing his bicycle along the pavement. Let’s hope he didn’t have far to go, anyway Tierloch safely transported my bike and I home, where I’ve stayed since, save for a trip up to the surgery yesterday afternoon. The doctor said nothing was broken, but both my left knee and shoulder had been badly bruised and traumatised, they would get more painful for a few days, and that I’d need a week’s rest, stay off work, for them to get back to normal, and to go back if things didn’t improve. She gave me some painkillers, which have helped immensely.
Today my knee has swollen even more, and is difficult to bend, but, my shoulder has eased a little, I have more movement in it, but if I try to do anything it really hurts, and makes me shout ” ow”.
Since Tierloch put it in the shed, I haven’t looked at the Subway, when he took it off the bikerack I noticed that the chain was off the cog and derailleur, I just hope no real damage has been done. Having said that, I am very reticent about cycling in this weather again, and concerned about having to leave off commuting to work through the winter.
Which leads me to the big question, I need to put to all you winter commuters out there,
” How do you all stay upright, most of the time, because I assume the occasional fall is inevitable, during icy conditions?”
I’d be grateful for all your advice.
Where’s my nurse, “Nurse!”