Sunday, January 07, 2007

As I mentioned yesterday, some friends and I went mountain biking. We headed out to Thousand Oaks to the Cheseborough Trail. It was beautiful out and perfect weather for mountain biking - perfectly clear sky, cool but sunny. Here are some photos from the early part of our trip:

Those last couple of photos are us taking a breather on top of a large stone ridge. Right behind us, it drops off for a couple hundred feet.

We headed into the mountains and climbed for about 3 miles before we saw any downhill roads. The two guys, Keary and Alex, were ahead of Madeline and I by maybe a minute since we were taking the downhill a little more slowly. We heard Alex call something out over the radio but couldn't understand him. We thought he might be trying to tell us they had forked off the main path.

I was coming down the hill and turned the corner and saw ahead of me the two guys in the middle of the road, off their bikes, on the ground. I couldn't quite tell what was going on until I got closer and I realized that Keary had clearly taken a spill off his bike. There was a dirt mound for jumping right before I reached them, so I knew he had probably waffled after taking the jump. When I got there, Alex was leaning over him and Keary was unconscious, bleeding profusely from his mouth. Madeline showed up a moment later and tried to stay calm - Keary is her boyfriend.

He came to after a moment and thank God for Alex who stayed perfectly calm and went into action. I always kid Madeline and Keary about being over prepared, but luckily, they had a pretty decent first aid kid with them. Alex went about cleaning and dressing Keary's wounds. It looked like he had probably landed on his face. His lip was cut clean through and would need stitches. He'd also cut his cheek right below his eye and chipped two teeth.

Alex bandaged him up and we got him up and walking, but he was pretty wobbly on his feet. He could only go maybe 20 feet without sitting back down. He also couldn't remember what had happened. He'd say, "What happened?" and Alex would tell him, and five minutes later, he'd ask again. We were worried he might have a concussion. We were also trying to figure out how we were going to get back down the mountain with 4 bikes and someone who could barely walk. We were nearly 4 miles in.

Luckily, Madeline and I had stopped at the information booth on the way into the park and picked up maps. At the time, I had joked with the guy saying, "This is so we'll know where we're at when someone bites it and we have to call you to come get us." Little did I know. Thankfully, we had cell phone reception. Madeline called the emergency number, and LA County dispatched help. I thought it would be an hour before they could find us, but Park Rangers showed up maybe 15 minutes after we called. They started to check Keary out. In the meantime, everyone else showed up: fire, ambulance, police (I think). There were 4 vehicles in all. We were all very impressed by how quickly they showed up. There's your tax dollars at work!

In that last photo, you can sort of see the dirt jump in the foreground. It was hard to capture the size of it with a camera, but I can see how he lost control. The Forest Rangers work on him in the background.

They ended up taking him to the nearest hospital. Thankfully, the Forest Rangers took his bike, but we three were left to get back down the mountain on our own. It was an interesting ride. We were in a hurry to get down so we could get to the hospital, but trying not to kill ourselves in the process.

When we got to the ER, they were really busy. There was a line of people checking in and crying kids all over the place. We soon found Keary. His face was pretty busted up, but he would be OK. He ended up not having a concussion, but a plastic surgeon had to come down and put 30+ stitches into his lip. When he came out of there 4 hours later, he looked like he had been in the ring with Rocky. At least he has a decent story to tell about how he got the bruises!

The song for today is "Don't Pay The Ferryman" by Chris Deburgh. Don't ask why I've picked this song other than that I saw it on YouTube the other day and it reminded me of the early days of MTV. The song comes from his 1982 album The Getaway. Deburgh is mostly known for his 1986 ballad "Lady In Red," which I never liked because it is so unbearably cheesy, and I've always considered it the poor man's version of Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." "Ferryman" was equally as cheesy, but in a completely different way. Watch the video (even more cheesy) and judge for yourself:


Blogger LA said...

What an amazing story! Glad he went to the hospital. As a general rule, if you lose consciousness, you need to see a doctor.

I'm really impressed they got help to you so quickly. I used to live out that way. Did they take you to Los Robles Hospital?

11:41 AM  
Blogger EditThis said...

Exactly. Los Robles.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I know you wanted to add some excitement to your last weekend of freedom, but maybe not that much . . . glad it all turned out ok, and he can turn any scars into a cool story - much better than splitting your lip when you are bent over and your Lab drives her hard as a rock head into your mouth . . . oh wait, that was how I split MY lip (no stitches though)

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pix and great story! Keary's doing much better, by the way. Thanks for the comments, too! He actually still wants to go biking, if you can believe that!

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! Glad to hear you're friend's gonna be OK. If you hadn't had cell reception things might not have gone so well.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Atty Heather said...

So glad Kearey's ok; I think, though, I've been dethrowned now as the team's most-accident prone member. At least he has a good excuse, no stretching injury for that man. Plastic surgery, too -- He may not ever live that one down . . . Thanks for sharing, poor dude.:)

4:35 PM  

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