Sometimes things just don’t go the way you planned. This was one of those days. We got up and placed our bikes in the car and headed to Stone Ridge NY. We love to do the O & W Rail Trail with the bikes here and have done 60 miles before. Our goal was to do at least 70 miles but alas, it did not happen. My knees would have probably buckled up at mile 30 anyway but it would have been great to achieve. Why did our mission fail? One of us fell down hard. So if you’re wondering what happened we will explain and talk about what to do in emergency situations.
Slippery Gravel and Bicycles
When we start our ride in Stone Ridge NY we do it from the newly expanded parking lot at the Rest Plaus O&W Rail Trail. Before they extended the parking area, you would be able to park just a few cars. Others would park on the side of the road. I’m assuming someone complained or it wasn’t safe so they extended the parking area.
Anyway, the trail starts off on grass, leads to the woods, and out to the gravel trail. Some parts of the trail has a lot of tree roots. I’m always worried about them and just waiting to fall over one of these days. I’ve gained a lot of confidence over the years as I ride but I still second guess myself. Today, this was a good thing as I like to use my bicycle breaks going downhills. In Accord, there is a spot where the trail bridge used to be that goes down steep and comes back up. The gravel at the end of the trail is loose and with the morning fog and humidity, it was slippery.
So, what happened? All I know is that as I’m holding my breaks my hubby zooms by me on my left. Not even a second later he goes down right before my eyes. He tried to make the turn a little too late after leaning into the wrong side first. After falling and sliding over the gravel, he shook himself off and got up. I pushed his heavier bike up the hill while he pushed mine. Thankfully, there is a bench right after the little adventure, which is where we took our long break.
To bike or not to bike, that is the question
At first, I thought that everything was okay until he sat down. It finally hit him what happened and his body had some time to process everything. In a few minutes he went from sitting upright to leaning over, moaning and dropping to the floor. A lot of things went through my head such as; what do I do? Whom do I call? How will I get him back to the car? Thankfully, after a few minutes of cooling off and throwing up twice, he was able to get up again. I sprayed him with IcyHot to help numb the pain and we slowly rode back.
As his body warmed up more he decided that he could still ride. We ended up going back to the same spot where he fell, headed out a little more to the pond and back to our car. All in all we still ended up with over 20 miles of bike riding. While this was not as bad of an emergency as it could have been, it still make me aware of how unprepared we were.
We always carry band aids and portable packets of first aid creams. This time, of course, the bag was nowhere to be found. While I had IcyHot, I did not have anything to clean and disinfect the scrapes. I used an extra shirt and our water instead. While tending to him I was thinking the whole time about what other people do in emergency situations. Are they prepared? What do they bring?
We have plenty of band aids, Tylenol and first aid creams. Last year, I took a large bag with all the items and put them in a ziplock bag. We put the bag in the black biking backpack and took us with us every time. Apparently, I must have took out the bag sometime ago and forgot to put it back in. It sure would have came in handy. So from now on, the backpack is going to be restocked with first aid supplies. Some items I recommend include:
- First aid cream
- Disinfecting wipes or wet wipes
Recently, we’ve been worried about rattle snakes and want to get a snake bike kit. Another item that’s on my list are snake gaiters. Then bushwhacking will be a breeze or at least less scarier.
Going back to what to do in emergency situations, the main thing is to stay calm. When you’re calm you can think clearly and rationally. Panicking in emergency situations can cause you to not think straight and do you more harm. Another thing to consider is your emergency contact. Who do you want to come and get you or be responsible for you in an emergency? I am glad that we always go together hiking and biking and have each other in case of an emergency. Now we have to sit and think of who and what to do in case we both needed help.
Next time, before you go hiking or biking, make sure that you have a first aid kit or some basics. Another thing to know is who you’re going to call in case or an emergency?