…… I rode on panting wildly due to a combination of exhaustion, thirst, and difficult terrain. What I wouldn’t give for a nice cold glass of water and a sandwich.
After another hour or so the road started to smooth out a bit and I picked up the pace.
While humming along in 4th gear my front end suddenly took a bad bounce off a rock and I rocketed towards the shoulder. My front end collided with a large rock – the bike immediately flipped and I was catapulted over the bars, violently tumbling end over end into the rocks along the edge of the road. It all happened in slow motion. Everything went black for a moment, then my vision came back blurred, just in time to feel the bike land on top of me.
My immediate thought was that I might die right here right now.
The wind had been knocked out of me and as I gasped for air I could already feel blood running down the inside of my jacket. My entire body was in extreme pain and crumpled up in the rocks squashed beneath the bike.
A quick mental scan showed my left knee, right arm, and ribs to be throbbing in pain and my thoughts immediately turned to a broken knee cap.
I inched my way from under the bike in a daze. I extended my arms and legs and was almost joyous when they did not appear to be broken. After a few gasps I slowly got on my feet, but I was still quite dizzy and had to catch myself from falling a couple times.
Once my mind cleared up a bit and broken bones didn’t seem likely I immediately turned to the bike to see it upside down with gas draining out. I knew I had to stop the gas leak so I flipped the bike over as fast as I could, lifted it up onto the wheels, threw down the kickstand then promptly collapsed in pain nearby.
There were broken shards of metal on the ground, but I had no interest in them yet.
While laying down I could already feel my knee swelling like a softball, and the blood showing through my pants and jersey in a variety of locations was worrisome.
The prospect of having to ride out of here hadn’t yet crossed my mind…..