Jinx? Or Guardian Angel?
Remember a few weeks ago when I stumbled onto an accident? Well it happened again. Some graphic description follows, but as far as I know the guy was fine.
We did a ride along the river trail this weekend. On the return trip, I stopped by Wilderness Park to use the restroom and refill my water bottles. As I was leaving, I saw guy try to make the turn off the bike trail into the park, but he hit the dirt, crashed into the chain-link fence and fell off his bike. My first thought was of course "what a spaz", but as I got closer to him I asked the standard "are you OK?" He waved me off, probably more embarrassed than injured. But his shirt was covered in blood. Like, gunshot wound to the chest, soaked. I told the guy "No, you are not OK" and got off my bike.
He stood up and was holding his neck as if he twisted it or something, and I asked him where he cut himself. He showed me his neck. Oh... My... God... There was a gash probably three inches long. It was not a cut, it was a deep, flesh-splitting gash. His neck was split apart and I could see underneath his skin. It looked like he was wearing a Halloween mask. Apparently one of the wires from the fence was sticking out and his neck caught it as he fell off his bike. Ye-ouch. Now here's an odd fact about me: I spend so much time stressing out about little things - God forbid they only have Diet Mountain Dew at the 7-Eleven - that when a real crisis comes up I have no stress left over and can actually keep my cool. I told the guy "I don't want to worry you, but your cut is very deep and you need to go sit down in the shade."
I had him move under a tree, and wanted to give him some sort of cloth to hold against the wound. Side note: I have a very large brain, and need a very large forehead to hold it all in (i.e., I am going bald). When going for bike rides, I often get striped sunburn on the top of my head through the vents in my helmet. I've started wearing a bandana under my helmet and it does a good job of protecting my scalp. So here's my dilemma: I still had 20 miles to go on the bike ride and it was in the upper 90s; I'd have to finish the ride unprotected. Sunburn scalp - guy bleeding to death on the ground - sunburn scalp - guy bleeding to death on the ground... (maybe not quite bleeding to death yet.)
I decided to give my bandana to the guy. My water bottles were freshly filled so I did my best to wash it out first. I gave him one of my bottles to drink, but frankly I think if he tried to take a sip the water would have just leaked out of his neck anyway.
By this time his friend showed up. I told him to call 911 and said that I would find a park employee. Wilderness Park is rather small, but I wasn't sure how much running around I would have to do. Here's dilemma #2: it's hard to run in bike shoes, but I was wearing good tri socks. Grass stains - man bleeding to death on the ground - grass stains - man bleeding to death on the ground. Fine, I took off my shoes. I ran and found a park worker who called the paramedics. There must have been a firehouse nearby because two trucks showed up within 5 minutes.
I don't think the guy ever knew how bad his neck was. He was pretty calm throughout the whole thing, which is for the best. I left when the paramedics got there, forgetting to refill my water bottles. Curses!
So I don't know if I'm good to have around, or bad to have around, but accidents seem to find me. Befriend me at your own risk.