Friday, February 23, 2024

Adventures in Cycling

I took a ride down through the river valley yesterday and when I crossed the river at I35W, pedaled back along the little dead-end spur.  It's a super quiet ride with generally very few people and a lot of nature, particularly eagles.  However, as I was headed in, about a block or so from the west entry [I made a map.  Google doesn't seem to know where the paved entrance is as it's north of that loop], I passed an old guy with his dog slowly walking on the side of the trail.  I looked back about 100-200 feet later, and watched him suddenly topple over.  It looked like he had slipped in some mud rather than a heart attack or stroke.  His dog moved in to snuffle him worriedly.

He wasn't getting up, although he was moving, so I flipped around quick and pedaled back to see if  he was ok.  The first thing I noticed was drops of blood all over.  I thought he'd broken his noise.  But then he wasn't standing up, and I started looking for a bone poking out of him somewhere.  He was talking, but couldn't stand, and noted it was his age, not that he'd broken anything.  While he was talking to me, I could see that he'd broken his glasses and the frame had poked through the side of his head.  Hence, blood.  But only a small puncture, nothing into the eye or embedded.

Two teenagers were running past and I asked them to come help.  First, so that I could avoid the blood.  I have to give up my Memorial donation for a while if I admit to contact with blood.  And second, because having had to lift my friend Dan out of a snowbank after he fell, when he was frail from alcoholism, I worried about actually hurting the guy trying to lift him up and not knowing if I was pulling too hard in any one place.  They came over and we all three grabbed a spot, lifted evenly, got him to his feet, and held him there while he settled onto his legs and then moved around a bit.

We spent the next several minutes chatting with him [and his dog].  Getting him to tell us where his car was - he could see the edge through the trees where it was parked - and that he was fine to drive, that he'd scrub, scrub, scrub when he got home, that he'd have someone check on him and take a look at where he'd been bleeding.  He was making perfect sense, totally coherent, so we were pretty sure he was ok and could even see where he was going despite the issue with the glasses.

I wish I had grabbed some contact info so I could check in on him, although he seemed spry enough once he was back on his feet.  He was sporting an Elk River American Legion jacket, so he probably even knew the parents of some of the folks I know from Elk River.  Glad I was there to give him a hand. Hope someone is there for me when I'm that old and falling over.  It's not that far away.  And a big thanks to those two teenagers who interrupted their run to help.

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