Day 39: Oh Deer
(Yes, we are about a week behind blog posts. Yes, we will post three on the same day. Apologies for the sudden bursts of blogging.)
Farlington, KS --> Eureka, KS, 106 miles, 1257 ft Elevation Gain
Everyone I've told this story to has responded, "I didn't know that could happen to a bicyclist," or "Really? A deer?" Or my favorite "Nice, free venison." The bike mechanic at REI. The students at our workshop in Newton, KS. The pastor in Eureka.They were all in disbelief.
Well, it happened folks. Maybe for the first time in Spokes history (? need to check my sources on this one). A member of Spokes hit a deer. Or more accurately a deer hit a member of Spokes.
We were biking down simply the straightest road in existence. It was a pretty major state highway (Highway 54, for those familiar with the area), and we were riding in the protected shoulder. We were about 6 miles away from our destination on a century ride (100 miles). Life was good.
I was thinking about Dolly Parton at the time. Dolly is someone I've spent a lot of time thinking about on this trip. I was thinking about her at this specific moment because I've been re-listening to Dolly Parton's America, a short podcast series made by the people who make Radio Lab (love Jad). Dolly Parton is a genius. Like so talented. And incredible. I am a huge fan. I would highly recommend this podcast. And I will; Robert just finished listening, Mariela has listened to selected episodes.
So there I was, the sun blazing in my eyes, my brain tuned to a country icon, when all of a sudden, totally out of no where, my body slams into this deer. It jumped out of a sort of ditch on the roadside, and that combined with the sun in my eyes was enough that I did not even see the deer until we had crashed. Next thing I knew my bike was on the ground, I was on the ground, the deer was on the ground.
The deer got up. I got up. My bike did not get up. All in all my bike was fine, with just a few broken spokes. And all in all I was fine. No broken Spokes. I was very lucky to leave with only a scraped up cheek, bruised knee, and some shoulder pain. But I was in a lot of shock, so I went to the local hospital to get checked out there. Maxwell called up Sophia, Sophia came in an unfamiliar car driven by a member of the church we were staying with that night (thank you Tressie!), and Robert, Sophia, Tressie, and I all drove to the hospital.
The people at Greenwood County Community Hospital were very lovely. They took great care of me there; I would highly recommend getting a CT scan if you are in the area. Also they told me I was their most exciting patient (after I asked them if I was their most exciting patient). While I was sitting in the exam room, Robert turns to me and says "I have a present for you." I respond "Did you bring me a lock of fur from the deer?" He did. I still have it. There was a lot of deer fur in the road post crash. And also on my bicycle.
I got all bandaged up/showered at the hospital and then went back to the church! I was greeted by the rest of the team and a very nice pastor who was really into making deer related joke. "Some people use guns, you use a bike," he said. I stole that joke and passed it off as my own today.
Here is me at my most bandaged state in the church bathroom. The cheek bandaid is a bit dramatic. Picture a rug burn but on your face, that's what my cheek looks like.
I haven't been biking for the past few days. Day 1 after the crash, Franklin drove and I accompanied in the passenger's seat. We got me a new helmet at REI (bright blue) to replace my trusty green helmet that I purchased last summer in Portland, ME. When I bought this helmet, I was very shocked at how much helmets cost. But as Bontrager's WaveCel helmet's tag line reads "you only have one brain." Here is a little drawing I made in response for pay $100 to protect my brain.
I also bought new pants at REI. As a little treat for myself. I figured the deer would want me to have some new clothes. I bought these very cute grey pants that unzip at the knees. They are a Boys large, so they are a little tight on me. But, they were in the clearance section and I got them for $7.83. I owe it all to that deer.
I would like to leave you with one last thought about this whole experience. And that thought is a rendition of Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music. Please sing this for the full effect. Also please note the last line does not really work with the tune, but you'll have to forgive me I was hit by a deer.
Oh a Deer (sing to the tune of Do-Re-Mi)
Oh a Deer, a male deer
Jumped right in front of my bike
Me, Simone, I was quite scared
I fell so hard on to the ground
So, Maxwell called up Sophia
Then, Sophia came in a van
With a nice lady from church
Who took me to the ER !