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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Accident Recovery Is More Than Just Physical

Accident Recovery Is More Than Just Physical

Last night was the first time I got back on a bike trainer since my accident 16 days ago. My most important goal was to find out more about what may have happened then. I’ve been suspicious that fatigue was the reason why.
Unlike riding on the road the trainer never lets up resistance. On the road there’s always a little coasting and soft pedaling to recover from particularly hard efforts.
Workouts after a layoff are tough; the bike feels foreign at first. Last night, after only about 45 minutes I felt the fatigue of the workout. It wasn’t a surprise. The physical stress of the workout confirmed my suspicions that my vision had somehow been affected. My balance was not affected, but I saw tiny spots when I turned my head to look over my shoulder as I had before the accident. Something about that motion caused those spots to become more widespread, enough to keep from turning my head any longer than necessary.
Keep in mind all this happened within a split second. Just before the accident, I looked at only one spot on the road, the intersection of McCaslin Road and Hwy 128, nothing more. It never occurred to me that there might be traffic behind me because I wasn’t able to focus upon it. I couldn’t see it, though it was right there in my line of sight.
Witnesses reported that I had not looked before turning. That’s untrue. I had looked for traffic seconds earlier, and I saw no danger. As always, I trusted what I saw. After decades of cycling, I’m confident of my actions. Nobody – myself included - would knowingly do such a thing.
As a road cyclist, I’ve only had but a few close calls with other vehicles. Anyone on the road; cars, motorcycles, bikes, and so on can expect that. Being on the open road is serious business whether other vehicles are present or not. Now, I must rebuild my confidence, however long it takes, and not always believe what I see at first. As the saying goes “Looking twice and Save A Life.” It’s true.

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