Delaware Vacation Day 7 – A painful Friday

Where to begin? I’ll start at the beginning, but be forewarned that it’s a long story. Sit back now and hear a tale – a tale of a painful Friday.

So, I had this mental plan to go cycling while we were vacationing this week. It’s a week off, so why not take this as an opportunity to go riding in Delaware and Maryland. Riding along the shore, flat roads, experiencing the sights. As the actual vacation approached, my goals got loftier — “Oh, I have all this free time. Maybe I’ll go riding every day.” Yeah, right. It’s been six days, and I haven’t ridden my bike once. I also went through the hassle of bringing Joshua’s bicycle so we could go riding around the neighborhood together, but that hasn’t happened either. Frankly, we haven’t had the free time. Frustration setting in, I decided Friday (today) was going to be it. Today was the last day, as we’re going home to NJ tomorrow. I began researching bicycle routes throughout Delaware, but I had difficulty settling on the best one — there were so many to choose from. Since the bicycle lanes are well-marked, I figured what the hell, let me just get on the road to Ocean City, ride along the shore, and see where the road takes me. I was at 340 miles for the year so far, and riding 60 miles today would get me to the 400-mile mark.

I was on the road a little past 8am, first riding east towards the beach, then riding south on Rt 1 into Ocean City. Initially, it was very nice, good road and nice weather, but it got more stop-and-go as I went further south past Feniwick Island and into Ocean City proper. Constant stop-and-go with each traffic light, and I was happy to eventually turn off the island, cross a bridge, and be off onto the mainland.

Smooth sailing, less cars and lights, just flat open road, and lots of farmland. I had a 11am conference call that I should miss, so I stopped on the side of the road, and stood around listening, participating when it was my turn to provide status. After 42 mins of standing around, and two cyclists asking if i was okay, I got back to vacationing. I judiciously drank my water, unfortunately smelled a lot of chicken farms, and saw many small rural towns. I occasionally had to stop to use Google Maps to adjust my route, with the goal of hitting 60 miles around the same time I would reach the condo.

At around 6 miles away from the condo, and 12 miles short of my milestone, I opted to go the opposite direction for a bit, then turn back again. Probably a fateful decision, but oh well. In any case, who knows what would have happened if i was 10 seconds faster or slower today, but I digress.

Now just 30 mins away, I call my wife to let her know i’ll be home soon, and i begin my straight shot back to the condo, and “the incident.” I was very tired at this point, and my legs were aching. Mmmmm, more like burning. Out of water, I stopped at a pizza shop and chugged down a bottle of Powerade. So close, got to get home.

Now to the highlight of the day. 4.5 miles away from the condo, an intersection approached in the distance, and a line of cars were waiting to get past the light. As I passed a black SUV, a gap in the car instantaneously formed in front of it, and a green SUV came through, right next to me on my left, to my horror. I quickly turned right, hoping to avoid the oncoming vehicle but it was too late. I put my left hand on the hood of the car, and felt the impact on my left side, and I went flying. FLYING.

I remember very little between impact and hitting the gravel driveway of whatever store I was in front of. I do remember the shock and the pain of impact of hitting the ground, and everything hurt. I distinctly remember clawing the gravel with my right hand, trying to bear down. People were around me to check on me, and someone called 911. Someone got me a sweatshirt to rest my head. In my head, I was asking why me, and why did this happen. I was so close to home, how bad was it, and many other thoughts.

Delaware State Police and EMS eventually showed up, and the EMS worker advised me to not get up, and she checked me out. She offered to take me to the hospital to get fully checked out, but that would involve boarding and collaring me. At this point, the pain was receding, leaving only a dull aching in my lower pelvic area. I didn’t want to go to a hospital in a stretcher as if I’d been in a diving accident, especially if I was going to be okay. I asked if I could get up, and see how I feel, and EMS said she couldn’t stop me. I got up, and nothing seemed to be broken. Just the aching pain throughout, but mostly in the butt.

I gave statements to the police, signed a “declined transport” release with EMs, and tried to console the SUV driver, who seemed to be a very nice 62-year-old who was ALSO in the wrong place at the wrong time today. Oddly enough, I spoke to the state trooper and he wasn’t sure if they were ticketing the driver or me today. I was indignant, to say the least, but I won’t go into the details, for those of you with dainty ears.

One of the people at the scene helping me was a part-time firefighter named Michael, who had just taken his wife and daughters to lunch, and was heading back to his office in Bethany Beach. He gave me a ride home, and threw my bike into the back of his SUV. I got home sometime after 1:15 or 1:30, and my wife had no idea what happened to me.

They eventually went to the beach to enjoy the last beach day, and she advised/forced me to stay home and rest. I took another work call, and waited for my sister and her family to show up for their visit this evening for our last dinner. At least that part was nice — having my sister and family come over to hang out for a few hours.

So that was basically my day. It started off well enough, got punctuates by two work calls and being in an accident. And I hope none of this is pain isn’t too serious. Nums wants me to get checked out immediately, but unless my condition gets worse, I’ll wait until I get back to NJ. For now, I’m on a lot of Motrin.

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2 Responses to Delaware Vacation Day 7 – A painful Friday

  1. Glad to hear you are OK. Go see a doc. Don’t risk it.

  2. Joel says:

    Thanks, bud. Yeah, I went to see a doctor at an urgent care facility on Saturday night. Just banged and bruised up, so I need rest. It’s been two weeks now, most of the aches are gone, except my left knee and my tail bone. Guess they need more time.

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