So many friends to thank - I fail to be Joy's toy-boy - CycleBlaze

May 22, 2008

So many friends to thank

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I've written personally to everybody whose address appeared on their messages of sympathy. But again to them, and to those other kind people to whom I haven't been able to write personally, so many thanks for your kindness, concern and, frankly, your interest in someone you don't actually know! It's very touching to have so many friends out in the world.

I'm pleased to say that I got home fine. The journey went as smoothly as any journey of several stages can go and everybody who promised to help was there to help. A man could certainly get used to crossing the Atlantic in business class!

I still can't put weight on my left leg or do anything beyond - ironically - moving in a pedalling motion. The bruising which caused so much discomfort at the start is subsiding fast, although there's still pain in my groin muscle on the left. I can walk with my crutches, even if I'd not win any races, but I can't manage anything but the smallest steps. Steps as in stairs, that is. Luckily we live in a single-level house.

I am impressed as ever at the friendliness of cyclists everywhere. It's true that I didn't ask for help as I lay and then stood at the roadside but every driver nevertheless passed without slowing. On the other hand, every cyclist - and there were a lot on that road that day - at least asked if I was OK and several stopped to be absolutely sure. It was three of them who called me to my senses and summoned an ambulance.

Their kindness didn't stop there. One of them rode on to the hospital to make sure I'd arrived OK and that I was being properly looked after; another came next day to help me get the pedals off my bike and to fetch a cardboard box into which - with some difficulty given I was on crutches and full of aches everywhere I turned - I put the bike for the journey home.

As I said a couple of paragraphs back, I have always been impressed by the kindness and concern that cyclists show each other everywhere in the world. And once more, through my contact with not just cyclists but others, I have been overwhelmed by the friendliness, warmth and generosity of Americans in general.

I was distressed when I had to abandon the Transam a couple of years ago. This time, if anything, I find it amusing in a wry sort of way. I feel as though I have had an enjoyable weekend in Boston, that I have made new friends, and that I've had a bike ride that didn't quite work out. I was there and back in less than a week. And I travelled home in unaccustomed luxury.

I'm not in the slightest discouraged. Apart from anything else, if I stopped riding a bike, what on earth else in life would there be to do!

Again, thanks to you and to everyone else. And until we meet the next time, somewhere up the road.

There was no room in the ambulance for my bike. It was wheeled to the nearest house and left there with an explanation. When I went back, it had been moved out of the rain and this message was attached to it. I was close to tears.
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