|Newsletter - 2009 Archive|
Saturday dawned with spectacular July weather. The day promised to be sunny and warm. Perhaps too warm, as it was already "short and tee-shirt" weather by 6 AM.
Seven riders departed Mill Bay for a scenic Island tour on mainly back roads. Much of the early route was familiar to most riders as part of the 'Tour of the Cowichan Valley' 200 route. Idyllic riding continued until Chemainus, followed by fourteen kilometres of highway riding.
North of the Nanaimo Airport, the route left the highway and began the climb up into the hills west of Nanaimo. Near Gogo's lumber mill is where Philip Lennox's ride came to a sudden end.
Hidden in the shadows at the edge of the road was a deep pothole. Philip was enjoying the scenery and didn't notice the crater at the side of the road. He hit the hole, went over the handlebars and landed hard on his left shoulder. He didn't know it at the time, but he broke his collarbone. The injury wasn't immediately painful, by Philip "knew something wasn't right".
Fortunately, a few moments behind was Patrick Wright, who stopped for assistance. Patrick phoned me for advice. Feeling doubtful of my ability to offer medical advice over the phone, I suggested Patrick call 911 and get qualified assistance. The paramedics arrived at the scene and examined Philip. They decided a trip to Nanaimo Hospital was in order.
The ride to Nanaimo was slow, as the ambulance crew gingerly avoided the potholes in order to provide as smooth a ride as possible. Fortunately, the emergency room wasn't busy so Philip was examined relatively quickly. He bore the poking and prodding with an admirable stoicism. After x-rays, the broken collarbone was confirmed, and Philip was discharged into our care.
We drove Philip back to Mill Bay, where we met his wife. It was then we learned that this was the first day of Philip's annual holiday! We wish Philip a speedy recovery and hope this incident hasn't ruined his view of randonneuring forever.
The other riders had a much less dramatic day, although many found the heat oppressive. One rider in particular was observed babbling incoherently about the heat. Fortunately cold drinks and calories were all that was needed for a cure! Another rider lost his control card out of his unzipped rack bag. Fortunately it was spotted by a following rider and returned to its owner.
With sundown came cooler temperatures and revived legs. The riders arrived back in Mill Bay looking surprisingly fresh and justifiably pleased with themselves. All praised the quality of the route while acknowledging its challenges.
July 14, 2009