Local Bicyclist Bounces Back After Injury
By Neil Myers
Last August I posted on edhat to say I was the biker in the bike-versus-truck accident on Gibraltar. I posted it from the hospital on day 3 and never checked back. With all the drugs they had me on I have forgotten most of the first two weeks after the accident. I came across the post by accident and read through the 47 comments wishing me well. I thought it would be good to share how my recovery has gone.
Last Saturday was six months and the short answer is I have made it all the way back. It has taken lots of treatment, rehab and exercise, but I am walking, biking, swimming, running and working out again in the gym. I have no permanent effects except for a lot of difficulty remembering names. I remember people just fine, but that part of my cortex that associates names with people just doesn’t work very well. It might recover, but if not … I can get by.
I have started riding back up Gibraltar again. It is 100 percent clear that I was riding too fast that day (and all the previous days). I used to descend at an average speed of 30 mph. I now descend at 12mph. I used to think that as long as I stayed in my lane I was safe, but that isn’t true. I now ride at a speed that allows me to stop if the unexpected is around a blind turn. “Never show up somewhere your brain didn’t show up 2 minutes earlier”.
I said before I had almost no permanent effect, but that’s not really accurate. The biggest permanent effect is GRATITUDE. Thanks to the first responders I went from hitting the windshield to Cottage ER in 30 minutes. That saved my life. Since then more 300 people (mostly from Cottage, but elsewhere as well) have worked to get me back. My health insurance (United Healthcare) paid for virtually all of the costs (nearly $500,000). There is a great video on the Cottage Facebook page that gives you a sense for how much help I got. I have no illusions … I am a very lucky man.
I also want to share how grateful I am for the support I got that day I posted on Edhat. True, I forgot and didn’t check back until now, but it was still as powerful to hear. It brought me to tears.
I know that not everyone would ride Gibraltar again. I thought long and hard about it. But riding was what made me strong enough to survive the original accident. It is my sport and my Zen. I will work to make it safer. I needed a new bike (mine was in three pieces), so I bought the BRIGHTEST bike I could find. I also added a Garmin Radar … a device that alerts me to cars coming up from behind. AND … disc brakes. I’m not repeating this accident!
Above is a shot they took for the Cottage video. I am back, healthy, happy and grateful.
- August 4, 2018: Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar