Ok, confession time.
It was a glorious day. The sun was shining, and I was riding my bike with 10,000 other cyclists on the fabulous Ride Round the Bay event. I’d chosen the 50km ride and was with my partner and a friend.
Honestly, I was in heaven. I have a fantasy that one day, my city of Melbourne will be the most bike-friendly city in the world. Better than Copenhagen. Much better than Amsterdam. As I rode up and over the Westgate Bridge, I had two lanes of cyclists alongside me. Imagine if that was how we did peak hour in our city. Chatting with fellow cyclists in the pure fresh air as we wended our way home.
We’d taken a rest break in Williamstown, and we were riding along the Esplanade, the sea of the Bay on our right, the cars sharing the road with us.
It happened in a flash. My partner and I got too close together, our handlebars tangled, and we both fell. He fell and hurt his knee, not too badly, fortunately. I flew through the air and landed on my hip and head.
If you don’t have an MIPS bike helmet, get one now. My helmet saved my life. But unfortunately, I broke my pelvis. As I write this, I am nearly three weeks into my recovery. It is long and slow but I’m getting there.
I can’t say there are any writing lessons for authors in this post, but there are some life lessons for me.
- I know not everyone has this experience but my care in the Australian healthcare system was brilliant and full of compassion at every level – from paramedics to nurses to receptionists to surgeons.
- All that matters in the world is love. The love and care of my daughter, my partner, my friends, my colleagues and my family.
- Our bodies are incredible. With the help of brilliant doctors, bones mend. Muscles reconnect. Strength returns.
I’ve never been so aware of how my existence is interconnected with the existence of so many other people. The people who invented the MIPS helmet. Those who made the helmet and made the jacket that reduced the gravel injuries. The police and medics who tended me. The wonderful support of the Bicycle Network who ran the event. The farmer that milked the cow for my breakfast coffee. The truckie or train driver who brought the milk to the shops.
It’s the second time I’ve come off my bike and sustained serious injuries. But I won’t stop riding (even though it’s going to take a lot of courage to get back on).
Riding my e-bike is the joy of my life. I started riding again over 15 years ago. I love it. I’ll be back riding around the Bay next year.