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May « 2010 « James Cunnama’s Blog

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Archive for May, 2010

Wipeout!

Monday, May 31st, 2010

bike_lanes_fallSo I have been in Leysin, Switzerland for one week already. It is hard to believe as it feels like I’ve been here 2 days. More about that in my next blog coming soon…

The weather was great here for the first three days, but it was just a tease and has been pretty up and down since then (actually, more down than up). It was particularly wet and cold on Friday. I was headed down the hill on my own in order to come back up it, just so I could go back down it so I could come back up it again (they call it training) when suddenly I found myself on my head. Literally. It happened so quickly I don’t really know what happened, but I lost the front wheel on a wet switchback and hit my head and hip hard. I didn’t even have time to put out a hand to lessen the impact on my head –  but that was proabably a good thing as I would then have had a broken arm, and why waste an arm when you have a perfectly good head to break your fall? ;)

I did a quick check that nothing was broken (on me and the bike), then went the rest of the way down. I probably had a good excuse not to go all the way to the bottom of the hill and just head home, but I don’t think like that. (…Well, I like to think I don’t think like that, but after a hit that hard on the head I think I wasn’t thinking like I normally think at all, if you follow my thinking.)

Anyway, I found myself at the train station and turned to climb home. I thought I should give myself and the bike another once-over before starting the long haul. The bike was fine. But I was seeing stars. Literally. There were flashy, colourful dancing lines everywhere I looked. …Well actually, no. They weren’t everywhere I looked, as is the case with these things, they were frustratingly just off-centre of where I was looking. But as my eyes tried to lock on them, the little buggers moved. I’m not sure if I was dizzy or was just making myself dizzy from trying to focus my eyes on the bright dancing thingies! Now there was a train right behind me which was heading to within 200m of my apartment, and again, I had a pretty good excuse to take that train. But like I was saying about the way I think… or don’t think… or wasn’t thinking …perhaps I was just too distracted by the bright dancing thingies in my eyes…

I started up the hill. My legs felt surprisingly good, but adrenalin will do that to you apparently. The stars in my eyes went away pretty soon too. I think I was going pretty well although I don’t really recall a whole lot of the trip – it all seems somewhat dream-like looking back now. At one point though I had a very wonky moment and some weird thoughts went through my head. I can’t remember them all but one was definitely something about The Hungry Caterpillar children’s book… Don’t ask.

Anyway, I made it all the way up. I even considered going back down and doing the second climb I was supposed to do. (Jeez, I must have hit my head hard!) Actually the only thing that stopped me was the thought of having another ‘wonky moment’ on the way down and waking up in a hospital not knowing my own name…

My injuries are not bad at all. My left hip was the worst  but the bruising is going down now and I can run again. Other than that, a bruised shoulder and small bump to the cheek-bone where the helmet didn’t protect and I am no worse for wear (if you don’t count the few lost brain cells).  It was a close call though and it would have been a lot worse if not for my helmet (thanks Louis Garneau!). Not that I wasn’t an ardent helmet-wearer already, but I will never moan about putting my helmet on again -without it I really may have woken up in a hospital with ‘John Doe’ on my chart!