The End - I fail to be Joy's toy-boy - CycleBlaze

May 17, 2008

The End

Ray and I rode into Boston, then out again on the riverside bike path. I thought that was pretty bumpy, with all the tree roots pushing the trail into ridges, but I had no idea worse was to come
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CONCORD, Massachusetts - Well, that didn't last long, did it? I was planning to get to Seattle and I didn't even get to lunch. Two hours into the first morning's ride I fell heavily on one of the many pot-holes, uneven patches and ridges that seem to be all that constitute roads round here.

I have a broken pelvis. I got up from the fall, which was going uphill and riding slowly, and noticed that it hurt a lot more than even a solid wallop on the road ought to hurt. I walked about a bit, winced to the point of tears when I got back on my bike. I assumed, as turned out to be true, that I had wrenched some muscles. And then I rode on for another 10 miles.

I was riding OK, with no pain and just a little discomfort as I rode up hills. I got round that by riding extra-low gears. After a while, I sat by the roadside for a banana. And then I couldn't get up. Or not for a long time.

I was on my feet by the time three of the many cyclists round here stopped and called an ambulance. At the hospital they ruled out hip damage on the grounds that I had ridden 10 miles since falling. They took an x-ray anyway and, right on its edge, noticed what was described as "a little dent". A second scan showed I had broken my pelvis.

It's not as serious as it sounds. It's like a broken rib, in that there is no treatment but time, and the pain I get is more from bruising, the remains of the stiffness and the unaccustomed crutches on which I'm wobbling slowly around.

My insurance is flying me home business class this afternoon, with a car to the airport, a wheelchair standing by, another in Paris for the change of plane and then an ambulance from Toulouse to home. I feel a fraud, I have to say, but it was their insistence and not my suggestion.

This isn't a commercial, just a recommendation: if you ever need travel insurance, I can't recommend Mondial Assistance too highly. It's an international company and the view from the first moment has been "You have a problem... we have the answer."

Well, the curse of riding in America has struck again. I am as impressed as ever by the friendliness of the people I have met and the help and understanding they have shown me. But I'm beginning to get the message; next time I think I'll go somewhere else!

Thanks for all your support, interest and time. I'm sorry to let you down.

Cheerful but hobbling


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