I'd ridden out the Cherry Creek path and around the Cherry Creek Reservoir or Lake or Park or whatever it's called. Nice ride. I was more than halfway back to central Denver. If I haven't told you, I was approaching the overpass at Quebec Street where it crosses the bike trail.
We'd had a powerful rainstorm a few days previously. The rain had washed rocks and gravel onto the streets and bike paths, and it had left patches of pretty deep sand on the low-lying paths, which run alongside creeks and the South Platte River. I've seen city employees scraping the paths now and then, but no one had scraped since the storm.
I hit the sand. I'd had a flat front tire and pumped up the new tube as well as I could with my mini pump. I have to say, dear reader, I regret depending on a mini pump. Maybe I got 50psi into my 100psi tire, surely not much more.
I don't know what made the bike go out of control. The soft, broad tire? The small diameter of my folding-bike's wheel? Some control input of my own? I'm not being coy; I've thought about it and thought about it, and I don't know why the hell I crashed.
I swerved toward the opposite, on-coming side of the path. I saw to my horror that on the shoulder, someone had cemented in place large decorative rocks, low near the path and more prominent further up the mild slope. I thought, oh lord, don't let me fall on those rocks.
But I did fall on the lowest tier of rocks. On my left side. I knew I was hurt but I didn't immediately have bigtime pain. I could see that my left middle finger was ugly dislocated or broken, and that my left leg was lying strangely, unnaturally in front of me.
I had a good right arm and hand. I found my cell phone in my center jersey pocket and called 9-1-1. While I spoke with the 9-1-1 operator, I realized that I did not know the name of the overpassing street. A pair of cyclists asked me if I needed help; I asked the guy to see if he could see a street sign at the other end of the overpass. It's Quebec, he yelled back, and that's what I told the operator.
Within three minutes, I saw a group of uniformed EMTs walking under Quebec Street down the bike path toward me. I want you to try to imagine how I felt, broken and sad and helpless there on the rocks, as I saw the guys coming - like the cavalry in the old westerns that saves the little frontier community. It's 12 days now, I guess, and I still feel the same sense of gratitude and warmth and relief.
More in the next post. I'm getting tired.