Jun 5, 2006

Bikes and Blood

Back from Fontana CA, and its my first day back on the bike. Weather is Perfect and I decide to join the Tuesday night A ride around the drives. I leave work and head for the river path. As I'm coming down the ramp to the river I see a basket ball in the middle of the path at the landing and think to myself to say somehthing about getting the ball out of the way to the three kids who I assume are owners of it. But as I get to the bottom I see that one kid is sitin gon the bench with his head in his hands and blood dripping off his forehead on the the ground. THen the other kids ask me if I have a phone to call 911. Turns out their 17yr old friend went to jump the bench and hit the iron beam above it. He was sent flying backwards and proceeded to bleed a scarlet tide. Through my sunglasses the blood looked floudrecent as it dripped on the ground. I could tell from the converstation he had with 911 that they wouldn't have an easy time finding the place, so I waited around till I saw the ambulance pass us by. I chased him down where they were parked getting ready to call for better directions. Then a strange thing happened as I was trying to talk to the Medic...This guy rides up on his bike and starts acusing them of joyriding with the lights on. At least thats what I think he was talking about, but it was such an unexpected confrontation that we were stunned for a second before we could finally say "we have an emergency, go Away!" As soon as I saw the boys meet with the Ambulance i took off to catch my ride.
So I make it to the drive and after a while I see the pack of riders coming. I sit on the side of the road thinking I would just let them pass and then catch up...That was a little unrealistic. After about 10min of 30-32mph I realized I would have to short cut them to the other side of the river to try a different method of catching on. I managed to beat them to the stop lights in front of the Museum and joined the group. They didn't waste much time crnking it back up to 30mph and keeping a steady train pushing it. I was impressed and definatly working my tired legs off. We completed one lap and as we headed around for the second one something happened. Apparently there was a sprint line, because the speed suddenly jumped to 34+mph. as I'm sitting behind the chaos that a bunch sprint is I see bodies start to lean, and then hear a loud pop, followed by bodies flying in the air. A huge pile-up ensues and as I'm hard on my brakes a rider zipps by me and hits the football tackle at speed and does a front flip. everything happened so fast, but I still see it in slow motion. Like a stick of dynamite the group just exploded, the the bodies were scattered in the right hand lane. Flesh was taken down tto the bone on knees, knuckles, foreheads, lips, backs and butts. One person was left in the middle of the lane unable to move or be moved due to excrutiating pain. Everyone who was not seriously hurt was instantly at the sides of the wounded and taking assesment of the situation. The blood was rich and dark, and poured down faces slower than the boy I had seen earlier. The difference was significant. Injured riders had the stunned look that was a cross of disbelief and pain. Like getting into a bath that is to hot and not wanting to move to much. I admit my reaction was less than sympathetic, and I was almost pissed at the whole situation. It seemed like a waste to me to be out on a ride and be put at risk of serious injury. I know all the riders involved are experienced and in no way novices, but that only highlights the uncontrollable and eminant threat of danger involved in this sport. I rode home thankfull to have myself in one piece.

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