Stayin’ Alive

Five months today since I smashed my wrist. Maybe I should have bought flowers to commemorate the day, but actually I did something far more exciting.

Bike in the Park

Bike in the Park

In the weeks following the accident I seriously wondered if I would ever get back on my bike. It stayed locked up in the bike shelter, gradually getting dirtier and dustier while I looked at adult push scooters, and waited for my fracture to mend.

I thought about selling my bike; unravelling the floral garland; removing the star shaped reflectors from the spokes; handing it over to a stranger along with my cycle clips, gloves and hi-viz jacket. It felt like betrayal. But I was scared. What would happen if I broke my wrist a second time? The talk of possible nerve damage when I was in A&E kept playing in a loop around my head. I’d got away with it this time, but a future when I couldn’t use my right hand made me cold with fear.

The consultant was reassuring. With all the metal in my arm, even if I broke it again, it would be in a different place. Rather haughtily I was told they had done all the wondrous and wonderful work on my wrist exactly so I could ride my bike again.

So the problem was me, how I felt, not my healing wrist. I kept renewing my bus pass and stopped looking at my bike. Deep down, I believed my cycling days were done. Continue reading

Of Accidents and Disappearing Cats

I heard the accident before I saw it. A dull thud, followed by a high pitched cry, then silence. I know I slowed down. I don’t know why, but I was sure it was a cyclist. It was. When I reached the junction a woman was lying at the side of the road. She wasn’t moving. Another woman stood over her. There was a bicycle in the middle of the road. A young man was speaking urgently into a phone, asking for an ambulance. The woman in the road moved, moaned, “My head, oh my head.” The woman standing over her, spoke to her calmly, and advised her to stay still. She asked if she had any other pain. The woman in the road looked bewildered. she twisted, then yelped and reached for her leg. More people stopped. Two of them also called the emergency services. I decided to leave the scene. The driver was saying to someone at the side of the road, “The light was green wasn’t it?” I glanced at his car and saw the windscreen had caved in and shattered from the impact. I rode home soberly, reflecting that the woman in the road, who hadn’t been wearing a helmet, was lucky to be alive.

Caught in the Light

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