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Friday, November 17, 2006

The ride that wasn't

Wednesday morning a few of us planned to go for a group ride. I had to be back by 1:00 P.M. to spend some time with my little gal - and so it seemed safe enough, time-wise, to meet the boys for breakfast at 8:00 AM.

By the time everyone showed up for breakfast and ate, it was about 9:30. Then I had to go pick up my bike, and realized I'd left the key for it at home. So that delayed us another half hour. Ugh!

One of us (Daniel) had to drop his kids off at pre-school, so he was left behind (which turned out to be a good thing). The remaining three of us set out to visit a guy who is just starting a motorbike repair/race shop. He's a M/C race instructor at the Buttonwillow track, and also rents one-piece racing leathers. He's also community oriented - trying to get a group of sport-bikers to go with him on the upcomong all-Harley toys for tots ride. If I'm off work, I'm going!

Anyway, we pissed away another 30-45 minutes at his shop. Then I decided to get some fuel... and then we decided to go a different route as we were running short of time. Here's where it got weird:

As we were leaving town for the foothills, we passed a guy on a red bike on the side of the road. I thought he was waving 'hi', and waved back, and kept going. At the next stop, Victor asked if I'd seen the guy trying to wave us down. I said "No, I thought he was just waving. We'd better go back and see if he needs help."

We turned around, and by then he was on the road, going the other direction. Soon enough we caught him and signaled him to pull over. He pulled over and could barely stand up. He took off his helmet and said he'd been in a wreck and had been knocked unconscious. He was favoring his left arm and it looked like his shoulder was broken.

He couldn't remember where he'd crashed, where he was coming from, or where he was going... and he'd just been riding his bike back into heavy traffic! We called Daniel to bring his truck and a ramp. By the time Daniel showed up the guy was coherent enough to provide the phone numbers of some contacts. He got hold of both his kids and his employer. He refused an ambulance, so we loaded his bike and took him home.

And by that time the opportunity for a ride that day had been pretty much lost... but in many ways it seems like destiny that all our delays getting on the road led us to him when we were most needed.

Update: I called the guy who crashed and learned that while he has a torn rotator cuff and can't lift his arm, that nothing is broken. I hope things work out OK for him. Maybe when he heals, we'll do a group ride with him.

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