Monday, August 4, 2008


This is a picture of my brother after getting into a biking accident. He was visiting me for what would have been a week of rest and relaxation. I recommended that he should take my bike out if he was bored while I was out. He took the offer and I gave him a choice of two places to go to, Peter's Canyon or Irvine Regional Park/Santiago Canyon and told him how to bike out to either spot. For the most part both spots aren't too technical (as far as I can tell). If there are parts that are too steep, I usually walk the bike up or down. For some of the descents, I usually break pretty hard to get down the hill unscathed. Well he decided to go to Santiago Canyon, which is a pretty cool ride through woodsy Irvine Park, a dam, and some nice terrain. Unfortunately there are a few downhills with really lose ground. So while I'm at church, my wife comes up to me and tells me that my brother just called and he needs help. He said he fell while biking and might have broke a bone and needs to get to the ER. This immediate sense of stress overcomes me and we get in our car and head out to him. He went down this hill near the dam which descends into a ranch and fell off the bike, landed on his shoulder and flipped back on to his feet. Covered in scratches and caked on dirt, he sat on the hill for a good 20-30 minutes to recompose himself and get over the exhaustion and vertigo associated with a really hard fall. He then took my 28 pound bike and lugged it back up the hill and walked the bike through a mile and half of dirt trails, up a small hill and a few street blocks back to my apartment. I really don't know how he made it with what turned out to be a broken clavicle. He got back to my place, tried to clean up and after a while, decided to call us to take him to the ER.

A few days later my neighbor, who seems to be an avid mountain biker, saw me and asked about my brother. I told him that he was okay, just in pain, but should recover. My neighbor then told me that the moral of the story was to not ride alone. Being a typical older brother, I replied that my younger brother should not have been riding recklessly. But a little bit later, I thought about it and yes, I agree that riding alone might not be the safest decision to make. What if he was seriously hurt and could not walk or get a hold of me on phone and could not contact anyone? I wouldn't know what to do. So I was really lucky this time that he didn't end up unconscious or incapacitated. I know that there are a ton of riders who go out alone and just trust that they won't get hurt. The majority of my rides are alone, and I'm a beginner. I am apt to riding stupidly and recklessly and sometimes we just can't help but ride alone.

For any readers out there (if there are any) do you have any thoughts on this topic? Thanks.

Also a good thing to do for those of you who have medical insurance: find out which hospitals you are eligible to go to under your specific medical plan. Although my brother's needs weren't urgent, we had to take more time that I'd like to find a suitable hospital for him which accepted his medical insurance.

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