Monday, July 23, 2018

The Bike Accident

Bike helmets didn't exist when I was a growing up.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  I only ever wore my bike helmet when I was doing serious mountain biking or racing.  I did ride my bike a lot though.  In the summer, I often rode it to school and to church on Sundays (our church was in our neighbourhood).

One particular Sunday just after I had finished grade nine, I rode by bike to church.  Summer vacation had started.  After church was over, I asked my Mom if I could go over to my friend's house to visit.  That request got denied.  I don't remember why, but I do remember I wasn't happy about it.  I hopped on my bike and started home, helmet-less.

The biking accident - a bike with a spedometer
Biking home from the church was easy.  It was all down hill.  I had a speedometer on my bike - one of those old speedometers that attached to the hub of the front wheel to measure speed.  Mine happened to be loose that day and so the dial measuring my speed was jumping up and down.  This frustrated me and I lost my cool.  Without thinking, I angrily kicked at the hub of my front tire (while speeding down the hill) to knock it back in place.


The next memory I have is crying, walking down someone's driveway looking for help.  My lips were stuck in my braces.  My head hurt and was covered in blood, and I was disoriented - it was all like a dream.  I had completely forgotten about my bike - now broken and mangled in the middle of the road.  My kick had gone through the spokes of the front tire stopping it cold.  I, in turn, had gone flying over the handle bars, pretty much landing on the pavement face-first.

My Dad was driving home from church in his truck and found my bike on the pavement.  Seven spokes broken, handle bars bent, front fork bent four inches out of place, seat and hand-grips mangled.  I'm sure his heart must have skipped a bunch of beats.  I don't think it took him too long to find me, given the wailing I was doing.  He threw the bike in the back of the truck, loaded me in the cab and drove me to the hospital.  I was in and out of consciousness on the way, confused, and asking him questions that didn't entirely make sense.

Once at the hospital, I was more lucid.  The doc cut my lips out of my braces and said I would have lost all my front teeth if I wasn't wearing braces.  I had a spiral fracture in one of the bones in my hand.  Everyone was concerned about a head injury.  The doc sent me home with my Dad, but my parents were given strict instructions to keep an eye on me and ensure I stayed awake until evening.

I made it through that night and eventually recovered fully.

Thinking about that whole scenario now, I realize that God was watching over me - even in my anger and frustration.  Given the speed I was going and lack of safety equipment, I could have suffered a much worse injury.  Its a miracle I walked away from that accident... and I literally walked away from it (even though I wasn't entirely clear-headed at the time).

God's protection.

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!”
Psalm 91:14-16

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