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horrible ride, horrible day.(13 posts)

horrible ride, horrible day.Frith
Sep 13, 2003 12:33 PM
That's not how it started out though. Sunny and cool and I had designs on doing a 100km route. About 20km in as I was coming over a hill I saw a man laying on the road still attached to his bicycle. A woman was on her cell phone and asked me if I knew CPR. "No". I looked at him. His eyes were partially open and his lips were slightly blue. He wasn't moving. He was an older man (In his late 50's i found out later). My first reaction was that of fear. I had never experienced anything quite like this and was worried about doing the wrong thing. I quickly gathered from the woman that he had not been hit but had rather just fallen over on his own. I felt for a pulse...nothing....felt his neck and got what i thought was one beat. I rolled him over, pulled his helmet off, and unzipped his jersey and began performing what little CPR I knew (mostly from swimming lessons as a child and movies). Right away he gasped and I was relieved. I kept working anyway and people were starting to gather around us some people were praying and some were yelling at him to pull through. Eventually a man who had CPR experience arrived and started to help me...we got instructions from the dispatcher and kept working until the fire and ambulance arrived. He was taken into the ambulance and I found out moments later that he was gone. The gasp had been a reaction by the body. I was shattered...still am. I turned around a rode slowly home after answering some questions from police.
I recognized the man because I had seen him often in that neighborhood on his bike. It's one of my favourite training routes but I don't know if I'll be able go back there anytime soon.

Please be very carefull out there.
re: horrible ride, horrible day.smooty
Sep 13, 2003 1:05 PM
You tried to help him and for that you should feel good. Sounds like he had a huge heart attack while riding. I feel bad for his family. ......not to sound morbid but what better way to go than doing something you love.
Wow, I'm sorry you experienced that.sn69
Sep 13, 2003 1:18 PM
But, FWIW, your humanity and concern are rarities and say a great deal about your character.

Your actions were heroic! nmUncle Tim
Sep 13, 2003 1:30 PM
My sincere appologiesxcmntgeek
Sep 13, 2003 1:37 PM
That truely is a life changing experiance, and one that makes us grateful for everyday we can ride. Also, death is something you never get used to (and rightfuly so). My father has been an ER doctor for 12 years and having someone die still disturbs him. Talk to someone about it if your having extreme feelings of guilt, it really does help.
re: horrible ride, horrible day.lyleseven
Sep 13, 2003 2:20 PM
That was a real tragedy, but you are commended for doing what ever you could at the time. Oftentimes, people just freeze and no help is offered. The fact is that this fellow was probably going to die as soon as he fell off from the MI. Sadly, he was probably out riding like so many of us to increase our odds against health risks such as heart attacks. I certainly ride for that reason amongst others. Recently, I suffered serious injuries in a crash and am laid up for several months, but the upshot of it is that it makes me even more keenly aware of the passion I have for riding and the need to get back and get in shape. For every one of those guys who dies on the road, there are hundreds, if not thousands, more that are alive because they are riding.
You should feel good about yourself... (more)Fez
Sep 13, 2003 3:01 PM
What a tragedy for the deceased and his family. And although I'm sure you were shaken by the events, you should feel good about everything you did.

I think we cyclists feel better knowing there are people out there like you to help in case of emergency.
You should feel good about yourself... (more)al0
Sep 13, 2003 3:17 PM
But they would feel ever better if such peoples would really know CPR! I am. I have administerd it 4 times (not for cyclist) and 3 of them with success. 4th was absolutely hopeless from the beginnig.
re: horrible ride, horrible day.kevinmd
Sep 13, 2003 4:18 PM
Wow, that is a rough ride day...

Truth be known, CPR is a great skill to have, and may help a very select group, but it really doesn't help the great majority of the folks who collapse due to a heart attack. I say this not to start a flame war, but to reassure you that there is little that you likely could have done, and had you known CPR, it is likely the outcome would have been no different.

I strongly recommend that ALL cyclists take a basic CPR and first aid course. If you are in a wreck, or see one, a few basic, easy-to-do maneuvers may save someone's life or prevent permanent disability due to a spinal injury. So contact your local Red Cross chapter and enroll! It isn't very expensive and may come in very handy.

Keep riding and honor his memory.

-- Kevin
Look at it this way....irregardless
Sep 13, 2003 4:23 PM
He shared your passion for riding as well as for that particular route, and died doing something he truly enjoyed. You should continue riding that route and pay silent homage to him at that particular spot knowing that you shared a certain amount of solidarity with him.
Thanks for trying.pedalAZ
Sep 13, 2003 7:14 PM
Too many people just drive on by.

I helped stabilize a young woman cyclist after a hit and run about 10 years ago. It was sickening to see how quickly someone can go from healthy to horribly injured.

As in your case, no one else tried to help, except for one driver who gave chase trying to get a license plate ID'd on the perpetrator.
Sorry you had to go through thatTNRyder
Sep 14, 2003 8:47 AM
It does serve as a tragic reminder to us all that we need to pay attention to our bodies while riding. If you have a family history of heart disease or even diabetes, you might want to talk to your Dr. about it.

If anyone remembers David Letterman a few yrs back, he had open heart surgery. This is a guy who was jogging every day, and paying close attention to his diet. He had to have the surgery still because of genetic factors that made his heart into a ticking time bomb!

I will pray for peace for you and especially for the family of the unfortunate man that you tried to save. It was truly a noble act on your part.
Thanks everybody.Frith
Sep 14, 2003 9:36 AM
for all of your kind words. I'm feeling better now but still quite shaken up by it. I can't get the image of him out of my head. I keep wondering about his family and what they must be going through right now. I don't think there was anything more I could have done to save him but I am going to enroll in a CPR/first aid course just so that if I ever have an opportunity to help again I'll be better prepared. A couple things that were kind of weird about yesterday...First I kept noticing broken glass on the road. Definitely more than usual and at one point I actually passed the scene of what looked like a fairly minor car accident. I remember thinking to myself that it was odd to see so much evidence of accidents and hoping it wasn't some sort of sign of things to come in my ride...Then on my way home I was almost run over by a cab who came around a corner on the wrong side of the road. I chased him up a hill and when i caught up to him I yelled at him and released every bit of anger and emotion I had in me. I was almost at the point of tears and people must have thought I was lunatic the way I was yelling at him. As I was riding away a very shocked looking little old lady asked me with genuine concern if i was alright. I said yes thank you. I had to laugh a little at how it must of appeared to her.