(And Where I’ve Been the Last Several Months)
My eyes had been open but my brain hadn’t been remembering anything for hours. I was hearing the beep of a heart rate monitor in a hospital bed and trying to remember how I got there. My head hurt. Something seriously went wrong and I had no clue what.
It was October 12th, 2019 and I went on my weekend bicycle ride on the bike path from Chesterton to Hobart. I had been picking up more cycling in my quest to lose weight and dealing with some heel spurs was limiting my daily walks. By October I was riding up to 50 miles in a day and I was feeling great with my refound love of cycling.
So what happened? I remember getting to Portage on the trail (I was about 9 miles into my ride) and decided to get off the trail onto Central Avenue because I wanted to visit a shop that wasn’t far off the trail and I was out there anyways. I guess this was my biggest mistake.
As soon as I was out on Central it became really apparent the road is way too narrow for a bicycle and cars going both directions and there is no connector path from the trail to the main part of Central Avenue.
I remember people not giving my bicycle space and were coming as close as 6″ from my handlebars. I started hightailing it to get past the 80/90 bridge where there appeared to be a sidewalk past the bridge. The last thing I remember is the end of a brand new driveway entrance, then coming to in the hospital.
I wrecked, the exact cause will never be known, but reviewing where I crashed and how it happened I’m certain a car bumped me or aero-pushed me like a semi blowing by a car sideways into a curb that sent me flying up and over and what appeared about a 15′ flight before landing head first.
From what I was told, 2 people stopped to help me. I was unconscious for 10 minutes. I have no recollection of it and if you ever read this post, thank you. If you see me and recognize me, please say something because I don’t remember and would like to personally thank you.
In the ambulance I don’t remember taking a selfie. I’m sure I wanted to see how bad my face was at the time. There was a CAT Scan and other things that happened in that 5 hours that months later I still don’t remember.
Two days later I went back to where it happened and walked everything out.. Fortunately my Garmin was tracking the route and you could tell exactly where the accident happened. The driveway I remembered was the driveway my face crashed into, I found where my tire first made contact with the curb and it was 7′ before the driveway so there was no way I was attempting to start heading to it.
The day after that I had plates put in for the lower orbital blowout and a crack above my eye socket.
I guess I’ll never really know but I hope people give cyclists more room because you may not have hit me, but you certainly pushed me sideways and caused an accident that is going to affect me for the rest of my life. Please be more cautious when you drive, whatever rush you were in for, was it worth the damage you did?
Also, please Portage, Indiana build a connector path and save this from happening to anyone else.
So this is where I’ve been for months. I was out of work for 2 1/2 months and am now “working disabled”.
5 months later I’m still dealing with concussion migraines, short term memory issues, light sensitivity (I’m trying to get a pair of tinted prescription glasses to wear full time due to it, please no Bono jokes), balance issues, concentration, tinnitus that spins up to the level of locusts in the summer volume levels, and I’m sure a few other things my head can’t remember right now along with the piled up medical bills.
Once the migraine kicks up, I go into “half brain” mode or “zombie mode” and aphasia kicks in (this condition where I have a hard time putting words to my mouth even though it’s in my head) where it’s best I just go sleep it off. I’m basically the somewhat useful idiot I guess.
This is my new normal, but I’m still here, and there I was.