Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Billie Went Down, But . . . And, I Went Down, But . . .

Billie went down, but I was not with her.

Last week during one of those "Scattered Thunderstorms, Some Possibly Severe" that "pop" up from time to time here in St. Louis during the Summer, the wind blew Billie, my Symba, over. One of the maintenance guys called the Fileroom trying to contact me, but I was in the other Courthouse at the time. So, my boss and Walter went down and set Billie back upright. When I got back, I went down and found her mostly damage free. It's good to be taken care of. I really appreciate Mark and Walter for being Billie's guardian angels.

The only real damage to Billie was to one of the panniers. I must admit to having a love hate affair with these panniers. I got them as part of a special deal when I bought the bike. They had to be ordered. When I first saw them they seemed very flimsy. Later, when they were installed the service techs said they couldn't hook up the lights in the panniers. This meant the original tail lights could only be seen by the person directly behind me. I didn't like this and eventually got them to install another set of lights in addition to the regular lights at my expense. These lights quit working after a month or two. Not a pleasant customer service or product quality experience.

I mentioned how flimsy these panniers seemed, yes? Well, they were plastic and the lids rubbed together. It was hard plastic on hard plastic. They were noisy and there was a trail of plastic dust on the panniers from the lid and the bottom of the panniers grinding away on each other. I lined both the lid and base with electrical tape and it stopped the rattling. Another annoyance was the need to remove the top box to open the panniers. Needless to say I didn't use them for storage very much.

Ah, but when Mike took over the service department at Maplewood Scooter my relationship to the panniers was transformed. He said it would be no problem to wire up the lights. And, when I finally got a chance to see how cool they were, well, all the pannier's past sins and shortcomings were forgiven, but not forgotten.



I will miss the lights, but we'll come up with something. And, I will miss the place to put stickers, but other than that: Good riddance! 

And, I went down, but Billie wasn't with me.

Last Monday evening I was inline skating on Grant's Trail. The previous Saturday I'd done a nice long slow skate of twenty miles (32.1km) and was doing intervals -- nearly full out sprints followed by recovery time. One cyclist had clocked me on one of my sprints as doing 18mph (29km/h).

As I approached where the trail crosses Union Road I had sprinting on my mind. I was due to begin one shortly after crossing Union. When I saw in the distance the clock on the crossing sign showed eight seconds. I figured if I began my sprint it would be tight but I could complete the crossing before the light changed . . . and I could have. What I hadn't allowed for was the car preparing to run a red light. We suspect he was going 35 to 40mph when he hit me. I remember impact and remember as much as is possible in such instances of what happened during the impact. I pretty well trashed his windshield. The first responders think my head hit there. I'm not so sure, but I know I was thrown ten or fifteen feet down the road after impact. I'm sure my head hit the pavement.

Importantly, given my head injury past, I was lucid all the time. There was no unconscious time. The helmet did its job. So, after an ambulance ride to St. Anthony's Hospital. I got to spend the evening meeting X-Ray and CAT scan technicians. I had an EKG. Everything checked out. I spent a couple of additional hours trying to give a urine specimen to rule out bleeding from the kidneys. That took forever, but I was finally successful and was released.

Yesterday, I was sore, but not as sore as I expected. I have had days after an American Rules Football game where I felt worse. I've felt no need to take any pain medication.

Today, I'm even less sore overall, but it is becoming clear to me where the points of contact were. I'm getting out and about. I drove over to have breakfast with Heather before she left for work. She took yesterday off to make sure I behaved myself. I, also, went by the the eyeglasses place to begin the process of replacing my glasses. The glasses didn't break and the vision technician said I did a good job of straightening them out, but the lenses are scratched pretty badly. Oh well, it was time for new glasses anyway.

My face is swelled up on one side where the glasses seem to have been jammed into my face, but it looks like I will avoid having a black eye. I still suspect the whole of my left leg will eventually blossom into one gigantic bruise. My right elbow has a scape on it. One small area of concern is some vertigo I'm experiencing, but that seems to be lessening. I took at least one major blow to the right side of the head and suspect this may be balance related and not concussion since it only happens when I bend over to get something or rollover in bed. In bed if I keep my head elevated as I roll no dizziness.

Tomorrow? I may actually go back to work. It is hard to believe I was hit by a car just two days ago.

The ER Physician, Dr. Vincent, saw some pictures one of the EMT's had taken of the car and of the scene of the accident. He was amazed I walked away from it. I was lucky. And, Dr. Vincent also pointed out being in really good physical condition certainly helped. Needless to say, wearing protective gear helped perhaps most of all. In addition to the helmet I was wearing knee and wrist guards.

Heather took these photos of my helmet . It has a major owie. Time for a new helmet.
Oh well, add being hit by a car whilst inline skating to my resume.


  1. OMG Keith!! My mouth dropped open more and more the further I read!! I'm so happy that you are OK. OK as can be, you can finish the sentence. That is some serious stuff given your previous injuries.

    I am hoping that the driver was completely cited with everything they could throw at him.

    Is it too early for jesting? Will laughing hurt anything? :)

    Heal well. Relax. Rest. ATGATT...doesn't seem to matter the sport.


  2. Was the driver cited at all? I'm glad you are all right thanks partly from your safety gear but a 40 mph collision!

    Hope you heal quickly!

  3. Lori,
    Bring on the jesting. It doesn't hurt to laugh.

    About the other driver. He and his wife were among the first to get to me. He appeared shaken and was at least at that time owning up to his mistake. This evening I'm hoping to talk to the Officer who responded to the accident and have him send me a copy of the accident report.

    Protective gear no matter the sport is soooo important. You just never know when the unexpected is going to happen.

    Speaking of unexpected, it appears I'm going to have a long weekend. It seems the powers that be at work need a release stating I can come back to work and the earliest I can see my Doc is Friday morning. So, it appears the earliest I can go back to work is Monday. Oh well, I guess this is what I've accumulated all those sick days for.

    Thanks for your concern, well wishes, and for taking the time to read and comment.

  4. Richard,
    I feeling very lucky. I'm a tuff old coot, but I'm feeling like this cat definitely has one less life.

    I don't know about the whether the driver was cited or not and for what. As I mentioned to Lori, I'll know more after I speak with the St. Louis County Police Officer tonight. Technically, I was a pedestrian. Sadly, I must say the law frowns much more on a pedestrian going down than it sometimes seem to care on a motorcyclist going down. Oh well, stay tuned.

    Thanks for stopping by. Stay cool in PA. It's going be hot there. Be careful.

  5. Keith - I am so sorry to hear that you were hurt! Good though you had your gear on. ATGATT even for sports is the rule in our house. Just think how much worse it could have been if you didn't have your gear. Your guardian angel was looking out for you. Glad Billie is okay after his spill too. Stay safe and heal quickly!

  6. Wow! Glad to here that you were not injured worse. When cars and people collide it often ends much worse.

    To bad about Billie, the tip-over is always on my when I can't see my bike. I'm sure you will find a new place for sticker ;)

  7. Keith! I'm so glad you're okay!! The helmet looks terrible. I'm sorry for Billy too :)
    But really, take care of yourself, heal up well.

  8. Keith, I am sure glad nobody was seriously hurt. That helmet looks a bit damaged though. Wow!
    It is good to know that you are tougher than a car. Wow again! And 18mph on skates? Wow a 3rd time!
    You're an animal!

  9. Oh my, I am glad you got away with only minor injuries. Good for you, that you also wear ATGATT on your other outdoor activities. Heal fast, and be better soon.
    Poor Billie, too. Great that somebody was looking out for her, while you were not around.

  10. Art,
    Yeah, it is a pretty uneven match between car and a "people". I'm feeling very lucky.

    Billie, has stayed upright in lots of windy conditions, but the patterns can swirl around downtown. And, she's pretty light. I usually go check on her after the storm passes, but sometimes one just can't.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Dar:
    I'm almost having trouble grasping I was hit by a car. I feel very good and other than having a "cankle" on my left leg and some stiffness when I first get up, I'm good to go. It is amazing and I'm grateful.

  12. Kari,
    I try to take care. Both stories could have been worse. Happy endings are good.

  13. Jim,
    Me Animal! LOL

    Actually, Animal was one of my nicknames once upon a time and a long, long time ago.

    I finally spoke with the Officer who responded to the call. He didn't cite the driver. I'm baffled by that one. I'm most interested to read the accident report.

    As unbelievable as it seems, I'm actually hoping to get in a skate this weekend.

    Thanks for stopping by. Us real survivors need stick together. I guess it wasn't time for either of us to be voted off the island.

  14. Sonja,
    I'm one of the few inline skaters that wear a helmet let alone gear. I just don't get it. Talk about poor risk management. Oh well.

    I'm bruised and a little stiff, but I think I fared better than you did with the timber incident. I'm still amazed you kept the bike up.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Glad to hear you are ok. I'm a fellow Symba rider.. love the little beast. Your blog is one I drop in on from time to time.

  16. pseckler13,
    Yay! Another Symba rider. I, too, love the little beast.

    Thanks for your well wishes. I glad you find reason to visit my blog from time to time.

    Ride on!

  17. Wow. I am sure happy you are okay. After being hit by a car at that speed you came out of it pretty well. And healed quick too.

    Please tell me the car operator got a hefty fine/ticket and at least one person beat them with a stick.

    I am glad you were not hurt worse and are feeling better already.

  18. Trobairitz,
    I've come to learn that here if the Officer doesn't actually see the accident there seldom if ever is a citation given. Oh well, I did receive a letter from the drivers insurance company in regard to my claim, so I guess things are progressing.

    I continue to be amazed at how well I'm doing. Now, if this heat would break so that we can hike or land paddle all would be well :)

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  19. Keith, you are one tough hombre. I'm glad you're OK. Hope you didn't feel too sore after your unexpected hood surf.

  20. Stacy,
    All things considered not too sore. Even though I know how really lucky I am to have walked away, I'm getting frustrated with being a little gimpy. My left leg swells up as the day goes on. But, I'm back to work. Now, to get the insurance stuff hammered out with the guys insurance. It's AAA and I'm hopeful all will go well.

    I was glad to see you survived your adventure and your "Little John/Robin Hood" moment on the trail. I'm lucky. You my friend are the tough one.

    Thanks for stopping by.