TRIP 2002

Update #24 - May 07th
Peterborough, New Hampshire - 4,569 miles (7310 KM)

Every cyclist has their nightmares to deal with. They are mostly about crashes. I've always dreaded having some kind of crash while going fast. I've been pretty fortunate in avoiding accidents even though I have had several close calls. This wasn't the case last Saturday.

About ten minutes after I had posted the last update at the Dublin library, I was starting the coast down the Dublin Hill on NH 101 between Dublin and Peterborough. This is a pretty bad hill because in some places the grade was more than seven percent. The maximum speed limit for cars down the hill is thirty miles per hour.

I'm not reckless in going down hills at full-blast. When I get over fifteen miles per hour, I start to gradually apply my brakes. I was about halfway down the hill, when the worst thing to happen happened. My front innertube blew out. It turns out that either a glass or stone splinter had punctured the 85 psi innertube. This wouldn't have happened if the bicycle mechanic had remembered to switch over my Mr. Tuffy tire liner when I had a new tire installed on the front wheel in Rochester, New York.

The bike of course stopped quickly and I fell over to the pavement on my left side. It was lucky for me that since I was on a recumbent, I only had about twenty inches to fall. I scraped up my left knee some but I didn't bleed much. The part of me that got hurt the most was my left arm. In less than a minute, several people stopped to lend me assistance. Since I was in a lot of pain, the Peterborough fire department was called and an ambulance was dispatched in less than five minutes. I was transported to the Peterborough hospital emergency room where x-rays were taken. I was given excellent care by everybody involved. The people in the ambulance even joked with me.

X-rays shown that I didn't break any bones in my wrist but they did show that there are now several small bone fractures in the upper head of my Humerus bone inside the shoulder socket. I was really lucky that the injury wasn't more serious and it didn't require any surgery. My left wrist got put into a splint and my left arm is in a sling now. This means that I'm off the bike between three and six weeks. I'm very, very lucky. My guardian angels had really protected me again and I thank Adonai for keeping me safe.

I was in the emergency room for about four hours. The staff both doctors and nurses there were really helpful. The x-ray technician was really gentle. I got a good meal and even a bag of drinks and snacks to take with me. It was fortunate for me that the Methodist minister (Pastor Dave) in Belfast, Maine who I was on the way to see is a friend of the Methodist minister in Peterborough. Pastor Judy made arrangements for me to stay at the local motel in Peterborough for a few days while a temporary short-term place could be found for my recovery. A taxi was called to take me and the bike to the motel. The people at the Jack Daniels Motor Lodge have been really friendly. Pastor Judy is a really fine minister and she is courageous herself since she is going through her second round of chemotherapy for breast cancer.

The bike came out okay. The frame wasn't damaged but I might need to replace my cyclometer. I do need to possibly get a new front wheel and tire. I called the bike shop in Rochester, New York and they said that since they were in error for not switching over the tire liner they will ship me for free a new front tire, inner tube, and tire liners.

With regards to any pain as of today's writing, I am suffering from minor pain in my upper arm and no pain in my wrist. I've got almost full use of my fingers on my left hand but I can't twist caps or lids off with it. My upper inner arm is black and blue. I can extend my arm pretty well straight downward but I can't raise my arm at the shoulder. This morning, I was in such a good mood that I took a shower and got my hair washed. One of the good things that happened to me is that I'm learning how to stay asleep on my back. I'm usually sleep on either my right side or my stomach. I'm also learning how to sleep with a lot of light. I've always been very light sensitive.

As of the time I'm writing this update, I haven't been set up with a recovery spot. I'm hoping to have arrangements made before eleven tomorrow morning. Pastor Judy is asking around town today to see if there might be a room with a Peterborough family through her church or the other churches in the area. I could even go down to the Lowell, Massachusetts area to stay with close friends there for a week or two and then maybe switch over to a low-cost extended stay motel for a week or two if another family arrangement in Lowell can't be found. If I go down to Lowell, Massachusetts, I will not go up to Belfast, Maine to visit with Pastor Dave and his family as planned since it would be at best a five to six hundred mile trip out of the way trip to there and back again to NE Massachusetts. Maybe, it wasn't meant for me to go to Maine this year. The last time I went to Maine two years ago I was side-lined off the bike with a mild case of walking pneumonia for almost four weeks. Riding back to Georgia was really hard with a bad cough.

I'm also pretty fortunate that money isn't really an issue right now. I've got almost two hundred dollars left from several good "love offerings" from churches the past couple of weeks. A friend in Georgia surprised me yesterday by wiring me several hundred dollars. There is a church in Ohio that I had become really close to who have offered to send me money if I needed any more. This is the case with several other friends around the country.

I'll try and post another update in a day or two. This might be the time to start writing that book every body wants me to. Who knows?



Bicyclist in Sunset



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