Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bicycle Diaries the 3rd - Blood Beats Heat

OK, I’m physically and mentally exhausted.

Why? On the physical part because I co-lead the 45-mile ride on Saturday that went up to San Gabriel Mountain, of which about 15 miles of incline and climb.

While for the mentally part, one of our riders went down at the down hill and he was airlifted to the county hospital trauma center. The good news is he’s in stable condition now.

It was the beginning of the record breaking heat weekend. We started at Stan’s Bike Store in Monrovia, it was around 66’F. By the time we get to climb the mountain, the temperature went up to the 90s! We were toasted under the no shade mountain road.

There were many cyclists out there during the weekend, most of them belong to different cycling clubs or training groups. We were also joined by some motorcyclists who speed up the hill and left us plenty of polluted gas.

After catching our breathes on top of the mountain, we took off for the 10-mile down hill. While Eric and I were in the front, Fiona and Richard followed behind. We came across fire truck and ambulance right before we hit the bottom of the hill, something must have gone wrong.

We waited and waited, still no sign of Fiona and Richard. We started to hope that the ambulance was not for them. Eric’s phone rang and it was Fiona calling, “Richard went down.” We learn that he fell on his forehead but didn’t get more details. Richard was later airlifted to county hospital near downtown. We transported his bike back to Stan’s and waited for the police to contact his family. We’re still trying to find out how and why did he fell.

I went to the hospital in the evening hoping to see him. However, due to several hospital procedures I wasn’t able to do so. I left him a note with best wishes and pray for his speedy recovery. We were glad to learn that he’s in stable condition now. Richard did 11th AIDS Rides. He’s totally an inspiration to all.

Oh yea, while I was waiting at the emergency room, there was a lady accompanying her son to visit his girlfriend. According to her, the 15-year-old girl was hit by car while riding with her dad in the neighborhood. She was airlifted from Chino. I believed she’s doing OK with some broken bones.

That’s right, there’s always a risk when we ride on the road. I hope we all will ride safe, drive safe on the road, for the safety of our own and those we love.

No comments: