Lessons from an accident
Note: Originally written in March 2013.
All I remember now are 3 flashes. Flashes of time; of moments; of events that led onto my first biking crash. This happened last Sunday, a pleasant sunny day of March, as we set out on a 200km round trip to a nearby getaway town amidst a forest that had snaky and smooth B-roads leading upto it, with the chances of white water rafting in the adjacent river and lots of photography along the way thrown into the package. The chronology of those 3 flashes is as follows - One, I find myself cruising steadily into my friend's bike that had halted suddenly to avoid a crater in the road - Two, I crash into his bike with a jarring noise (that of glass, fibreglass and plastic being shattered) and a sudden jolt - Three, I find myself lying adjacent to the moonscape spec road, completely mindboggled and frantically looking out of the lid to assess the situation, right leg lodged firmly underneath my bike and the bike revving freely (and furiously, might I add) with both wheels in the air. Ironically, I had none of the trauma one is supposed to have at such an instant. Only I wanted to get up, get myself and my friend off the road (and thus, avoid further risk of being hit by a fast oncoming vehicle), check for injuries and slowly work our way onto a hospital.
Well only, given that I was sandwiched between the bike and the road, I could only do as much as yank my foot off from underneath the bike, check on myself and slowly get up as fellow riders from behind joined the chaos and slowly got to senses with the scene. The bikes got dragged to the side and my pal I crashed into was properly kitted out and turned out to be pretty okay. Only I had a ghastly wound to my right foot, just beneath the ankle where the skin got chaffed off and there were two proper thumb size gashes and blood spurting its way out of them in fountains. I had my lid on and a bulky sweater to act as a jacket, hence suffered no major wound on the arms save for minor scratches on the right palm and elbow. Yet, partly shaken as I were, I had the basic sense to lay still and shout out for help as another rider got hold of a first aid kit and worked his way onto bandaging my foot in whatever way was possible. One eerie moment I had was when a proper tube-full of blood started gushing out of a vein I cut just above the ankle. It burned like I was on a pier, and yet, physically and emotionally I was so numb and all I could helplessly do was laugh out loud in disbelief at the foolish accident I just created.
Next up was putting me on a bike and ferrying me to the closest hospital available. Funnily enough, we had a couple of pillions who couldn't ride a bike and the others had to wait till a fellow rider who was riding pillion on a bike that was much ahead of us got the news and turned around to come to the rescue. Add our location which was in the middle of a forest with no mobile connectivity and a second bike having its rear tyre tube riddled with punctures and the chaos was getting sweeter by the minute. Finally, securing some reliable info from a nearby forest guard-post we headed off tracing back the route we had come to find a rural government hospital. And yes, all this while I was bleeding profusely from my foot.
We approached the said hospital where formality had it that an emergency meant not a wound that needs to be attended in a whisker but a call that is to be made to the nearby Police Station for an FIR. Thankfully, the doctor checked me up meanwhile and sewed up the two gashes on my foot, injected all the mandatory shots and taped up my elbow and foot. I was good to go till I found a more reliable doctor uptown and got my wounds checked up alongside getting an X-ray and finding out if I'd broken any bone. Now, here the most hilarious bit ensued with a 'Thomson and Thomson' (read: The Adventures of Tintin) spec pair of constables took charge of the scene with their anxiety to file a report. It took me and my pal some considerable effort to convince them that it was purely my mistake and the only guy I could complain against was the guy who created that crater in the road.
That said, the following days saw me get a better bandage from a more trustworthy hospital, an X-ray that proved indeed that I had cracked no bones and write this blog while I spend a solitary week confined to the bed and a small hillock of pillows supporting my suspended leg. Now, objectively enough, I might as well avow that I had learned a few very crucial lessons out of this as far as biking is concerned. They follow hereunder -