Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't Drink and Bike

We had a great vacation last week on Hilton Head and Tybee Island--Riley did not want to leave. I think she'd be happy as a clam playing in the ocean all day, every day! I'll be sure to post a few pictures after we've had a chance to go through them all, I promise.

I've decided that I am a total klutz. I hurt myself more than any other person I know: I have burn marks on my hands and arms from cooking; a dent in my shin from a 6th grade chair incident; scars from stitches in high school after I sliced my knuckle open on a metal piece on my locker; crooked toes from countless "stubbing" because I can never seem to watch where I'm walking; and, well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture here, right?

Saturday night on Tybee, the Fulkerson's and other friends all decided we should ride our bikes out for a night on the town (minus the kids). Bikes are a great idea--no worrying about parking or getting pulled over later and risking the consequences. Ten of us hopped on our bikes (Charles and I had to borrow) and we headed out to Marlin Monroe's right on the beach.

We commenced with the drinking and eating and had a fun time--so fun that a woman, as she was leaving with her husband and grandchildren, stopped by our table and chided us for being loud and obnoxious. She said we were appalling and should be ashamed of ourselves for our behaviour. Fine, she could have said something to the waiter, but no--she had to try and make us feel bad. Hey, lady: You're the one who brought your grandchildren to a patio bar at 10:00 on a Saturday night. What did you expect????

Anyway, three banana daiquiris later, I hoped back on the bike to ride to another island establishment. Charles took off with another group and we were separated. I was following Mark--who had a light on the front of his bike--but the rest of the group was well behind us. Mark got a bit ahead of me and it was dark--very dark. I managed to drop off a curb that didn't have a nice little decline onto a cross street and BOOM--I dropped and I think I went over the handlebars. I'm not really sure what happened, but I sure know what it did to my body.

Ouch! My scraped-up and bruised toes...

My knee--three times its normal size.

I pulled myself off the pavement and looked down--one of my toes was pointing in a direction I didn't know it could go and blood was running down my leg from the scrape on my knee. I could actually see my knee through the gaping hole left in my pants leg.

I was mortified!! Mark circled back to check on me, but I dismissed his concerns--not wanting to make a big deal of it. I got back on the bike and pedaled to the next stop and, thankfully, it was next door to a convenience store. While everyone went into the bar, I called Charles and told him to get his butt to me. When he got to me, I grabbed his credit card and went into the store to get peroxide and bandages. I cleaned my knee and toes off the best I could and stayed at the bar for about an hour before I could sneak away. I rode my bike back to the Fulkerson's house and crawled in bed.

When Mark and Charles got back, they put ice on my leg and Ellen gave me some ibuprophen.

The next morning, after a great breakfast, we took off for our drive home. My leg was in bad shape and I was in a lot of pain. I guess the four hour drive to Charles' parents house didn't help the situation--when we stopped there, my leg was so swollen I couldn't even bend it and my toes and the skin around my knee was completely numb. Charles' parents insisted on keeping Riley while Charles took me to a local ER.

The good news: Nothing is broken. The bad news: I have what the doctor calls "severe tissue damage." A nurse wrapped up my leg, gave me anti-inflamatory and pain meds and put me on crutches (or "crunches," as Riley calls them) for the next few days.

The take-away here? Don't drink and bike, kids.

P.S.--This is all after I had another bike incident on Hilton Head! I was riding my bike to the beach and was passing a guy pulling a beach cart. I yelled, "On your left!" What does he do? Pulls his cart to the left right in front of me! I tried to squeeze past him, but ran along a wooden fence--my left arm still has scrapes and bruises from, just call me "Grace!"