Wednesday, October 10, 2012


As we cycled downhill on this the second day of the MS Mountain Tour, we had already passed two groups of riders and volunteers gathered around  prone figures on the ground.  Last year marshalls had been placed in this particular area to get riders to slow down at this spot.  What happens is this:  riders are tired from yesterday's all day climb and after the brutal ascent to the Nordic Center this morning, a lot of riders become careless when given the opportunity to "give 'er" on this first stage of the downhill portion of the Tour.

It is disconcerting to come across an accident.  The figure on the ground with a number of caregivers surrounding that person.  Their bike with it's wheels bent out of shape and an ambulance waiting down the trail for the injured soul to be carried out of the woods.  Three years ago my daughter Jackie and I happened upon such a grouping and we found out later that the rider had suffered a broken cheekbone, a dislocated shoulder and a broken jaw.

So crapped myself when I rounded a corner and a woman's voice shouted "Rider Down!!".  There was only one rider ahead of me - Jackie.  The spill was hidden from me in a deep dip in the trail and I immediately threw my bike down and ran the rest of the way to the site.  When I reached the accident, I had to scout around through the thick waist high grass that covered the gully.  Finally, I spotted Jackie on her back, feet clipped into her pedals and the bike on top of her.  A male rider was brushing aside the grass and Jackie was busy telling everyone that it looked worse than it really was.  That she was okay.

And thankfully she was okay.  Her bike wasn't.  The rear wheel had three broken spokes and after some fussing with the wheel, we determined that she could probably make it to the next checkstop where the mechanics at United Cycle could help her.

Merko the United Cycle mechanic
A quick repair was fashioned at the United Cycle tent and with a slightly wobbly rear wheel, Jackie was able to finish the tour in record time and without any bodily injury.  That's what really matters.  A bike can be fixed more easily than a human body.

Next:  How are we going to fix the bike before cycling the Kettle Valley Railway?

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