Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Split Second in Slow Motion ~ Addendum


Life is full of split second decisions.  Some of those decisions are what keep you alive.  Cycling is a huge sport here in Wisconsin, and Brian's passion.  It is never unusual to see a single or a group of cyclists on any of the roads here.  Split seconds.  In the doctors office today as we were waiting to be seen there was a very loud clock; tick, tick, tick.  Jeez how annoying!  1/2 of one of those seconds can change your life.

I say goodbye and am off to the gym.  I exit with my normal casual "ride safe" to Brian and his riding mates.  A typical lunch-time ride.  He was feeling good, pulling today for his routine group of three.  Then;  is it a glimpse, the hairs on your arm that stand on end in a sudden need for self- preservation, or the simultaneous warning cry from a friend 2 seconds behind you?  Whatever it was it was a miracle.  That thing that made Brian, brake, force a skid crash and t-bone the car that ran the stop sign instead of end up in front of it.  

From his perspective he assessed the situation, knew it was going to hurt, but knew innately, he'd survive.  From those behind it wasn't as clear, seeing the crash about to happen, hear and watch it and then brace to stop and not become a part of it or crash themselves.  All in a split second.  

Then there's me, coming out of the gym and sitting in the car to check if I have any messages.  I see  a missed call from Shane and know that they're riding.  I call back.  "Brian got hit, the ambulance is taking him to S. Milwaukee, can you get there?"  My moment.  Now in slow motion.  I process.  Ask all of the pertinent questions.  Determine if the offending motorist fled or stayed (he stayed and was cited), then try to process how to get to the new hospital he was taken to.  

Long story short.  He is fine.  Battered, hurt knee, in great spirits.  Very concerned on the state of his bike.   We're all fine.  The worst didn't happen.  It just almost happened and we all had our split seconds in slow motion to process and remember.

NOTHING is worth a split second!  Getting to any destination, no matter what your hurry, is not worth someone else's split second.   Please watch and make sure that you do not become part of someone's split second.

Addendum:  Over the years B's cycling passion has only increased.  It is not unusual for him to ride over 5000 miles a year.  As a challenge to himself, he put a large goal in front of him and six months ago began training for a ten day, 1000 mile solo ride.  He decided to couple this challenge with a group that we often work with in our business; Northcentral Maltese Rescue, and turn the ride into a fundraiser for the organization.  The planning was well under way and donations and volunteers were already lining up.

On Good Friday (3/29/13) while on a training ride, he was hit by a USPS truck who failed to yield ride of way.  The driver, not completely attentive, began a left turn on a divided highway right on top of him.  This time, there was not the same split second.  There was no real reaction time.  The driver just pulled out. 

Now, the recovery is much more lengthy.  A badly broken right hand with a battered and bruised body, have led to challenges both at home and at work.  As heartbreaking as the injuries are, further heartbreak ensued last Friday when the Ride for Rescue which we had dubbed the event was officially cancelled.  We are so very thankful that he is alive.  A split second different and the outcome could have been dramatically different.

Once again I say NOTHING is worth a split second!  Getting to any destination, no matter what your hurry, is not worth someone else's split second.   Please watch and make sure that you do not become part of someone's split second.

If you are someone else's split second...as horrible as I imagine that is, your life goes on.  The other person's split second will bleed on for quite some time to come.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. That is the worst call to get. I am so glad he is okay. Makes you want to appreciate the "now"

    This seems to be an ongoing problem here in WI - too many deaths. We need to figure out a way to heighten awareness!

    Karri

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