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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


August 11, 1993

HIT BY TRUCK

I had made it through Memphis, TN okay and I was on my way to Hayti, MO so that I can then ride north on the west side of the Mississippi River to see if I could help out with the flood relief. For a short break, I stopped at a quick mart. After about ten minutes, I got on my bike to head out again.

By the road was a pay phone and a van parked by it and the van was one that didn't have any windows in the back doors. Just rode passed the van the driver had started to back up. He musn't have seen me approach the van because I was in the driver's blindspot.

At least the driver wasn't going fast but I still was knocked over sideways and the bike and I were being pushed along. I yelled out as loud as I could and the driver stopped backing up and started to go forward. Somehow either by rear rack or one of the rear panniers got hooked up on the rear bumper of the van and the bike and I got pulled the opposite direction. I yelled some more and the driver finally stopped. By the time the driver got back to me I got out from underneath the bike and dislodged the bike from the bumper.

He apolized and helped me get the bike up and the gear back on. The only thing that I didn't do before the guy had left was find out if the bike was ridable. It wasn't. The rear rim had been bent badly. I hobbled the bike over to the store and asked the operator if there was a bike shop in the area. He said that maybe I should see the guy a few doors down who does some work on bicycles. The only thing that the other guy could do was to relieve some of the tension on the spokes so that I might be able to get back into Millington but I would have to release my rear brake.

At the police station in Millington, I was able to connect with an officer who was also an assistant pastor at a Baptist church. He made it possible for me to stay at the church in the youth house and then tomorrow somebody would take me and the bicycle to a bike shop in the area to see if the rear wheel's rim could be fixed.




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