Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Bikes in the Desert


Pardon the long delay between posts; it’s a busy time. With travel to Arizona and the annual Men's and Women's Walk to Emmaus retreats, who has time to write?
I would like to relate my experiences with two cyclists I encountered during my last trip to Tucson. We had gone to Tucson to visit Kathy’s dad and to help out with the cancer issues that Kathy’s dad is working through. Sunday evening, we ended up at the Northwest Hospital emergency room as Vic had been running a high fever for two days. While we were waiting at the ER, another gentleman arrived for care. He was wearing bike shorts, jersey, cycling shoes. He was scraped up, had torn clothing, and it was obvious that he had crashed. When I asked him what had happened he simply replied: “I fell” Well, I gathered that! I told him that I too was a cyclist and understood what he was going through. Then the doors opened. He related to me that he had crashed his mountain bike a mere 100 yards from his car. He had lost concentration briefly, and that was all it took, over the handlebars he went. As he waited, he began to shiver and it was apparent that he was in a lot of pain. As the ER was understaffed, and didn’t have time to get the man a blanket, we went to our car and got him one of ours. Later in the evening, I met him as he rested comfortably in the ER bed. The report was a broken clavicle, and two or three broken ribs. A nice fella, a complete stranger that I had the honor of meeting.
The second cyclist had come into the ER to work. I helped him with the door as he horsed his touring bike down the hall. A large “cross” bike, built for the long haul with fenders and panniers on the front. As the evening passed, we figured out that the cyclist at the door was our ER nurse. 61 years young, he has become 99 percent car free. He rides his bike everywhere, work, errands, long tours; everywhere. On long tours he hauls a trailer, which balances the load of the panniers on the front. By the way, he named his bike: Lucille. She is bright yellow, with chrome fenders. A fine looking machine, well maintained as it his main mode of transportation.
I don’t have pictures from this evening at the ER. I usually leave my camera at home on these fun adventures. Instead, please enjoy a few pictures from Saguaro West National Park. I went sunset picture hunting the night before.
Two cyclists unexpectedly came into my life, briefly giving me a small piece of their world, and I am better for having met them.
By the way, Vic is better. The IV antibiotics did the trick.
Happy riding/skiing. The big snows are finally here!
Jim

6 comments:

Paul said...

Dad,

Great pics. Would you email me the jpgs?

Did your ER nurse like B.B. King by any chance?

Pete said...

Note to Jim:
Use tripod for sunset cactus photos

Patsy said...

Glad to hear that Vic is better.
More photos will be coming on my blog but it's way late to do that now...

Jim said...

I was using a tripod! What do you expect for 1.5 second exposure and 10 kts of wind!

Sigh, they are soooooo close to being great, but not quite.

jim

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