That dog is the first thing that comes into my head when I try to recall the crash. A black Border Collie maybe? Frisky. FAST.
I can see it racing along the footpath towards me, looking back over it’s shoulder, almost past me and then suddenly arcing left, straight out onto the road, straight in front of me.
Both brakes, hard, FULL. I lean right, away from it. Is there a lockup? Rear? Front? I’m not sure. It happens too suddenly. My wheel hits HARD, black fur, just behind the ribs.
I’m lying on the road. The tube from my CamelBak is in my mouth. My sunglasses are lying up the road several metres in front of me. Someone is walking towards me and picks them up.
My leg is sore.
An older lady has pulled over on the other side of the road. “I almost hit you”. She’s shouting at the owners “Bloody dog! Control you bloody dog!” over and over.
I look at my elbows. Ripped. Bloody. Fingers? All there. Knees? Ankles? Not too bad. I’m in autopilot but I can sense a feeling of relief.
“Are you alright, buddy?” “Sorry about the dog, man”. The owner approaches. I can’t see the dog anywhere.
I look back at my bike. The front light is still flashing. I pick up the flashing red rearlight that is lying beside it and roll the bike to the sidewalk.
“You alright mate?” “Man, you hands are shaking” I look at them and he’s right, those hands are shaking! “Yeah, no surprise I guess, I’m OK”.
At some point the lady in the car stops yelling and drives away.
Shit, it’s a nice day today. Great day for the beach. It’s 8am. I feel like I’ve just woken up to a beautiful day.
There’s blood on the handlebars. That’s strange. Quite fresh, quite red. I quickly take my helmet off. Phew! No blood, no damage. I check my hands more closely. Ahh. Eww. There is a large hole in my thumb. That’s not good. I turn to the guy – “How’s the dog?” “It’s fine. Sorry man.” “Shit happens. You got any plasters?”
So that’s how my final attempt at a 200km ride was thwarted.
I was 75km in and 25km from home. I considered making the call, but a tonne was on offer if I could get the bike rideable. With the front wheel buckled and the bars bent it was a cautious, steady but occasionally aggressive ride back home.
My wife still has a husband. My four kids still have a dad.
Shit happens. I’m alive.