Day 4 - Double Trouble - Our slow roll around Canada 2022 - Part 1 - CycleBlaze

May 18, 2022

Day 4 - Double Trouble

Disaster strikes

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You guessed it.  Rob tested positive for COVID.  Now what.  We weighed all our options.  We could find a campground in Kamloops and stay put until he was all clear.  Then assuming I stay clear of it (can't imagine that while sharing a tent that I would or that I wasn't already infected) we would carry on from there.  This was obviously not a feasible option.

Option 2 would be to rent a pick-up to take ourselves and all our gear and bikes back to Vernon where Rob could get healthy in comfort. Once better we would beg a ride to Kamloops where we left off and carry on with the trip.  This is the option we decided on. 

After staying clear of COVID for over 2 years now, this was highly disappointing but it certainly could be worse. Right?

I believe it was transmission fluid leaking from the engine
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Keith AdamsHoooooooooly CRAP. I doubt that's going to buff out. But at least it's UHaul's problem and not yours.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Keith AdamsTrue!
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4 months ago

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be in an accident on the way home. Along the same road that we had just ridden on the day before. Horrifying to think what if this happened while we were on our bikes.

We were about a third of the way home when suddenly, a vehicle coming towards us veered into our lane coming straight at us.  I kept thinking in my head, he's going to swerve back, please don't hit us, please don't hit us, please don't hit us.  Rob tried his best to steer away to the side to try and avoid him without going over the bank, but he kept on barreling over towards us.

Wham! he hit the door on Robs side spinning the truck around.  The truck started to flip and it felt like we were in a movie.  It was so surreal.  I don't know how many times we rolled, maybe only once, but once on the roof of the truck we continued skidding down the road.  Eventually we stopped.

We were hanging upside down by our seatbelts.  Rob said, "Are you hurt?" I said no and asked if he was hurt.  He answered no.  I then asked, "Now what do we do?"  There was an overwhelming feeling to escape the cab of that truck.  We could see through the windshield that the truck was leaking fluid.  We were so disoriented.  I said I was going to undo my seatbelt.  Somehow I managed to get my legs under me so I didn't crash down on my head.  Rob wasn't as lucky.  Once we were sitting upright we tried to find a way out but we just couldn't figure out how to do that.

The airbags were blocking the door windows. We could hear voices outside asking if we were okay.  I said please just open the door! They managed to open my door and then the airbag was cut away and I never felt so relieved to crawl out.  All that practicing getting in and out of that crappy tent helped.

Rob followed me out and we saw all our gear and bikes strewn all over the bank and down into the ditch.  I felt like crying .  We asked how the other guy was.  His tracker crashed into the ditch and I could see blood on his face and arm.  He came up the bank asking if we were okay and that it was all his fault.  The guy that was traveling behind him yelled, " You're fucking right it was your fault you were on your phone!  You could of killed these people".  I thought he was going to punch the guy.

Arkel panniers are very durable it seems
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What a mess!
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I think the sign might of stopped us from skidding further down the highway
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By this time numerous people had stopped and were directing traffic and providing first aid to the other guy. The couple that let us out of our vehicle stayed with us, making sure we were ok, gathering all our gear and bikes and bringing it up to the road. They were very reassuring and just were so helpful.  In the end they took all our stuff to their place and even offered to drive it to ours.  True angels.

It seemed a very long time before a police officer arrived on scene and even longer for the ambulance to arrive.  Meanwhile, I crawled back into the cab to gather our stuff, like my phone and GoPro and Rob's pack with the drone in it.  Nothing was broken! 

Rob's blood pressure has never been so low
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It was suggested that we go to the hospital to be checked out.  We both had sore necks and felt bruised where the seatbelt was.  Yeah! for seatbelts!  They really do save lives.

So, long story not so short, we are back home.  We feel so incredible lucky to of escaped from the accident with just some general soreness.  We hope the other fella is ok. The incredible kindness we were shown by strangers was amazing. It could of been so much worse.  There is some damage to the bikes and our panniers were scuffed up. When the dust settles we will be taking a closer look.

This wonderful family are so incredible kind. They didn't hesitate to help us in every way possible. Last year they lost their home in the wildfire that came through Westwold. They are currently living in a travel travel awaiting their new house to be built.
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Leslie and Rob CookeTo Keith AdamsAmazing people!
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4 months ago

So what's next?  Well, we would like to continue on but I guess it all depends on how badly damaged the bikes are. Hopefully we can come back with a story to tell.

Stay safe out there everyone.

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Nancy GrahamOMG!!! Seems you were most fortunate to not get badly hurt. So so sorry this happened to you. Hopefully the police got the guy’s info as well as the witness who saw the driver on the phone. That who is responsible for the repair/replacement of your bikes. I will be looking for an update here when you are up to doing that.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Nancy GrahamThanks Nancy - We feel incredibly fortunate to of walked away from this. It could of been so much worse. We were told the police spoke with the witness. We kind of feel left out of the loop with what is happening with insurance. It will all be okay in the end I'm sure.
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4 months ago
Keith AdamsOhhh... my.... GAWD. So glad nobody was seriously injured. Stuff can be replaced, lives can't.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Keith AdamsOur thoughts exactly Keith. We are very lucky.
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4 months ago
Eva WaltersAs fellow Bike Friday riders from the Interior of BC, we were following your trip and admiring your perseverance in camping in the cool wet weather we've been experiencing. We're so sorry to hear about your accident and relieved that neither of you were badly hurt. We hope that Rob quickly recovers from Covid and that your bicycles will be okay. You're absolutely right that it could have been so much worse!
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4 months ago
Rich FrasierHoly tamale!! That was not what I expected to see when I clicked into your journal today. I’m so sorry - this must have been super-stressful and definitely not what you needed. I hope you get some needed rest and recovery. Best wishes for a speedy return to touring.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Eva WaltersHi Eva - yes hasn't it been such a cool, wet spring! Kootenays as well?

We are so relieved to be ok. We don't bounce as well as we used to. Rob already has my bike straightened out and we'll see how she rides once we get back out there. His needs a bit more care but hopefully can be fixed.

Maybe the weather will be better once we are ready to go again.
Take care.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Rich FrasierI love tamales! It certainly was stressful and I think we were in a bit of shock. The part that was hard for me was that feeling of being trapped.

Grateful to be here sitting in our new tent that we've set up in the living room.
Take care
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4 months ago
Kathleen ClassenWe have been following your trip since the start and enjoying it, while admiring your gumption to camp in the terrible weather we have had this spring. Reading this post was so completely unexpected. We are so grateful you are okay and your positive outlook is inspiring. We are hopeful that you will be able to continue after giving yourselves time to rest and fully recuperate. All the best to you both.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeHi Kathleen - It has been quite the adventure so far. We are hopeful a couple of weeks from now we are healthy, the bikes are fixed and we can continue on our way. Thanks for the well wishes.
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4 months ago
Mike AylingYou were both extremely fortunate in the crash considering that the other vehicle struck Rob's door.
Hope you ticked the insurance box on the rental agreement!
Meanwhile how is the covid treating you?
I tested positive on May 1 and still feel tired after exercise of any kind.
Mary tested positive on May 12 and has similar problems but I guess that we are just a bit older than you.
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Mike AylingHi Mike - yes we feel so lucky. I can't imagine if it had been a head-on. Rob said he was impressed with the Chevy truck and how it kept us safe in the accident.

Sorry to hear you are both dealing with the effects of Covid but hopefully you will come out the other side of it soon. Rob still feels like he has a bad cold but it doesn't seem to of gotten any worse. Touch wood, I will not get it.
Take care and get well.
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4 months ago
Scott AndersonOh, my gosh. I’d gotten behind on this journal until Susan Carpenter told us this story over dinner. This is so horrible! Thank heavens for seatbelts and air bags and that you miraculously came through as well as you did. How are you both doing with your recovery from this and from Covid?
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4 months ago
Leslie and Rob CookeTo Scott AndersonHi Scott - We feel incredibly lucky that we walked away from this accident unscathed. It was on the same road that we had previously cycled and I think that's what is most horrifying - thinking what if we were on our bikes when he came barreling across the road. Scary to think about.

Rob is on the mend and not surprisingly, I also came down with it. Hopefully we are recovered 100% soon.

Miraculously the bikes were not damaged too much and Rob could fix them. Nor any of the panniers and gear inside were damaged. The only thing we are missing is some bug spray and a set of binoculars.

We originally thought we would carry on with the tour as soon as we were healthy but now that we've had time to think about it, we just aren't sure what we want to do. We might take a totally different direction.

Grateful for seatbelts and vaccinations. Take care. Oh btw, I am really enjoying following your journal and all the stunning photos.
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4 months ago