So, sometime next Spring, he is wanting to be driven out to Oregon, where he will start bicycling East. I forget how long he expects it to take, somewhat less than three months?
To that goal, Daniel the Prepper is starting to train for long bike rides. Sam would LIKE to take the trip with Daniel, but has this thing known as a "career" he is already working on. He is, however, perfectly willing to go on these training rides with Daniel.
Saturday, April 2nd, the boys went to check out the Dogwood Junction Bike Shop in Siloam Springs. Sam bought a brand new bike helmet, which fit his head better than his previous helmet.
Sunday, the boys set out on a 50-ish mile ride... To Siloam for lunch, then back to Gravette. They had originally said they would ride down on Highway 59, and come back on 43 to 72 into Gravette.
Mr. C and I had gone to drop off a couple of items to a friend of mine, then we were going hiking. We decided to check out the Eagle Watch Nature Trail in Gentry. I had never walked the trail before, it is a nice little walk, with some amazing photography opportunities for those who do shoots in natural surroundings. After our walk, We decided that we would also take 43 to 72 back to Gravette, hoping to see the boys. We were within sight of the house on the way home, when we got a call from Sam. He asked us to stop whatever we were doing and please come straight home. We pulled into the driveway about then...
Both boys were bloody messes. Sam was in far worse shape than Daniel. They had been in a fairly serious bike wreck. After their lunch, they had decided to return the same route they had gone down on- Highway 59. Less than 5 miles from home, as they were traveling downhill along the highway at a pretty fast speed, a guy in a Suburban pulled out directly in front of them. He had been watching for cars, not bicyclists. Sam was a few paces ahead of Daniel, and had almost no time to react. The choices were slamming into the side of an SUV, or braking and trying to swerve. Sam braked hard. He somersaulted head over handlebars onto the highway, landing head first on his brand new helmet. He slid and rolled down the pavement, leaving behind a layer of skin and biking jersey. Dan landed sideways on his palms and ankles, which are bloody messes as well.
The Suburban driver stopped to render aid, as did another driver who had witnessed the accident. The boys and their bikes were loaded into the SUV and driven home by the shaken driver.
We checked Sam over, concerned about internal bleeding, broken bones, and concussion. He was ambulant and alert. His pupils equal and reactive. Most of his injuries were superficial, though quite painful. (Having ones skin forcibly rubbed off on rocks is never pleasant!)
We began treating the injuries, getting gravel cleaned out of the deeper gouges, and peroxide poured over everything. Dan and I made a quick run up to the Dollar store for more gauze and larger Bandaids (TM). (Sam prefers the name brand, and if it isn't Bandaid brand, you call it an adhesive bandage... not a Bandaid!)
Sam's adrenaline rush was wearing off, and he was getting shocky before we left. Tom kept an eye on him, and we covered him up and got him settled before making the trip to the store. Once my ministrations were complete (I even used some essential oils on the areas of road burn too big to bandage), and Sam started feeling more alert... he looked at his helmet. He landed so hard that the hard foam liner is cracked. The helmet itself also has some pretty good dents in it, below the visor.
The helmet (a Giro brand "Feature" style) did its job. Sam landed on his helmeted head at a launch speed in excess of 30 MPH... probably closer to 40 MPH. It saved him.
Daniel was talking to me on our drive to the store. He said he knows he didn't wear a bike helmet as a little kid, and was just fine. But when he has kids of his own, they WILL wear helmets when they ride their bikes.
|The helmet, with visor in place|
|The visor removed, you can see the dents|
|The cracked foam liner, next to the manufacturing molding line|
|Blurry, but better shot of the crack|
|Sam's biking jersey. The grey skid is where the fabric's color is scraped off. A couple of holes wore through. Better than leaving SKIN on the road!|