Monday, September 5, 2011

Battle of Wounded Knee

There is a long bike lane on Venice Blvd. I don't know how far east it goes from La Cienega Blvd., but it goes about 8 miles west right up onto the beach bike path.

Often I play leap frog with the buses because quite frankly, they can be very slow with their frequent stops... and sometimes they stop for a long time with no activity. Now, this wouldn't be a problem if they weren't taking up the entire width of the bike lane, which was what happened today near Venice and Overland. The traffic was too heavy to pass the bus, so I thought I'd just pop up onto the sidewalk and go around it safely that way. There was a sidewalk driveway at the back end of the bus, and there was a car trying to exit, but I thought I could thread the needle between them and pop up onto the sidewalk via the driveway. However, my front tire did not hit the 2" curb at enough of an angle to make the jump and instead skidded and tossed me down onto the sidewalk. I went down hard on my right knee and my hands. My hands were protected with gloves and at least I was wearing long pants, but I was in immediate, extreme pain, so much so that I couldn't get up for a couple of minutes. A girl at the bus stop came to my aid and was willing to call 911 if I absolutely couldn't get up, but finally I struggled up, but now I didn't quite know what to do. I had been on a ride to the beach, but with about 5 more miles to get there and then 12 miles to get home, completing the ride was out of the question. I was questioning if I could even turn around and ride home... about 7 miles.

Since I was within a few blocks of a friend's house, I thought I'd ride over and see if she could take me home. She has a huge van that could easily hold the bike. So I painfully rode over, barely able to pedal with my right leg. However, no one was home. Now I'd ridden even further away from home, and I thought I would call my next door neighbor who has a SUV. Called her, and she had just sprained her ankle and was icing it... so she suggested another neighbor. Now by this time, the shock was setting in a bit, and I started to cry - because I really was hurt. Not hurt enough to need an ambulance, but perhaps too hurt to continue, and when I called my neighbor, she agreed to come and get me. But I had to get back to Venice Blvd, and by the time I rode a couple more blocks, I had calmed down and told her not to come, that I could get home if I just went slowly. I was still wanting to cry the entire way home, but I kept it mostly in check, and then when I was about 2.5 miles away, the neighbor with the sprained ankle called and asked where I was because she was driving around looking for me. We got my bike into her SUV and she drove me home.

I have been icing my knee for a while. As you can see from the pictures, there is a big gouge of wound that is mostly a big scrape, but all around it is bruising. Pretty much everything you see in the pic hurts. There's a lot of fluid in there now and it's much darker now than that picture. It's a bit like painful mush. I guess I'll be sleeping on my back tonight. Ugh.

Of course, I'm also waiting to see what other injuries, like pulled muscles, occurred because of the fall. I'll know tomorrow when they start hurting.

And if the knee feels okay tomorrow except for bruising and soreness, I may ride the bike. Why? To help pump that extra fluid around the knee out of there. I wouldn't do this, btw, if I had a smashed kneecap or torn meniscus. I've been icing, taking ibuprofen and also Ambrotose, and I expect a fast recovery. I knew I would have a fall one day. Just glad it wasn't any worse than this.

The bike suffered no damage, not even a scratch.

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