10 August 2011

Biking Manners

So today's post is not necessarily about anyone in my family, but one of my biking friends. Since I am training for my first Half Ironman distance triathlon (it's coming up in 2-1/2 weeks!) I have been having to swim, bike and run a lot lately... and since biking is my best sport, I seem to find time to do that one more than the others ;)

This morning, my 2 biking buddies (JB... no, not Justin Bieber, and RV... and no, he doesn't work at Camping World) left for our Wednesday ride to climb up and over SunCrest (a really challenging hill that for only 3 miles will kick your butt!). They are both training for LOTOJA (a 206-mile one day bike race from Logan, Utah, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming). Since I did it last year, and I have been their "consultant" helping them prepare. JB had an early morning meeting, so he just climbed to the top and turned back to get to work. RV and I rode up, taking some extra time to catch the scenery (code for "catch your breath"). RV is not a climber like JB, but he sure can downhill it... he has to wait for me at the bottom ;)

Getting to the top took a bit more out of RV than anticipated, so he really didn't want to go down the backside and then back up, so we altered the course by heading downhill and then turning to the west side of the valley towards Bluffdale and Herriman. We stopped to cross one of the busy highways at the light, and since it was 7:40am, traffic was starting to build. The light turned green and we started to cross, but the oncoming cars turning left apparently didn't see us as we were headed into the center of the intersection... can you tell what happened next?

I have a tendency to not be the first person in the group, so RV went forward and it all happened in slow motion... I could see the car turning right into RV and I know I started yelling at the driver of the car: "STOOOOOOPPPPP!" (say it realllllyyy slowwwwly in your head) But luckily for RV, he only hit the side of the car instead of the front hood. I really can't remember anything else except the next thing I knew, RV was in the middle of the intersection, lying on his back. His bike seemed OK, but he just lay there, saying, "Just give me a second... just give me a second". The driver (let's call him "Coach" since he was headed to a soccer tournament) had stopped after hitting RV and you could tell he was just beside himself. I have never felt so bad for 2 people at the same time because I have been in both those positions... neither a very fun place to be.

As chance would have it, another team rider was stopped across the intersection heading east as we were heading west (we were in the same team kits [jersey & shorts]). He ran over as fast as he could in his biking shoes (that's not easy!) and helped me move our bikes from the intersection and RV to the corner. The driver called 911 as the main dispatcher (who was on her way to work) stopped to help us out... She called the ambulance faster than Coach could on the 911 call! How fortunate could we have been????!!

Although this wasn't a funny situation, we all mused at how it could have been worse and grateful that it wasn't. RV called his wife to come pick him up, but apparently she was still in bed and had JB's wife come pick him up instead...Not sure if RV will give his wife any grief for that ;) RV ended up declining going in the ambulance because it seemed as though it was only a sprained wrist... but he went to the Dr. to just make sure.

After RV was picked up and Coach left with his citation in hand, I hopped back on my bike to finish the rest of the ride. I was a bit more aware of the traffic at that point. I can only say... that was the LONGEST 30 mile ride I've ever ridden! 

And RV: You are a true gentleman... I'm sure you had some choice words for Coach, but because I was there, you kept those to yourself. Or maybe, just maybe, you really are a gentleman :)

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