A few moments before the crash, I called my friend Mike and told him we needed to take personal days on Tuesday to ride in the 70-degree spring heat.
A few moments later, I considered stopping so I could call Coach Crusty to tell him that while he was making my legs very, very tired, I was feeling strong. I wanted to tell him that if the progress went like this for the season, I'd be a force by September.
And just a few moments later, I was lying on the ground in a fetal position, my left deformed. For some reason, tried to push the bone back into it's proper position. That didn't go too well, though, just more pain added to the more pain.
I had been riding northbound on Loomis Road in Wind Lake. I set out Saturday afternoon to ride until brain-dead enough to get lost, then find my way home. I managed to ride to Waterford, called Mike, then headed home on Loomis.
I had my thoughts about how ridiculously good I was starting to feel. Crusty was keeping me tired, but I could just feel strength in my legs that I had never felt before. And this was in March!
At the top of a small hill, a truck in the southbound lane stopped, or so it seemed, to wait to turn left. I remember a car behind it, maybe. Down the hill I flew. The truck pulled out a few inches, starting his turn.
But he stopped. The truck was now very much in my awareness pattern. Hands on my brakes, slowing, making decisions about what he might do.
Since he stopped, I assumed he had seen me. After all, I WAS THE ONLY PERSON/VEHICLE IN THE ROAD, and I WORE RED, ORANGE, AND YELLOW.
I continued on, and as I reached him, he accelerated. I tried to sprint away, but I think he panicked when he actually "saw" me, hitting the gas instead of the brake.
While on the ground, people started to gather. He hit me near the corner of Loomis and Fries Road, right at the gas station and just past the gymnastics place.
The poor man who reached me first had to crouch while I grabbed his arm or ankle in unbelievable pain. At that point, I wanted only to pass out or even die. I knew I was seriously hurt.
The driver, 21, walked around dazed, upset. Once the Wind Lake Fire Department arrived, their EMTs took over. Funny detail: at one point I told a woman I thought I was Edward Cullen, trying to protect my bike from the car.
It didn't work.
A kind woman Edie called some people for me. I tried calling Marzion at some point, but I don't remember.
In the haze of pain, the WLFD and Racine County deputies were very impressive, kind, compassionate. I can't ever thank you enough. I know it's your job, but there's a difference between going through the motions and excellence.
During the ambulance ride, one of the EMTs named Debbie had the unfortunate job of sitting next to me. She must have some serious bruising on her thighs from me grabbing them. I hope her husband understands! The WL crew in the ambulance was excellent trying to keep the mood light with a screaming/sobbing man in their midst.
At Froedert, there was none of the typical waiting for hours in an ER. They wheeled me directly into surgery. But some well-meaning, although too overanxious, doc started bending my knee straight WITHOUT KNOCKING ME OUT FIRST! No, I don't know what he was thinking either. Most of the Froedert neighborhood was calling police to report a screaming man! "YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO STOP!" "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?". Not sure what else came out of my mouth, but my sister and a friend clearly heard me in the waiting area.
The next day I found myself in this hospital room, home for a week, a place with little rest, many interruptions, some funny nurses, one potentially nurse, doctors who don't talk to each other, residents who are way too tired, a temporary home that I am seriously ready to leave.