Monday, June 13, 2011

2011-06-13 Austenburg, Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania (55 miles)

The day started out well.  We were able to get on a beautiful bike trail, a paved over train rail.  We were looking forward to a short day, the temps were in the 50's, no wind.  As we rode along, we made way for another biker coming the other direction.  He looked like an advanced biker, moving quickly. 

Suddenly we heard, "Biker down, biker down!" and we all stopped.  It was Rhonda, and as we turned around, we saw she was face down on the path, her bike in the grass.  What happened?  Rhonda saw the rider coming at her, and moved over.  As she did, her front wheel ran into the rear wheel of the bike next to her.  When this happens, the front wheel of the rider in back comes to a stop, and the rider flips forward to the ground.

Rhonda was shaken, and had road rash on her elbow and the side of her right leg.  She had hit her head, but because she was wearing a helmet, she had no injuries to her head or face.  Our Sag vehicle was called, and because Rhonda was sitting up and talking, it was apparent we did not have to call 911.  Rhonda wanted me to take her photo, sitting up and smiling, to send to her parents, so they would know she was going to be OK.  Just like Rhonda, always thinking of others!

Our Sag driver, Karen Cooper, drove onto the bike path, and after we all helped Rhonda clean up some, Karen loaded her into the car, bike on top, and headed out.  Patty took Rhonda in the van to an ER, mostly to get checked out from hitting her head.  All was good.  They did clean out her road rash injuries, a very painful experience, and she returned in a few hours.  Rhonda will probably not be riding for a couple of days, and the next day will be a rest day. 

After all that "drama," as Rhonda put it, the rest of us continued.  We had some unexpected detours, due to bridges out.  We stayed in a large group, kept checking the map that Kathryn had of the area, and navigated our way through.  At one point, we decided to "take the lane" of a 4-lane road so the trucks would not pass us too closely.

For much of the ride today, we were next to Lake Erie.  We stopped at a small park to take it all in, stopping on our way out to play on the swings!

After a Sag stop, we were on the route again, and we were all back to our small group paces.  Our group of five rolled into the motel around 1:30 pm.

The photos below do not have any of the usual comments, but they tell the story of our ride today.  (Remember if you want to see these photos larger, you can click on them, even more than once to enlarge them.)