According to a plain clothes cop called Gary Clark: On the 17th of July 2006 I was involved in a FATAL cycling accident. Personally I think that the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Apparently a 6 year old assassin fell or ran out of the bank at the side of the Bristol to Bath cycle path and fouled my handlebars. Fortunately I landed on my head - otherwise I could have been seriously hurt! As things were Gary reckons he found me flat on my back, with eyes like saucers, not breathing until he put his knee into my back and rolled me onto my side. Cheers Gary nice work! Sorry if you got a mouth full of verbal abuse for your trouble, but I also had a broken leg so rolling me onto my side would have hurt plenty.
Apparently I swerved and missed 6 year old who wasn’t injured but was "very distraught". I’m pleased the kid didn’t get injured, because I would have felt responsible for his injuries. The way I see it anyone who collides with a six year old is by definition responsible simply for failing to spot him and give him enough room to behave like a 6YO. However it must also be said that the parents would share some of the blame for not keeping their dick head kid on a lead on a path that they claim is dangerous because “cyclists ride too fast”. I don’t know what speed I was doing at the time but I certainly wasn't in any hurry and the readings on my HRM and cycle computer confirm this. My only other injuries were a small graze on my elbow and a tiny graze on the back of each of my shoulders. Just out enjoying the sunshine! Should have spotted the little git sooner, but worryingly I can't even remember swerving to miss him.
Normally I can recall slow motion video of accidents and near misses but on this occasion all I have is:
1. An uneventful ride towards Bath
2. Sucking like the clappers on the tube of pain killing gas in an ambulance
3. “brain scan” – yup its still in there!
4. “Sign this disclaimer” – okay okay, just stop the pain!
5. “Do you mind if I cut your shorts off with these scissors?” – Bugger off they cost me twenty quid!
Don’t fear the reaper!
Being dead was a whole new experience for me. I never thought I would die before my parents, and still be alive to tell them about it. Disappointingly there doesn’t appear to be a heaven or hell, no 20 virgins, no big beard in sandals, no horny guy in a red suit, no skeleton carrying a scythe. Pretty dull really, just an absence of life. The only good thing about death being the absence of pain. I suppose it is possible that the heaven/hell myths do exist, but I didn’t see any evidence of this. Perhaps they saw me first and hid!
I can’t provide much detail about the broken leg because more than a month later I still haven’t seen the x-rays or met the surgeon who probably fitted a steel plate to hold the bone together. The sign above my bed in Frenchay hospital gave a different consultants name to the notice board in the nurses office so its possible that they don’t know either. The position of the operation scar suggests I broke the top part of my femur, just below the ball and socket joint. The report sent to my GP says I broke the bony part where muscles attach (greater trochanter), just above the joint! What the heck, it seems to be healing up and my expectations of the NHS have never been particularly high. I still seem to have all my vital organs, I didn’t get infected by one of those nasty antibiotic resistant bugs, and I ought to be able to walk without sticks and ride the bike within a few weeks when the pain drops a bit more so I’m a happy cyclist! Better still I didn’t have to put up with physical torture and verbal abuse from an excessively sadistic physiotherapist this time around and I was discharged after only 8 days instead of having to endure months of institutionalised stupidity in traction. :-)
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